1959 Fleer Ted Williams Baseball Cards
During the years before the hobby's boom era that began around 1980, it was rare for an entire set to be devoted to a single player. There were a couple of sets featuring Babe Ruth during the 1920s and a Jackie Robinson set issued in loaves of bread in 1947. In 1959, it was Ted Williams' turn.
The Frank H. Fleer Company had been making bubble gum since the 1920s but only dabbled in card issues occasionally through the 1950s. While sitting on the sidelines as other companies battled it out was good for their profits, but they had to deal with the little issue of Topps claiming to have exclusive rights to baseball players. When Ted Williams signed an exclusive contract with Fleer, it gave them a big boost.
He was still winding down his career in 1959, but Ted Williams was still one of the best and most popular players in the game. The '59 Fleer set chronicles his on-field exploits - last hitter to reach the .400 mark, two Triple Crown awards, milestone hits and highlight-reel plays - as well as many of his activities away from baseball. His U.S. Marines service during two wars is featured. He was also in the Fishing Hall of Fame, so two cards show him pursuing that passion. He is shown as a youth, one card shows him with Babe Ruth, and others feature hitting tips for collectors.
The cards are designed in a manner that is quite typical of early Fleer cards. There is little more than a white border and a bat/ball design featuring Williams' name in the corner. Most cards are vertically oriented, but several are horizontal depending on the picture used. The backs are dominated by a write-up explaining the picture shown on the front. A crown at the top contains the card number, and the words Baseball's Greatest - Ted Williams runs across the bottom.
One card in the set is one of the scarcest of the postwar era (that is, before the era of manufactured scarcities began). Card #68 is titled Ted Signs for 1959 and features him signing his player contract for the season. However, it showed him with Red Sox GM Bucky Harris, who was still signed to Topps. As a result, it was pulled from production. Reprints of the card made their way into the hobby during the 1970s, but a skilled eye will be able to detect them due to the moire pattern on the suit coat and pinkish tint. Most of the fake cards were stamped with a reproduction notice, but it's important to be certain before spending a lot of money that it's authentic.
Key 1959 Fleer Ted Williams Baseball Cards:
- Ted Signs For 1959 #68
- Ted's Idol Babe Ruth #2
- The Early Years #1
- Ted's All-Star Record #63
- Ted's Value to Sox #75
1959 FLEER #8 TED WILLIAMS NM A5374
1959 FLEER #22 TED WILLIAMS NM+ A5379
1959 FLEER #24 TED WILLIAMS NM A5380
1959 FLEER #25 TED WILLIAMS NM A5381
1959 Fleer Ted Williams Baseball Card Checklist
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