2001 Fleer Greats of the Game Baseball Review
Typically, I don’t open too many expensive boxes but in order to add some variety to this blog, I decided to look for a box of Fleer Greats of the Game. What I was looking for specifically was a GOTG box that:
1. Wouldn’t cost me $200 or more (ruling out 1999, 2000)
2. Had more than one autographed card per box (ruling out 2002)
3. Had on-card autographs as opposed to big, fugly stickers (ruling out 2004)
4. Wasn’t made by Upper Deck (ruling out 2006)
That left me with just one alternative, 2001. The prices on 2001 GOTG boxes haven’t come down much over the years. I suppose a very strong HOF/retired checklist combined with possible game-used pulls of Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, and a ton of other legends would be responsible for that. Still, while searching for these boxes, I found prices ranging from $155-250. I ultimately found one site that was selling boxes for under that range so I went for it. Unfortunately, they no longer list this box for sale. Anyway, here’s what I got….
Box Details: 24 packs per box, 5 cards per pack, $130
Base set: The base set is comprised of 137 Hall of Famers, retired stars, and Negro League legends. I pulled 111/137 base cards (81%) without a single duplicate. The cards have a nice, simple design to them and those who are into TTM autographs will want to pick some of these up. On that note, the base cards are blue-bordered while the pack-inserted autographs are gold-bordered. You’ll see this later.
Retrospection Collection (10 cards, 1:6 packs): The lone non-autogamer insert set in this product is the Retrospection Collection. There are ten legends in this set, each with a writeup of one of their finest baseball moments on the back of the card. I pulled Retrospection cards of Ted Williams, Roberto Clemente, Stan Musial, and Hank Greenberg. The back of the Clemente card was particularly interesting to me. It tells about Roberto winning the 1971 World Series MVP award and that in Game 4 of that series, the first night game in WS history, a record 61 million fans watched him go 3 for 4 in the contest.
Dodger Blues (15 cards, 1:36 packs, Hobby Exclusive): Like I mentioned in the last post, the Dodger Blues inserts feature game-used swatches from Dodger legends such as Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Duke Snider, Pee Wee Reese, Don Drysdale, and several others. The card scanned in that post was the one I pulled from my box, Don Sutton. In my opinion, Dodger Blues is truly one of the coolest game-used sets ever.
Greats of the Game Autographs (1:8 packs): And now, the reason (most likely) you checked this post out in the first place, the autographs! There are a whopping 93 players on the autograph checklist, three of which are found in every box. Of course, there are several shortprinted cards as well, with print runs of 100, 600, and anywhere in between. Here’s a look at what I pulled:
The first auto I pulled was of the late Joe Niekro. Aside from the ’99 set and ’04 Yankee Classics, there aren’t a whole lot of autographed sets with Joe in it. Hopefully, there won’t be any ugly Tristar cut autos of him in the future. This card looks good next to the other Niekro auto I pulled a couple months back.
Autograph number two was of Paul Molitor. I know that “Molly” doesn’t get the kind of hobby love that other Hall of Famers do but I’m happy to add this card to my collection.
The final autograph was the the big hit of the box, Tom Seaver. For some reason, I thought he was on the shortprint list. It turns out that he’s not but it’s still a nice way to finish the box.
Everything in this box delivered as expected: the autographs, the inserts, even the game-used card. According to the insert odds, each box should yield a game-used card on average in addition to the three autographs. When I added up all the cards, the number came out to 119. I’m thinking that the pack with the Dodger Blues card had only four cards in it due to the relic but I could be wrong.
Everything came out of the pack very clean in this box. If there were any issues at all, it would be awful centering on a small percentage of the cards. Just look at the Seaver autograph.
I know the box could’ve been better and that I could’ve bought all the “hits” individually on eBay for about half of what I paid for the box but who cares? I was happy with the results. I have three sharp on-card autos to add to the P.C. Sorry Mets fans, but I’m going to keep Tom Terrific.
I think the $130 I paid for this box might be the lowest I’ll ever see this box offered for. Again, there are three autographs and a game-used (Dodger Blues or Feel the Game Classics, 1:72 packs) in every box on average along with a few other inserts. Given the checklist, I don’t think the price is terrible but this is clearly a box that not everyone would be willing to open. Those looking for a thrill (and some high end pulls) will have fun busting this one for sure.
Final Grade: A-
Posted on May 26, 2009, in Box Breaks and tagged 2001, Dodger Blues, Don Sutton, Fleer, Greats of the Game, Greats of the Game Autographs, Joe Niekro, Paul Molitor, Retrospection Collection, Tom Seaver. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.