Set Registry

No Mantle - No Respect?: A Look at the 1963 Fleer Baseball Set

By Joe Orlando

I

n 1963, Fleer decided to abandon their strategy of placing former baseball legends (with the exception of Ted Williams in the 1960 set) on the faces of their cards and instead, focus on the stars of the current day. Instead of former legends like Ty Cobb and Jimmie Foxx, they chose players like Bob Gibson - a future legend at the time. Unfortunately for Fleer, Topps decided to bring a lawsuit against Fleer and it stopped the set in its tracks after only one series of production (cards 1-66).

Luckily for collectors, the one series did produce enough stars to make the set interesting. The fact that Mickey Mantle did not make it into the first series certainly hinders the nationwide appeal of the set but, regardless, the set has carried on as a popular one due to its reasonable size and attractive designs.

Roberto Clemente

It's true, there's no Mantle, Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson, Harmon Killebrew, Stan Musial, Al Kaline, Yogi Berra, Duke Snider, Eddie Mathews, Ernie Banks or Pete Rose (rookie) cards in the set. Not to worry. In this 66-card set, you can still find Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, Roberto Clemente, Brooks Robinson, Carl Yastrzemski and several other Hall of Famers. There are also some very tough rarities in the set, such as the checklist and the #46 Joe Adcock card.

In addition to the nice star selection, despite the small size of the set, the cards are very attractive. The photo quality is very strong; capturing many of the athletes in full smile like Mays and Robinson. Their simplicity is also very appealing. The vast majority of the card design is dedicated to the image itself, rather than a bizarre assortment of designs that detract from the photo of the player. With many of the modern cards today, collectors will notice the unnecessary complexity of card designs. Pretty soon, you might not be able to make out who the players are underneath layers of reflective materials and foil coatings.

Carl Yastremski

As far as condition obstacles are concerned, centering and reverse chipping are two of note. Due to the large images on the front, the white frame around the photo is very defined. In other words, side-to-side centering is very easy to determine. When it comes to top-to-bottom centering, make sure that the bottom border doesn't encroach too severely into the small, diamond images near the bottom left and that the team name/position information isn't too close to the base.

The backs of the cards have a green border that frames all of the biographical and statistical information. Chipping, as long as it is not severe, will usually not cause a downgrade in the PSA NM-MT 8 grade and lower. When you journey up into the PSA Mint 9 and Gem Mint 10 grades, reverse chipping will be looked at more closely. Again, if the chipping does not hinder the eye appeal, then it shouldn't be a major factor.

Willie Mays

This is one of those sets that certainly deserves another look from collectors. Its reasonable size, attractive design and nice star selection make it a very appealing production from Fleer. Compared to the 1963 Topps set, a great set in its own right and a monster to complete, the Fleer set offers some degree of affordability. It can be acquired for about 1/5 the price of the 1963 Topps offering. Of course, the Topps issue does contain almost 600 cards and it does have a Mantle.

Good luck!

