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1960 Fleer Baseball Cards

1960 Fleer Baseball Cards

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Part baseball card product and part history lesson, 1960 Fleer Baseball Greats is more about the quality of the Hall of Fame names included instead of the actual cards featured. Boasting all-time greats in baseball from Cap Anson to Babe Ruth and Ted Williams, the affordable set covers an extensive period of the national pastime's legacy.

1960 Fleer Baseball is limited by Topps' exclusive rights to use current player photos sold with gum products. To offset this, Fleer issued the Baseball Greats set with retired players. In addition to their ongoing exclusive with Ted Williams, Fleer was also able come to terms with several recently retired stars like Bob Feller and Ralph Kiner. Unfortunately, the card design and choice of player photos failed to impress kids when it debuted.

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There are a total of 79 base cards in the complete set, not including the #80 variations. Nearly every subject that appears in 1960 Fleer Baseball is now immortalized in Cooperstown. The checklist consists of players, managers, executives and two league commissioners. However, some are featured in Old-Timers' or unfamiliar uniforms, and many were well past their playing days in the images that were showcased.

1960 Fleer Baseball card fronts feature a posed photograph of the depicted player, usually a head-and-shoulders shot, although a few cards do utilize action photos. Some are in color, but the majority of the images are colorized black-and-white photos. A solid-colored, octagonal shape frames the picture using either blue, green, red or yellow scheme. The player's name appears at the bottom of the card. Although primarily laid out in a vertical orientation, a few cards are horizontally arranged.

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The 1960 Fleer Baseball backs have a short biography and the career batting or pitching statistics for the players. At the top, a crown inside a red box shows the card number, with the words "Baseball Greats" and the person's name, date of birth (and in some cases, his death) to the right. Measuring the now standard 2-1/2" by 3-1/2", the entire set was printed and released in a single series. One anomaly to the set is that of Ted Williams' card #72, which was printed with extremely over-sized borders, creating a narrowed card image.

Although 80 cards are listed in the set, there are known variation cards of Joe Tinker, Eddie Collins and Lefty Grove that each have a #80 Pepper Martin back. It's likely that a Martin card was planned but ultimately scrapped because Fleer was unable to get permission to use his image. These variations are all limited, but the Joe Tinker version is the most scarce, followed by Eddie Collins and then Lefty Grove. The three variation cards are not considered part of the complete set. It is important to note that the #80 cards are normally found hand-cut or cancelled, but some have reportedly been pulled in packs.

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Today, the concept of a set made up of great players from the past is fairly common, but it was a new idea in 1960. Unfortunately for Fleer, it wasn't a big hit with kids. They may have known about Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and Lou Gehrig, but weren't overly impressed by having images from Old-Timers' Day or executives in suits on their cards. Despite those negatives, 1960 Fleer offers a way for many collectors to add cards of big-name stars to their collection without having to shell out huge amounts of money. This is especially true for the truly iconic players, like Ruth or Cobb, whose contemporary cards fetch enormous prices.

A fun and affordable set, 1960 Fleer Baseball Greats, has finally earned the respect that it deserves from vintage collectors. Cards in top grades command respectable sums on the secondary market. Compared to other sets from the era, the 1960 Fleer issue tends to be slightly more scarce as a whole. This is simply because of the lack of popularity the cards garnered at the time of their release.

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Key Cards

Key 1960 Fleer Baseball Cards

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#80 Joe Tinker (front) / Pepper Martin (back)

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#80 Eddie Collins (front) / Pepper Martin (back)

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#80 Lefty Grove (front) / Pepper Martin (back)

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#3 Babe Ruth

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#72 Ted Williams

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#28 Lou Gehrig

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#42 Ty Cobb

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#1 Nap Lajoie

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Set Checklist

1960 Fleer Baseball Set Checklist

Card #80 has three versions and all limited. Double prints (DP) are noted below.
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1 Nap Lajoie DP
2 Christy Mathewson
3 Babe Ruth
4 Carl Hubbell
5 Grover Cleveland Alexander
6 Walter Johnson DP
7 Chief Bender
8 Roger Bresnahan
9 Mordecai Brown
10 Tris Speaker
11 Arky Vaughan DP
12 Zack Wheat
13 George Sisler
14 Connie Mack
15 Clark Griffith
16 Lou Boudreau DP
17 Ernie Lombardi
18 Heinie Manush
19 Marty Marion
20 Eddie Collins DP
21 Rabbit Maranville DP
22 Joe Medwick
23 Ed Barrow
24 Mickey Cochrane
25 Jimmy Collins
26 Bob Feller DP
27 Luke Appling
28 Lou Gehrig
29 Gabby Hartnett
30 Chuck Klein
31 Tony Lazzeri DP
32 Al Simmons
33 Wilbert Robinson
34 Sam Rice
35 Herb Pennock
36 Mel Ott DP
37 Lefty O'Doul
38 Johnny Mize
39 Bing Miller
40 Joe Tinker
41 Frank Baker DP
42 Ty Cobb
43 Paul Derringer
44 Cap Anson
45 Jim Bottomley
46 Eddie Plank DP
47 Cy Young
48 Hack Wilson
49 Ed Walsh
50 Frank Chance
51 Dazzy Vance DP
52 Bill Terry
53 Jimmie Foxx
54 Lefty Gomez
55 Branch Rickey
56 Ray Schalk DP
57 Johnny Evers
58 Charlie Gehringer
59 Burleigh Grimes
60 Lefty Grove
61 Rube Waddell DP
62 Honus Wagner
63 Red Ruffing
64 Kenesaw Landis
65 Harry Heilmann
66 John McGraw DP
67 Hughie Jennings
68 Hal Newhouser
69 Waite Hoyt
70 Bobo Newsom
71 Earl Averill DP
72 Ted Williams
73 Warren Giles
74 Ford Frick
75 Kiki Cuyler
76 Paul Waner DP
77 Pie Traynor
78 Lloyd Waner
79 Ralph Kiner
80 Pepper Martin (back) / Eddie Collins (front)
80 Pepper Martin (back) / Lefty Grove (front)
80 Pepper Martin (back) / Joe Tinker (front)

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Chris is an avid vintage sports card collector who is The Cardboard Connection's resident expert of all things vintage.

User Reviews

Roger Ponds
Roger Ponds

The 1960 Fleer baseball card set is a rather interesting set, mostly old-timers, although not quite as attractive as the 1960 Topps set. It is not a particularly difficult set to complete, as it is mostly retired players, and with the exception of Ted Williams, no current players in that set. It is a good way to add baseball cards of players who played in the early days of baseball (pre-war era). Fortunately, I completed the 1960 Fleer set sometime in the late 1990’s.

mike brennan
mike brennan

If this is going to Chris or someone–My uncle actually has the #80 card with Eddie Collins in the front and the Pepper Martin back–he acquired his card from a pack–he actually remembers getting the card..His dad would bring cards home ocassionally for him–he said he opened up the pack and there it was–he said at the time because it was cut–he says it’s like a notch –he said he thought the card was damaged and just threw it in a shoe box–he pulled it from the shoe box in the mid 80’s and at that time he knew it was valuable. He currently still has it in a hard pastic casing at his house—Would this card be a highly sought for card would you tihink?? Considering the set is not that popular as is do you think it is worth putting up for auction?? Thank you for your time and thoughts on this

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