October 10, 2006

Appreciation: Fleer Star Stickers

Did you know anybody who ever peeled their Star Stickers off and put them on their school binders or folders or Trapper Keepers? Me neither. Actually, I didn’t know anybody else who had even heard of Star Stickers. It’s just as well; they faded out of my collecting habit as fast as they faded in.

Everybody knows the real action was in Panini and Topps stickers, for a variety of reasons: they were smaller, they cost less than packs of cards, and how can you forget the album that all the stickers went in? You can’t, because for the most part, the album was the crux of the operation. Not so with Fleer. Star Stickers were stickers and cards. The card back provided the number of the sticker within the checklist, so woe to they who peeled theirs off.

Also, it seems like Fleer tore through every drawer in the office to find the lousiest photos of the year for the Star Sticker sets. I don’t really think 1981 Fleer had bad photos (it was 1982 that was crap), but the 1981 Star Sticker set is highlighted by really shitty photography.

One last point about these sets: Fleer wanted to make sure you understood what they meant by the word ‘Star’ in ‘Star Stickers’. Star meant not only were all the players guys like George Brett, Lou Whitaker and Bob Grich, but the cards themselves were bedazzled with stars! Ingenious! Somebody got an unjust promotion for that one.

Here’s a fun exercise: Using the active major league roster, if Upper Deck were to resurrect the Fleer Star Sticker line today, who would they include? And here’s the real kicker question: Who would they not include? Remember, the set would be limited to between 126 and 132 cards. Something tells me Scott Linebrink wouldn’t make the cut. I don’t care how many holds he has.

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