Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sets in My Collection: 1988 Fleer Team Leaders (Kay-Bee)

Here we have another 1980s boxed set, this time the 1988 Fleer Team Leaders, a Kay-Bee exclusive.
Box top with Kay-Bee logo.
Kay-Bee is gone now, but man, did I love them when I was little.  There was one in Christiana Mall, our local shopping mall in Newark, DE.  Any time we went to the mall, I'm sure I would want to go in to the toy store.  I don't know for sure when they left the mall, but for they've been completely out of business for almost 10 years now.
Box front.
This is a completely typical boxed set.  Being from Fleer, that means 44 cards and some stickers came in the box, and the meaningless concept here is "Team Leaders."
Andy Van Slyke.
Andy Van Slyke was at the core of the almost-great Pirate teams of the late 80s/early 90s.  Van Slyke was acquired in the trade with the Cardinals where the Pirates gave up Tony Pena.  It worked out, as Van Slyke helped lead the Pirates to three straight divisional championships, and almost took them to the World Series, if not for Sid Bream.
Zane Smith.
Zane Smith was with the Braves then, but soon left for Montreal and then Pittsburgh.  He was in the starting rotation on those division winners.  He led the league in 1991 in walks per nine inning and in strikeouts per walk.
Don Robinson.
Don Robinson was traded by the Pirates to the Giants in 1987.  Robinson was part of the starting rotation for the 1979 Pirates World Series-winning team.
Larry Parrish.
Kent Hrbek.
Here we have a couple of players we didn't get to see much of, being a National League family.  Larry Parrish played 1974-1988 with the Expos, Rangers, and Red Sox, with 1789 career hits and 256 career home runs.  Although he was in the AL, we did get to see Hrbek as the first baseman for the Twins in their two World Series wins, in 1987 and 1991.  I remember Hrbek, Brunansky, Viola, and Puckett especially in their 1987 win over the Cardinals.  Hrbek ended with a .282 career average, but only batted .154 in the postseason.
Ted Higuera.
Andres Galarraga.
I posted before about Higuera in another one of my posts about these boxed sets.  He had four really good years, 1985-1988.  Then he had injuries and wasn't the same.  I always enjoyed watching Andres Galarraga play with the Expos.  His career lasted from 1985-2004, ending with very strong career numbers of 399 home runs and 1425 RBI.
Andre Dawson.
Eric Davis.
I've said before that I was impressed by Andre Dawson's dedication when I heard he presented the Cubs with a blank contract, and I didn't know at the time this was the story of the owners' collusion against the players.  He was worth much more than they were paying him as he went on to be the 1987 NL MVP.  I'm glad that he made the Hall of Fame.  Eric Davis was hot in the 80s, as the 30-30 and 40-40 clubs were much talked about back then.  Wikipedia informs me that Davis became the first 30-50 player in 1987, hitting at least 30 home runs and stealing at least 50 bases.  Injuries, and even cancer, shortened his career, but when he was good, he was great.  I have a 1985 Topps rookie card of Davis I'll post one day -- I couldn't afford a lot of the hot rookies, so I had various strategies to get them into my collection.  My Davis rookie card is badly off-center, so it was much more affordable.

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