Tuesday, January 15, 2013

30 Year Top 50: 2000 Fleer Greats of the Game

#9- The second entry from the Greats of the Game line comes in one spot ahead of the original set.  There aren't many things to complain about with the original set, but Fleer did a great job of making the second run of this set even better.  Let's start with the best set.  The original Greats of the Game set was tied to the photography and covers of Sports Illustrated.  The 2000 set dropped the Sports Illustrated name and featured a much simpler base card.

2000 Fleer Greats of the Game Ralph Kiner Autograph

The older players in the base set were pictured in black and white photos and the more modern players were pictured in color.  The simple border and picture made the clean design of these cards a favorite of mine.  The borders of the cards were susceptible to dings and chipping making the base cards a condition sensitive set.  

2000 Fleer Greats of the Game Dale Murphy

If you compare the edges of the Dale Murphy card below to the Ralph Kiner card above you can see the slight white dings along the edges of the Murphy card.  When I first opened a box and a few packs of these cards back in 2000 I was able to complete an entire base set.  However, it took my another year to complete a mint version of the set.  The single cards can be found for less than dollar on the secondary market, but many have the same problems as my Dale Murphy card.  

2000 Fleer Greats of the Game Red Schoendienst Autograph 

One of the biggest changes in the 2000 set is the autograph insertion rate.  The 1999 set featured one autograph per pack, but the 2000 set featured one autograph per six packs, or four per box.   Fleer issued a total of 93 autographed cards, but Fleer offered little details about short prints.  It's widely believed that several cards in the set are harder to find then others.  A few of the cards were purposely shirt printed, but others were signer created short prints.  For example, Dave Concepcion signed his cards in both red and black ink even though the signers in the set were all provided black pens.  

2000 Fleer Greats of the Game Bruce Sutter Autograph

Overall, the quality of autographs was spectacular.  The plain design of the cards lent for an excellent space for the players to sign, as opposed to the 1999 set which featured a small white square with a Sports Illustrated Cover or Photograph.  Fleer did a great job of getting a wide variety of different signers for the set.  This Bruce Sutter autograph is one of my personal favorites.  While Sutter has had several different certified autographs over the years, this was the first one I ever owned.  Love the picture with the polyester Braves uniform and the shaggy beard.  

2000 Fleer Yankee Clippings Willie Randolph Jersey

Beyond the base set and great autograph set in the 2000 Fleer Greats of the Game set, collectors also flocked to this set for the Yankee Clippings jersey cards.  The 15 card set featured a variety of great Yankees players from different periods of time.  When the 2000 Greats of the Game set was first released this cards were hot sellers and could easily push the autographed cards on price.  As time has passed, some of the lesser stars in the set have become easier and cheaper to find.  My Willie Randolph card is my only Yankee Clipping card and cost me right around $10 shipped last summer.  


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