Wednesday, July 23, 2008

2003 Fleer Double Header

Fleer went berzerk with oddball sets in 2003 and one of the weirder ones was Double Header. These cards were not only smaller than the normal 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches, but they included one 'flip' card that showed two players on the same card sharing the lower half of their body. There's a reason for this, which I'll get into later, but they were probably just as strange to card buyers in 2003 as they are now. I found this pack in a Wal-Mart $1.50 bin so I grabbed one to spread the knowledge.

24 Tomo Okha
81 Eric Chavez
139 Randy Winn
251 & 252 Albert Pujols & Drew Henson
128 Roy Oswalt
107 Omar Vizquel
91 Andres Galarraga
170 Rich Aurilia

Oof, not much there unless you're a fan of one of these players. I like Oswalt and I'll always love the Big Cat for his couple of years in Atlanta so this pack isn't a total disaster. Pairing up Albert Pujols with Drew Henson is a disaster though. What a waste of a Prince Albert card. So that's the one per pack flip card, but what the hell is a flip card anyway? Well, this set completely ripped off the 1955 Topps Double Headers oddball set (to be fair, Topps ripped off the 1911 Mecca Double Folders set as well). Here's the lone example from that set in my collection, a card of Braves catcher Charlie White:

As you can see, it's a drawing of the player with a stadium scene in the background. I think if you have a complete set of these cards, you can put them together to show a panoramic view of the stadium. These cards are slightly smaller than normal just like the Fleer cards, but look what happens when you unfold it:

Shazam! Charlie White has turned into Dean Stone of the Washington Nationals. Note again, the detailed drawing of the stadium in the background. Now note the half-assed Photoshop filter used to fuzz out the background of the Fleer cards in a lame attempt to make them "Retro". Now you understand why these are showing up in cheesy repack boxes. Topps did a much better homage to this set as boxtoppers in their 2004 Topps Heritage set. If you ask me though, I'd say just pick up an original instead. You can get one in off grade cheap and a really nice one for not too much more.

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