Monday, May 05, 2008

2003 Fleer Hardball

No this isn't a trading card set of a bad MSNBC pundit show, this is one of Fleer's extremely gimmicky early '00s sets. Fleer tried a few of these weird sized cards and I'm pretty sure none of them worked. This one here is "The Round Card!" as the wrapper with what appears to be Hank Venture or possibly Howdy Doody throwing a palmball exclaims. It's funny, I think Chris Harris or somebody was making fun of this set a couple of weeks ago, and lo and behold a couple packs of the junk showed up in an 8 for $10 box I picked up recently. The first pack I ripped was so terrible I wasn't even sure how to mock it, so here's the second actually kind of decent but not really pack.

76 Mark Teixeira
35 Kevin Mench
255 Ken Griffey Jr. All Around Stars
106 Kaz Sasaki
174 Joe Mays
157 Robb Nen
222 Jeff Weaver

See, they are round! Little tiny round cards. I think they were ripping off the Isaly Disc concept from the '70s, but instead of making them large sized they shrunk them so the diameter was the standard card width of 2 1/2 inches. Amazingly enough, this wasn't the only product at the time to have tiny little round cards that were hard to store and a pain to keep up with. Upper Deck had a product called Standing O or some such nonsense that mercifully made the small baseball looking cards a one per pack insert. Hardball gave ya a whole pack of the little buggers.

This pack wasn't terrible, but the Teixeira card was wrecked by the other back of Hardball jammed in the box. There's a big circular indentation on it and the Mench card. Oh well. My plans to send these to PSA are dashed! The big hit in the pack is a Griffey Jr All Around Stars short print (get it? All Around?? Ha!) that drop one in 4 packs. Fleer goes nuts with the Circle puns... Here are some of the insert sets you can find:
Round Trippers 1:12
On the Ball 1:18
Discs 1:24 (They're ALL discs!)
Round Numbers numbered to 1000
Rounding First game used numbered to 500
Ok, we get it, the cards are round. For such an unwieldy shape they are designed pretty well though. The fronts and backs are both decent looking. This pack also gave me another bit of evidence for a scientific hypothesis I am trying to test - namely that Jeff Weaver is completely incapable of not looking goofy on a baseball card. Once I write up my findings and present it to the scientific community my Nobel Prize is assured.

Now for no other reason than "why the hell not" here's the Monkees performing "Circle Sky".

And the version from "Head", although there's a couple of distressing scenes in there so be careful kids.


Chris Harris said...

Even though this "card" set came out five years ago, I completely forgot about it.

dayf said...

Hrm. Somebody was bustin' on this set then because I remember laughing about how terrible a set it was and then groaning when I ended up with a couple of packs of the stuff.

Come on unknown blogger who I can't recall! Out yourself! Who else hates this stuff?

Steve Gierman said...

You could have also tried "Circles" by George Harrison. I've never heard of these cards before. I seem to have a love/hate relationship with circle cards. This does not help the love part of that relationship.

dayf said...

There's also "Circles" by Soul Coughing. I was just in a Monkee mood last night.

Dinged Corners said...

They're sort of pog-ish.

Fleerfan said...

Great link to Circle Sky. The Monkees "Head" is a classic - both the film and the soundtrack.

``Hey, hey we are the Monkees, you know we love to please. A manufactured image, with no philosophies.

You say we're manufactured, to that we all agree. So make your choice and we'll rejoice in never being free.''

Little bit of Monkees Trivia - Jack Nicholson cowrote and coproduced the film and actually assembled the soundtrack.

Here is some info on the film, and the long list of cameos: