2003 FLEER MYSTIQUE JOSE REYES
Fleer took its initial steps into the baseball card market in the late ’50s/early ’60s, producing a set dedicated to the career of Ted Williams, and a couple of “all-time greats” issues that focused on retired players.
Come 1963, they were suitably emboldened to attempt a run at the Topps monopoly on current-player cards. That year, Fleer introduced a rather no-frills series of 66 cards in wax packs, accompanied not by gum but rather by a cherry-flavored cookie.
Well, the lawyers for Topps clamped down quicker than you can say “series two” and Fleer stopped the presses.
Throughout the remainder of the ’60s and into the next decade, Fleer came out with a cavalcade of baseball-related sets that steered well clear of Topps waters.
Finally, in 1981, the monopoly was broken, and Fleer and Donruss entered the market with sets that competed directly with Topps.
The first few Fleer issues were fairly nondescript. The designs were lackluster, the paper stock ...