The Leader Board

1963 Baseball

Fleer -Stonegate

Vintage Basketball

1948 Bowman - Heifetz

1957-58 Topps - MH Logogg

1961 Hawks Essex Meats - Davalillo

1961-62 Fleer - Ruby

1968-69 Jack in the Box San Diego Rockets - Bskbkid's

1969-70 Topps - The Skovran Collection

1970-71 Topps - J. Feeley 1970 Collection

1971-72 Topps - J. Feeley 1971 Topps Collection

Modern Basketball

1972-73 Icee Bear - Bskbkid's Icee Bear

1972-73 Topps - J. Feeley 1972 Topps Collection

1976-77 Topps - Davalillo

1978-79 Topps - J. Feeley 1978 Topps Collection

1979-80 Topps - J. Feeley 1979 Topps Collection

1980-81 Topps - The Chow/Fair Collection

1986-87 Fleer - The Virgil Adkins PSA 10 Collection

1986-87 Fleer Sticker - The Bryant PSA 10 1986 Fleer Sticker Collection

1987-88 Fleer Stickers - Jenkind's 1987 Fleer Sticker Set

1988 Fournier - Bskbkid's Fournier Set tied with Bskbkid's Number two Forurnier Set

1988 Fournier Sticker - The Generals stickers

1988-89 Fleer - J. Feeley 1988 Collection

1993-94 Finest Refractor - The Harrington Collection

1996-97 Topps Chrome - Cyphilis SB's 96-97 Topps Chrome Basketball Set

1996-97 Topps Chrome Refractors - DaWongz 1996-97 Chrome Refractor Set

1997 SPx ProMotion - 1996-97 SPx ProMotion set of im

1998-99 SP Authentic - Bryant PSA 10 Collection

1998-99 SP Authentic First Class - The Chinaphong Kowong Collection

2000-01 Topps Reserve Graded - Ty's Topps Reserve Graded Set

2001-02 Fleer Platinum Lucky 13 - Erik's first set

Vintage Football

1894 Mayo Cut Plug - Paul Kaufman

1926 Spalding Champions - Carl Lamendola - Spalding FB

1935 National Chicle - Don Louchios

1948 Bowman - Davalillo

1948 Leaf - William Gray

1949 Leaf - DHC #1

1950 Bowman - Sarah Verno 1950 Bowman FB

1951 Bowman - Davalillo

1952 Bowman Large - Davalillo

1952 Bowman Small - Jerry Cyncynatus

1953 Bowman - Davalillo

1954 Bowman - Stonegate

1955 Bowman - Stonegate

1955 Topps All-American - Wes Verno All American

1956 Topps - Greenhornet Collection #1

1957 Topps - Tagatz's 1957

1958 Topps - Tagatz's 1958

1959 Topps - Davalillo

1960 Cardinals Mayrose Franks - MastroNet

1960 Fleer - Nearmint's Collection

1960 Fleer College Pennant Decals - Football Pennants

1960 Topps - Stonegate

1961 Fleer - Wolfbear's 1961 Fleer

1961 Nu-Card - Qualitycards

1961 Topps - Bears 61 Paul A. Lemm 1961 Topps

1962 Fleer - Wolfbear's 1962 Fleer

1962 Topps - Tagatz's 1962

1963 Fleer - Paul Kaufman

1963 Topps - Bears1 Paul A. Lemm 1963 Topps Football

1964 Philadelphia - jwmerrill's 1964 Philadelphia Football

1964 Topps - Wolfbear's 1964 Topps

1965 Philadelphia - Neil's 1965 Philadelphia Football Set

1965 Topps - 707 Sportscards - LTD Tall Boys

1966 Topps - Fuzzdude 1

1966 Topps Funny Rings - Hot Dog

1967 Philadelphia - Dalton Ventures 1967 Philadelphia

1967 Topps - fuzzdude

1968 Topps Stand Up - Jeremy Linker

1969 Topps - JFDIII

1969 Topps 4 in 1 - JFDIII

1970 Kelloggs - Mick's 1970 Kellogg's Football

1971 Kelloggs - Mick's 1971 Kellogg's Football Set

Modern Football

1972 Topps - Carlos D. Aponte's 1972 Topps Football Set

1996 Laser View Inscriptions - dalton ventures collection

1997 Leaf Reproductions - Neil's 1997 Leaf Reproduction Football Set

2000 Collectors Edge Graded Uncirculated - J & S Cards

2000 Skybox E-X E-Xceptional Red, Green, Blue - Qualitycards

2000 Upper Deck Legends Legendary Game Jerseys - Jeff's Jersey Legends

2001 Topps Chrome Black Border Refractor - Big Hurt's 2001 Topps Chrome Black Border RC Refractors

2001 Topps Heritage - Neil's 2001 Topps Heritage Football Set


Joe Orlando has been an advanced collector of sportscards and memorabilia for over 25 years. Orlando attended Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California where he studied communications and was the starting catcher for the baseball team. After a brief stint in the minor leagues, Orlando obtained a Juris Doctor from Whittier Law School in Southern California in the spring of 1999. During the last fourteen years, Orlando has authored several collecting guides and dozens of articles for Collectors Universe, Inc. Orlando has also authored two books for Collectors Universe. Orlando's first book, The Top 200 Sportscards in the Hobby, was released in the summer of 2002. His second book, Collecting Sports Legends, was released in the summer of 2008. Orlando has appeared on several radio and television programs as a hobby expert including ESPN's award-winning program Outside the Lines and HBO's Real Sports, as the featured guest. Currently, Orlando is the President of PSA and PSA/DNA, the largest trading card and sports memorabilia authentication services in the hobby. He is also Editor of the company's nationally distributed Sports Market Report, which under Orlando's direction has developed into a leading resource in the market. Orlando also contributed the foreword and last chapter to The T206 Collection: The Players and Their Stories, a 2010 release, and to The Cracker Jack Collection: Baseball's Prized Players, a 2013 release.