Considered by many to be one of the most attractive sets of all-time, 1961-62 Fleer Basketball is also loaded with rookie content.
In 1961, Fleer decided to try their hand at basketball cards. Just like Topps and Bowman, they stopped production after only one season. However, it was ultimately a season for the ages.
Collectors likely realize that Fleer would also go on to produce the famed 1986-87 Fleer Basketball nearly a quarter-century later.
1961-62 Fleer Basketball Set Details
In terms of the design, the 1961-62 Fleer Basketball card fronts were broken into two parts. The player appeared in the bottom section as a posed shot set against a solid background. The team and logo appeared in the top box, with his name and position appearing in a white strip between the two parts.
The backs were oriented horizontally, with a blue stripe down the right side. A near-circular notch in the stripe had the card number inside. The player's name, position and team appeared at the top, followed by his vital statistics, which were underlined in blue. The majority of the back featured a written biography of the player, followed by stats from the previous year and lifetime totals.
There are 66 cards in the 1961-62 Fleer Basketball set. The first 44 are regular base cards and the last 22 are "In Action" cards featuring players who also appeared in the main lineup. The players in each section are arranged in alphabetical order by their last names. Most cards in the set are found with centering issues, which makes true high-grade specimens especially valuable.
The key card in the set is the Wilt Chamberlainrookie card, but several NBA superstars' first cards are found here, as well. This includes rookie cards for Jerry West, Oscar Robertson, Elgin Baylor and Len Wilkens (misspelled Wilkins). All of these rookies except for Wilkens are also featured on the action cards.
1 Al Attles - Philadelphia Warriors RC
2 Paul Arizin - Philadelphia Warriors
3 Elgin Baylor - Los Angeles Lakers RC
4 Walt Bellamy - Chicago Packers RC
5 Arlen Bockhorn - Cincinnati Royals
6 Bob Boozer - Cincinnati Royals RC
7 Carl Braun - Boston Celtics
8 Wilt Chamberlain - Philadelphia Warriors RC
9 Larry Costello - Syracuse Nationals
10 Bob Cousy - Boston Celtics
11 Walter Dukes - Detroit Pistons
12 Wayne Embry - Cincinnati Royals RC
13 Dave Gambee - Syracuse Nationals
14 Tom Gola - Philadelphia Warriors
15 Sihugo Green - St. Louis Hawks RC
16 Hal Greer - Syracuse Nationals RC
17 Richie Guerin - New York Knicks RC
18 Cliff Hagan - St. Louis Hawks
19 Tom Heinsohn - Boston Celtics
20 Bailey Howell - Detroit Pistons RC
21 Rod Hundley - Los Angeles Lakers
22 K.C. Jones - Boston Celtics RC
23 Sam Jones - Boston Celtics RC
24 Phil Jordon - New York Knicks
25 John Kerr - Syracuse Nationals
26 Rudy Larusso - Los Angeles Lakers RC
27 George Lee - Detroit Pistons
28 Bob Leonard - Chicago Packers
29 Clyde Lovellette - St. Louis Hawks
30 John McCarthy - St. Louis Hawks
31 Tom Meschery - Philadelphia Warriors RC
32 Willie Naulls - New York Knicks
33 Don Ohl - Detroit Pistons RC
34 Bob Pettit - St. Louis Hawks
35 Frank Ramsey - Boston Celtics
36 Oscar Robertson - Cincinnati Royals RC
37 Guy Rodgers - Philadelphia Warriors RC
38 Bill Russell - Boston Celtics
39 Dolph Schayes - Syracuse Nationals
40 Frank Selvy - Los Angeles Lakers
41 Gene Shue - Detroit Pistons
42 Jack Twyman - Cincinnati Royals
43 Jerry West - Los Angeles Lakers RC
44 Lenny Wilkens - St. Louis Hawks RC In Action (IA)
45 Paul Arizin - Philadelphia Warriors
46 Elgin Baylor - Los Angeles Lakers
47 Wilt Chamberlain - Philadelphia Warriors
48 Larry Costello - Syracuse Nationals
49 Bob Cousy - Boston Celtics
50 Walter Dukes - Detroit Pistons
51 Tom Gola - Philadelphia Warriors
52 Richie Guerin - New York Knicks
53 Cliff Hagan - St. Louis Hawks
54 Tom Heinsohn - Boston Celtics
55 Bailey Howell - Detroit Pistons
56 John Kerr - Syracuse Nationals
57 Rudy Larusso - Los Angeles Lakers
58 Clyde Lovellette - St. Louis Hawks
59 Bob Pettit - St. Louis Hawks
60 Frank Ramsey - Boston Celtics
61 Oscar Robertson - Cincinnati Royals
62 Bill Russell - Boston Celtics
63 Dolph Schayes - Syracuse Nationals
64 Gene Shue - Detroit Pistons
65 Jack Twyman - Cincinnati Royals
66 Jerry West - Los Angeles Lakers
Hottest 1961-62 Fleer Basketball Cards
Here are the real-time rankings of the most popular 1961-62 Fleer Basketball cards currently being sold on eBay at auction:
Chris is an avid vintage sports card collector who is The Cardboard Connection's resident expert of all things vintage.
In my opinion one of the greatest sets ever made. Awesome rookies, beautiful cards, and a great set to put together. My dad started this set and never completed it. He passed away in 06 and I hope I hit the lottery so I can complete it. Thanks.
Halfway done building my 1961 Fleer PSA set!! 33 down & 33 to go!! Started building this set about a year ago.. Excited to see it start coming together!! I do have some duplicates that I would be open to trading for other cards in this set.. Also open to trades for cards from 1948 Bowman and 1957 Topps.. Decided to try to build all of “The Big Three” for vintage basketball!!
And thanks for the info CardboardConnection!!
I remember as a kid just getting into sports how excited I was to find a basketball set to go along with my baseball and football. The set is so colorful you don’t even notice at first that all the photography is black and white. I’m putting the set together again (and never thought I’d say this), found quality reprints for the top cards. Really, it’s about the only way the average collector can put this together today.