Sunday, November 6, 2016

Complete sets: 2000 Fleer Tradition Ripken Collection

It's been a bit of a Ripken-heavy last couple weeks here at TMV as the Iron Man has been featured in my last three posts.  One of them was thanks to a trade package from Jeff while the other two are courtesy of my great scanning project of 2016.  The latter is responsible again today as I show off another group of inserts I dug up while sorting through the PC cards I intend to scan and post.  While yesterday's cards represented a fraction of an insert set, today's comprise the whole thing.

Fleer's 2000 flagship Tradition product was another in the long line they produced that I enjoyed very much thanks to a great design, excellent value in each box, and lots of fun inserts.  I did pretty well while breaking two boxes of that product not long after it came out and was more than satisfied with how well I did.

One of those fun inserts, the so-called Ripken Collection, centered around--you guessed it--Cal!  I don't know how many of these I pulled and how many I had to track down myself, but I do know that I have all 10--though I'd neglected to show them off until now because I'd forgotten about them for a while as they sat in Ripken's section of my player collections box, and that happens to be one of my largest PCs.  Happily, this scanning project caused me to pull them out, remember how much I enjoyed them, and get them scanned and posted!

Much like UD's Prime Nine set from yesterday, the Ripken Collection cards focus on several of the most important moments from Cal's career, with a bit of natural overlap with Upper Deck's effort.  With the benefit of an extra two years, though, Fleer had a bit more to work with.  Highlights not only include his '82 Rookie of the Year award, '83 MVP and World Series win, and '91 MVP, but also encompass joining a select group of players that hit at least 20 homers in each of their first 10 seasons, mashing his 400th homer, and ending the Streak.

But the defining feature of this set is its look as each card honors a design from a past Fleer product.  Better yet, Fleer didn't limit itself to its baseball designs, but incorporated NBA and NFL versions as well.  In fact, the insert uses three of its past baseball designs, four from basketball, and three more from the NBA, and just about every one is pretty well known at this point.  All the same, Fleer helpfully notes the design on each card back.

So here's a look at the fronts and backs of all ten Ripken Collection cards.  I hope you enjoy a look through Fleer design history as well as Ripken's storied career!  If you feel like it, leave a comment with your favorite design implemented by the set.  Mine's the classic '86-'87 basketball look.


  1. The bright yellow of 91 Fleer reminds me of my childhood. My favorites would probably be from Ultra. Some of the mid 2000's sets were underrated.

    1. I'm with you on the '91s, and while I prefer the late 90s-early 2000s Ultras, there were some good versions later in the decade as well.