2000 Fleer Gamers Baseball Review
About this time 8 years ago, I remember reading a product preview for 2000 Fleer Gamers, and being astonished. Skimming across the insert ratios, one thing seemingly jumped off the page at me. It read “Gamers Lumber 1:36 packs.” At the time, game-used cards were still tough pulls, falling in every few boxes or so in general. A bat card in every 36 packs on average represented BY FAR the most generous odds on a game-used. Also included were Autographed Gamers Lumber bat cards which were seeded 1 in 287 packs, a case hit. I recall a friend of mine, Bryan, at the time saying that eventually we’d be seeing a game-used card in every pack. Sure enough, just months later, products like 2000 Private Stock and 2001 SP Game Bat Edition were released and the watering-down began. Anyway, a box of Fleer Gamers consists of 24 packs of 5 cards each and can be had for about $45. Here’s what my box yielded:
Base set: There are 120 total cards in the set. There are 90 basic cards to the short set, followed by 2 shortprinted subsets. These cards feature the player’s uniform in the background and have a big print-style font to them. At least there can be no confusion over what card you’re holding! However, the collation in my box was horrible! I received 76 of 90 base cards, with 25 duplicates. I’m having flashbacks to my Pinnacle Certified break.
Next Gamers (1:3 packs): The first subset here (cards 91-110) is called Next Gamers. The players featured here are basically prospects who had true RC’s the previous year. With 8 of these per box and only 20 in the set, this subset shouldn’t take too long to complete. Some of my players included Pat Burrell, Joe Crede, and Wily Mo Pena.
Fame Game (1:8 packs): The second subset is called “Fame Game” and has the look of a film reel, with the insert’s name embossed on the card. There are 10 players in this subset (numbers 111-120) and you’ll find 3 of them per box. Here I pulled Tony Gwynn, Mike Piazza, and Cal Ripken, Jr.
Extra (various seeding): All 120 cards feature a gold parallel called “Extra.” There really isn’t much to this parallel. The entire card is colored gold with the word “extra” printed on the side. The odds of finding a base card parallel is 1:24 packs while the odds of finding a subset parallel is 1:36 packs. This applies to both the Next Gamers and Fame Game cards. I received 2 of these cards, both of the basic (1:24) variety. The first was Corey Koskie, a pretty “meh” pull. The second, however, was the greatest one I could pull, Cal Ripken, Jr! Score! With a BV of $40, this was the highlight of my box. Needless to say, I was very pleased with this pull.
Determined (1:12 packs): Determined is a red, shiny insert seeded about 2 per box. In my case though, I only got 1, Sean “The Mayor” Casey. I got shorted an insert here, but certainly made up for it in other areas.
Change the Game (1:24 packs): Change the Game is an insert seeded about 1 per box and has a darker color scheme to it. The design of the card makes it appear that a protective film is being torn off the card. Hmm. Fleer Mystique, anyone? I received 2 of these inserts: Ivan Rodriguez and Vladimir Guerrero.
Cal to Greatness (various seeding): Here we have a 15-card tribute set to Cal Ripken, Jr. The set is broken into 3 sets of 5 cards each. Each of these 3 sets highlights a different time period of Cal’s career. Each set also features a different finish and insertion ratio. The ratios are as follows: Cards 1-5 (1:9), Cards 6-10 (1:25), Cards 11-15 (1:144). I received cards number 4 (The Early Years) and 8 (The Streak). The scan above is for card number 8. Card 4 features a similar design, but with a plain, white border and no special effects in the font. I have to admit, I really don’t know much about cards 11-15. I don’t remember the last time I’ve seen one. Perhaps a Ripken expert out there can help us out.
Final Thoughts: Despite not hitting a game-used and having a plethora of duplicates (ARGH!), this was a pretty nice box. It just goes to show you that you cannot always rely on the odds given on the package. For instance, I received only 1 of a 1:12 insert, but hit 2 of a 1:24 insert/parallel on 2 occasions. The Ripken “Extra” parallel made this an enjoyable break for me. I don’t know about you, but I’d take a $40 HOFer parallel over a $10-15 semistar bat card any day. I’m not a Ripken fan in particular, but for those of you that are, a box of this product would certainly give you your fix. For the record, on the very same day that Iron Man premiered, I got a box chock full of baseball’s Iron Man. How’s that for irony? 😉
As always, thanks for the read and good luck with your own box breaks!
P.S. A happy 36th birthday to one of my favorite athletes, Martin Brodeur!