I wanted to open a low cost box with a lot of varied cards in it and decided on 2006 Fleer Baseball. The normally cheap box was even less expensive due to a Blowout Cards special. I remembered how much fun it was to open boxes of Fleer products in the 90s and hope to find more of the same from this box even though it was Upper Deck in Fleer clothing.
The base cards are a little bland. My biggest beef is with all of the blank space down at the bottom of the card. Did the bars for the player name and position really have to be that big? Other than that, this is fine for a flagship set.
What I used to love about Fleer sets, especially Fleer Ultra, were the wide range of fun insert sets that you’d find. There would be foil, die cuts, glitter, acetate, faux leather, wood, etc. Unfortunately, this set doesn’t come close to living up to the Fleer legacy. There are a variety of insert sets, but they’re all plain and none of them really stand out. At the price I paid, I can’t complain, but I would have hated paying full price for this. It’s yet another Upper Deck that’s not worth anything near the original retail price.
I’ll start things off with the Team Leaders cards. You get two studio shots on each card; one of a pitcher and one of a hitter. "Team Leaders is in gold foil and that’s about as fancy as these cards get. This box contained 11 Team Leaders cards and while I didn’t pull the Red Sox, I did get the Mariners, Marlins, Mets, Rockies, Braves, Royals, White Sox, Blue Jays, A’s, Padres, and Phillies. The majority of the cards from this box are up for trade so if you see anything you like, drop me a line.
Fleer has done some cool Lumber Company cards in the past, but this one doesn’t compare. The design is a nice one and on its own it would be fine, but you can’t help but to compare it to Lumber Company cards of the past. This box contained Miguel Cabrera, Manny Ramirez, Vlad Guerrero, A-Rod, Troy Glaus, Aramis Ramirez, Eric Chavez, Alfonso Soriano and Ken Griffey Jr. I’m being unfair to this insert set because it does look nice. I just wish that there was something in this box that was more than just gold foil.
Like the majority of the insert sets in this product, this one also returns from previous years. Upper Deck did themselves a disservice by doing this because you can’t help but to think of better looking versions of these sets.
The Smoke ‘n Heat inserts have flames on the bottom and a red fire baseball in the background. This set focuses on pitchers and I pulled the following: John Smoltz, King Felix, Carlos Zambrano, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling and Roy Oswalt.
This is the first insert set that I really dislike the look of. The red background just doesn’t do it for me.
The good thing about a set such as this one with numerous insert sets is that they get to focus on lots of things you may not usually see insert cards devoted to. This next set focuses on some of the best fielders in the league.
The Smooth Leather insert set is very basic with a foil stamp. This box contained Greg Maddux, Mike Mussina, A-Rod, Ichiro and Scott Rolen.
One thing that you always found plenty of in Fleer sets were parallel cards. Fleer Ultra always had gold medallion parallels and you’d find various other parallels in their others sets. There is a parallel version of the base set, but you don’t get many of them in a box. My box only contained three of the parallel cards which are gray on the left side and have a glossy front as opposed to the non-glossy base cards.
The three player on my parallel cards were J.T. Snow, Noah Lowry and Alfonso Soriano. These parallels aren’t numbered and even though there are only three in a box, I don’t see there being much demand for these cards.
The next insert set is the only one that had any kind of flair to it. Not Flair as in super thick, super glossy cards, but you will find a little bit of etched foil on these cards. That’s saying a lot for this set. Sorry to keep harping on the fact that Upper Deck phoned it in on these inserts, but that’s the feeling that you get opening one of these boxes. It’s similar to opening a box of 2010 Topps and wishing there were only half as many insert sets.
The Stars of Tomorrow cards are pretty nice looking. You’ve got team colors, etched foil and a nice design. We’ve got a winner here. Unfortunately, there are only three of these in a box. I pulled Joe Mauer, Rickie Weeks and Jeff Francoeur. 2 out of 3 isn’t bad as far as predicting the stars of tomorrow goes. Mauer is currently one of the superstars of today. I’ve got to check and see if there are any Red Sox in this insert set because I think they’d look very good in this design.
We’ve got one more insert set and then the one hit that I pulled out of the box. The final insert set celebrates the previous season’s award winners.
A-Rod was the AL Most Valuable Player and Huston Street was the AL Rookie of the Year. Those were the only Award Winners in my box. These cards are classy looking with gold foil along the borders of the picture and the two banners in front of the picture.
I always liked cards like this that commemorate events from the previous season. I like having cards of all-stars, home run derby champions, award winners and record setters. I’d like to see more of that in sets again.
The hit from the box was this Miguel Tejada plain white jersey swatch. I’ve got to say that Upper Deck picked a really strange picture to use on this card. Is Tejada doing the Hokey Pokey and putting his whole butt in? Did someone just pull his finger? If there were more of the picture, you could tell more easily that Tejada was looking towards first to see if he had successfully turned a double play. Instead, it looks like Tejada is sitting on an invisible chair.
This was still a fun break and you get a ton of cards. A little more variety in the inserts would have been nice though. This was a great value, the condition of the cards was good, I can’t complain about the collation and the design of the cards was alright. I would give the box a B-.