2003 Fleer Tradition Baseball celebrates the 40th anniversary of the company’s last vintage Fleer baseball release, 1963 Fleer. The base set features 485 cards with the majority of them mimicking the ’63 design.
If Rookie Cards are your thing, this set is definitely not for you. The checklist has just one, Dave Pember. Having said that, there is a Prospects subset that does feature some notable names including Victor Martinez, Jake Peavy, and Francisco Rodriguez.
You should expect to find two relic cards in each hobby box.
2003 Fleer Tradition Baseball Box Break
Cards per pack: 10
Packs per box: 40
Price paid: $50
Shop for 2003 Fleer Tradition Baseball boxes on eBay.
Pack 1 highlights:
Troy Glaus, Mark Buehrle & Mike Schmidt Milestones (1:5 packs)
Ellis Burks, Kerry Wood, Mark Teixeira, Ken Griffey, Jr. & Barry Bonds Checklist (1:4 packs)
The checklist cards come with puzzle fronts. There are two player photos to complete with the checklists; Barry Bonds and Derek Jeter.
Mike Sweeney, Miguel Tejada, Mariano Rivera, Blue Jays Team Leaders & Ken Griffey, Jr. Lumber Company (1:10 packs)
Rafael Palmeiro, Randy Johnson, Kazuhiro Sasaki, Expos Team Leaders & Derek Jeter Checklist (1:4 packs)
Bobby Abreu, Mike Piazza, Freddy Garcia & Junior Spivey BS
Spivey made the only All-Star appearance of his career in 2002, and finished the season batting .301 with 16 HR, 78 RBI and 103 runs scored.
Fred McGriff, Victor Martinez, Edgar Renteria, Trot Nixon & Alex Rodriguez BS
John Lackey, John Olerud, Barry Bonds & Giants Team Leaders
Mark Mulder, Jeff Kent, Vinny Castilla & Adam Kennedy BS
Mike Hampton, Torii Hunter BS, Orioles Team Leaders & Derek Jeter Checklist (1:4 packs)
Hunter won his second straight Gold Glove in 2002, while also finishing sixth in the AL MVP balloting.
Albert Pujols, Magglio Ordonez, Chipper Jones, Andruw Jones, Alfonso Soriano BS & Fred McGriff Milestones (1:5 packs)
Carlos Lee, Barry Zito, Tom Glavine & Pedro Martinez 1936 Black & White Goudey (0866/1936)
Eric Chavez, Roger Clemens, Roy Oswalt BS & Bernie Williams Lumber Company (1:10 packs)
Rafael Furcal, Derek Lowe BS, Braves Team Leaders & Barry Bonds Checklist (1:4 packs)
Derek Lowe led the Red Sox in wins (21) in 2002, and finished third in the AL Cy Young voting behind Barry Zito and his Sox teammate Pedro Martinez.
Bernie Williams, Larry Walker & Todd Helton
Roger Cedeno, Wily Mo Pena, Vladimir Guerrero BS & Pat Burrell Standouts (1:40 packs)
Orlando Cabrera, Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez, Mariners Team Leaders, Garret Anderson BS & Derek Jeter Checklist (1:4 packs)
A couple of Hall of Fame righties; Mike Mussina & Pedro Martinez
Some would say Pedro got robbed of yet another Cy Young in 2002. He led the American League with a 2.26 ERA (to Zito’s 2.75), 239 strikeouts (Zito – 182), and 0.923 WHIP (Zito – 1.134), but was still edged out in the voting by Zito (who won 23 games to Pedro’s 20).
Vernon Wells, Trevor Hoffman, Johnny Damon, Jim Edmonds BS, Frank Malzone ML & Luis Gonzalez Milestones (1:5 packs)
The ML after Frank Malzone stands for Missing Link. There are 19 Missing Link cards in the base set featuring players who were active in 1963 but were not featured in the year’s Fleer set.
Rickey Henderson, Greg Vaughn & Curt Schilling BS
Kenny Lofton, Juan Gonzalez, Whitey Ford ML, Adam Dunn BS, Al Kaline Milestones (1:5 packs) & Ivan Rodriguez Game Used (1:35 packs)
Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez, Craig Biggio & Barry Bonds Milestones (1:5 packs)
Shea Hillenbrand, Roberto Alomar, Jake Peavy, Sammy Sosa BS & Derek Jeter Checklist (1:4 packs)
Hillenbrand once sponsored a couple of tigers at a zoo about 10 minutes from where I grew up. He used to make appearances there as well.
Gary Sheffield, John Valentin, Ben Sheets, Tim Hudson, Royals Team Leaders, Eric Hinske BS & Chipper Jones Lumber Company (1:10 packs)
Keith Foulke, Travis Hafner, Mo Vaughn & Miguel Tejada BS
Mike Lowell, Jeff Bagwell, Jimmy Rollins, Paul Konerko BS & Willie McCovey ML
Jose Vidro, Edgar Martinez, C.C. Sabathia, Yankees Team Leaders, Eric Gagne BS & Barry Bonds Checklist (1:4 packs)
How good was Gagne’s 2002 banner season? Just a 1.97 ERA and 52 saves. He finished fourth in the Cy Young voting and 12th in the MVP race.
Lance Berkman & Kevin Millwood
Nomar Garciaparra & Derrek Lee
A.J. Burnett, Moises Alou, Billy Williams ML & Frank Thomas 1936 Black & White Goudey (0039/1936)
Carlos Delgado, Brad Lidge & Eddie Mathews Milestones (1:5 packs)
Eddie Mathews is probably the most underrated player in the 500 Home Run Club.
Roy Halladay, Adrian Beltre & Harmon Killebrew Milestones (1:5 packs)
Carlos Beltran, Randy Johnson, Dodgers Team Leaders & Barry Bonds BS
Carl Crawford, Billy Wagner, John Smoltz BS & Miguel Tejada Lumber Company (1:10 packs)
Manny Ramirez, Bret Boone & Willie Stargell ML
Stargell played just 10 games in 1962, and while he would get a 1963 Topps RC, he did not appear in the 1963 Fleer set.
Raul Mondesi & Mets Team Leaders
Troy Glaus, Jason Varitek & Mark Prior 1936 Black & White Goudey (0082/1936)
Brandon Phillips & Barry Bonds Checklist (1:4 packs)
Lou Brock ML, Todd Helton, Tim Salmon & Derek Jeter Checklist (1:4 packs)
Brock’s Topps RC released in 1962, but he also didn’t make the 1963 Fleer checklist.
Barry Zito & Jorge Posada
Ken Griffey, Jr. Milestones (1:5 packs), Red Sox Team Leaders & Craig Biggio Game Used Gold Parallel (055/100)
Lastly, the Lou Brock card back.
If you’re wondering how I fared on the Checklist puzzles, I pulled nine of them: four Bonds and five Jeters.
The 1963 Fleer design really brings you back and I did appreciate the inclusion of the Missing Link subset cards. There were some big names included that didn’t get a card in the original set.
I certainly can’t complain about my two relic pulls, with both being Hall of Fame inductees. It also helped that the Biggio was a Gold parallel limited to just 100 copies.
An entertaining product filled with modern and vintage Hall of Famers makes for a fun rip.
I purchased this box quite a few years ago now. The only one currently available on eBay carries an astronomical $200 price tag.
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