Recently I've been watching ebay auctions of 1963 Fleer cards. I have a few cards from the set but was looking to add some more of these cards to my collection. Finally, this week I was the top bid on an auction that included 47 cards. I was able to acquired these cards for less than two dollars a piece.
History of the 1963 Fleer set
1963 Fleer is a 67-card set and was Fleer's attempt to break into the active-player baseball card market. Since Topps had a monopoly on the marketing of baseball cards of current players with or without a confectionery product, each pack of Fleer cards included a sugarless cherry cookie. The scarce card of set is Joe Adcock (card #46) which had been replaced by the unnumbered checklist card during the final press run. Fleer had intended to include multiple series to this set; however, Topps sued Fleer to prevent future releases.
Here are a few of the Fleer cards I got.
These two guys who had great 1962 season
Fleer 1963 Tommy Davis Card #40
Fleer 1963 Ralph Terry Card #26
Tommy Davis manned left field for the 1962 Dodgers. That year, Davis topped the Major Leagues with 153 RBI, the highest total recorded since 1938 when Red Sox outfielder Jimmie Fox batted in 175 runs. Davis' total was not exceeded again until the 1998 when Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa drove in 158 runs.
In 1962, Ralph Terry finished the year with 23 wins and 12 losses for the World Champion Yankees. His win total was tops in the American League and the highest total for any Yankee right-hander since George Pipgras had 24 wins in 1928. Terry capped his season, pitching a shutout in game seven of the World Series, as the Yankees beat the Giants 1 - 0.
These two guys who had not so great 1962 season
Fleer 1963 Roger Craig Card #47
Fleer 1963 Al Jackson Card #48
In 1962, Roger Craig and Al Jackson played for the Mets, the team's first year in the National League. The Mets finished the season with 40 wins and 120 losses, the most losses recorded by any team since 1899 when the Cleveland Spiders finished in 12th place in the National League with a record of 20 wins and 134 losses.
Roger Craig was the only Met pitcher to win 10 games in 1962, finishing the year with 10 wins and 24 losses. Craig's 24 losses was the highest total recorded in the Major Leagues since 1935 when Ben Cantwell loss 25 games for the Boston Braves. Since 1962, no pitcher has matched Craig's 24 loss total. Denny McLain's 22 losses for the Washington Senators is the highest total recorded since 1962.
As a member of the 1962 Mets, Al Jackson had a record of eight wins and twenty losses. Half of Jackson's victories were shutouts. His four shutouts was the second highest total in the major league during that year, and the Mets only shutouts for the 1962 season.
Craig and Jackson were the first pair of twenty game loser on the same team since the 1936 Phillies Bucky Walter (21 losses) and Joe Bowman (20 losses).
A Couple of Cardinal All-Star and Gold Glove Infielders
Fleer 1963 Bill White Card #63
Fleer 1963 Ken Boyer Card #60
Bill White and Ken Boyer played together with the Cardinals from 1959 through 1965. During this time, White was named to five All-Star teams and Boyer was named to six All-Star teams. Beginning in 1960, White won six consecutive Gold Glove Awards as a first baseman and during that same time, Boyer won four Gold Glove Awards at third base.
As members of the 1964 Cardinals, White and Boyer lead the team to their first National League pennant and World Championship since 1944. That year, Boyer was the League's Most Valuable Player and White finished third in the MVP voting.
Young Athletic Infielder
Fleer 1963 Dick Howser Card #15
Dick Howser made his Major League debut as a Kansas City Athletic on April 11, 1961. That year. as the Athletics starting shortstop, he lead the team in games played (158), runs (108), hits (171), and stolen bases (37), which was the second highest total in the Major League, behind only White Sox shortstop Luis Aparicio's 53 steals. During that season, Howser made the American League All-Star team and finished second in the League's Rookie of the Year voting, to Red Sox hurler, Don Schwall.
However, in 1962, Howser broke his wrist, which limited him to only 83 games. Then in May 1963, in a deal that netted the Athletics $100,000, Howser was traded to the Indians. He finished his career in 1968 as a member of the Yankees.
In 1981, Howser returned to Kansas City, when he was named manager of the Royals. In 1985, in the I-70 Showdown, Howser lead the Royals to their first World Championship when they defeated the Cardinals four games to three. The Royals bounced back from three game to one game deficit to win the last three games of the series to secure the championship. The Royals next World Championship didn't happen again for 30 seasons, when they won last year's World Series.
As the manager of the defending American League champions, Howser managed the 1986 All-Star game. During the game it was noted that he messed up signals when he changed pitchers, and later Howser admitted he felt sick before the game. This would be the last game he would manage, as he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and underwent surgery. Howser attempted a brief comeback during spring training of 1987, but he quickly found he was physically too weak and abandoned the attempt in late February. Three months later, Howser passed away.
On July 3, 1987, Howser's number 10 became the first number retired by the Kansas City Royals. Later that year, the Dick Howser Trophy was established as college baseball's equivalent of college football's Heisman Trophy.
Fleer 1963 Jimmy Piersall Card #29
Jimmy Piersall, a two-time All-Star, played parts of 17 seasons in the major leagues as a member of the Red Sox (1950, 1952-1959), Indians (1959-1961), Senators (1962-1963), Mets (1963), and Angels (1963-67). On June 10, 1953, Piersall set a Red Sox team record for hits in a 9 inning game, with 6. He was selected to the American League All-Star team in 1954 and 1956. In 1956, Piersall played in 156 games, posted a league-leading 40 doubles, scored 91 runs, drove in 87 runs, and had a .293 batting average. The following year, he hit 19 home runs and scored 103 runs. In 1958 he won his first Gold Glove Award and then won a second Gold Glove Award while playing centerfield for the 1961 Indians.
On June 23, 1963, as a member of the Mets, while facing Phillies right hander Dallas Green, Piersall hit the 100th home run of his career. He ran backwards as he made his way around the bases.
In 1955, author Al Hirshberg first published a book about Piersall's career, as the story centered around Piersall's 1952 season, when he suffered a nervous breakdown and spent seven weeks in a mental institution. In 1957, the book was made into a movie, whose cast included Anthony Hopkins and Karl Madden.
On September 17, 2010, Jimmy Piersall was inducted into the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame.