Tuesday, July 20, 2010
factory fourth (fleer edition)
I am mainly a Topps collector. I have many cards from other sets, years, etc. We all do. None of us have exclusively one company's cards. Its not as much fun that way. Fleer has had a long history in not only the card business, but in the candy business as well. from their humble beginnings in 1959 with their Ted Williams set, and vintage players the following two years, to their first annual set in 1981. Fleer ran into some financial trouble and was bought by Upper Deck in (I think) 2005. 2007 was their final year as a baseball card manufacturer, and now with Upper Deck out of the picture, it seems very unlikely that we will ever see the likes of Fleer again in the card biz. I feel the 2007 set, besides being a very nice issue, has some great historical element in our hobby, as much as 2010 Upper Deck does. The final issues of two of the 'big four' seem significant as a point of where the hobby changed forever. Never again were we to see Fleer packs sitting next to the Topps and Upper Deck, giving us a nice healthy choice of product to sift through. Yes it all became too much eventually, but the choice was certainly there. I ended up with some of this set from some random packs I picked up at Target one day. I liked them from the start. It felt just like the Fleer of old, back when I collected as a kid. Except my Fleers were bright yellow (1991 for those who chose to forget :) ). Nice set, and once I saw that there was a factory set, I knew I wanted it. Much like I would want a factory issue of 2010 Upper Deck (that we will never see), for that significance I explained above. Its sad to see a respected company leave the hobby, but sometimes shelves run out of room for the glut of product, or the collectors leave due to their own personal reasons. Whatever the reason may be, we can still look back at the previous years and see how they fared, what they did right, wrong and everything inbetween, and just remember then fun of collecting.