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.

Final Thoughts/Grades:

Collation: A+

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.

Condition: A-

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.

Pulls: A

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.

Value: B

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 , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. bozemanbreaker

    That’s an awesome break! Thanks for sharing, looks like it was lots of fun!

  2. Yeah, I can see why the price hasn’t come down much. Fantastic stuff.

  3. Nice box break! Keep it up!

  4. Nice break and commentary. That Seaver auto is sweet!

  5. Great pulls!

    I fell in love with this set after seeing some singles in a card store I had visited in Cooperstown. Later that day I came home and bought the complete set.

    The 2001 GOTG set was my first ever purchase from eBay and also my first hobby purchase when I started collecting again in 2003. Since that purchase I slowly got into the hobby and here I am now!

    Jul. 13, 2003: 2001 GOTG Set + Retrospection Inserts ($21.34)

    The Dodger Blues are stunning cards, IMO much nicer looking than the Yankee Clippings from the 2000 set.

    Again, great box to break. Hope we can see some other GOTG boxes in the future.

  6. Hi,
    Where did you get this box from? please let me know.
    thank you

  7. Chris,

    I got the box from the BB Card Exchange. Unfortunately, they no longer list this box for sale. They do have 2000 and 2002 GOTG boxes, however.

  8. very cool, I have to try some of this if I can find it.

    I did break the 2006 version, and made from UD or not I loved it. the autos were nice (I even got a whitey ford auto) and the card design was actually good for that auto.

    also loved the “team greats” and “decade greats” insert cards… they are perfect for TTM. my only wish would be for them to wipeout the jersey cards to add a few extra inserts instead and maybe shave a few dollars off.

  9. I admit the 2006 version was pretty decent. I loved the design of the base/autos but I thought the inserts might’ve been just a bit excessive. An insert per pack is nice but I just didn’t think they needed THAT many “greats” sets. Truthfully, that product was one of the VERY few Fleer-named UD products I enjoyed even in the least (you can’t go wrong for the price it is now) but I’ll always take the real thing over UD any day. I just thought the checklist had a lot fewer “misses” and of course, the autos were on card (except ’04). The base cards were also excellent for TTM.

    Thanks for the input.

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