Recently acquired set: 1988 Fleer World Series Set (of the 1987 World Series)
I recently bought some Fleer World Series sets from eBay, from eBay user wkrpcinci. The eBay profile for user wkrpcinci states that they had been the proprietor of Sanart, which was one of the companies that advertised in every Baseball Cards magazine and similar other magazines back at the height of the junk craze. They're retired now, or something like that, and selling any remaining stock on eBay. So that's how I came across these. I'll show all the sets, starting with this one, the 1988 Fleer set of the 1987 World Series.
Randy Bush and Tony Pena.
The 1987 World Series is meaningful to me because it's the first one I saw after I got serious about baseball. The first World Series I actually watched was the 1980 World Series when the local team, the Phillies, won one for the first time. But everyone was watching and I was only 4 years old. But in 1987 my friends and I started really buying baseball cards, and I started really watching baseball. I remember my mom and I watching the World Series together. We didn't know a lot of the players, but got to appreciate Kirby Puckett and some of the others.
I remember specifically -- I don't need to look it up, but looking it up confirms the fact -- that the series went 7 games, and that the home team won each game. The announcers said that was the first time that ever happened, the home team winning every game. That's why the first couple of cards feature the Twins -- they won the first two games. The next few feature the Cardinals doing well, since they hosted and won the middle three games.
Tony Pena and Todd Worrell.
The Cardinals sure had a lot of talent; they frequently do, judging just by how the Cardinals have won the second-most World Series. The Yankees of the NL, some people call them. The cards here so far feature their strong pitching, such as by Tudor and Worrell, and both the offensive and defensive strength of Tony Pena, Ozzie Smith, and Vince Coleman. There were many other important players of the day on those Cards -- such as Tommy Herr, Willie McGee, Terry Pendleton, and Joe Magrane, for example.
Let's talk a little about what went on in some of the games. As the card back says, Jack Clark was hurt and only managed one at-bat in the NLCS. So the Cardinals had some power issues. Tommy Herr only hit two home runs during the 1987 regular season, but let loose with an upper deck home run in the first inning of Game 6, to put the Cards up 1-0. If the lead had held, they would have won the Series. It didn't of course. As the card says, Kirby Puckett's bat came alive, going 4-for-4 with an RBI and a run. Together with Kent Hrbek, he saved the game for the Twins.
Here we have, in Card #9, Kent Hrbek's grand slam, clinching a win in Game 6 and forcing Game 7. I mentioned some of the great Cardinals players, but the series introduced me to a number of great Twins players too. Kirby Puckett of course, but Kent Hrbek, Tom Brunansky, Frank Viola, and Gary Gaetti, for instance. I love players like Kent Hrbek, who maybe didn't have Hall of Fame numbers, but are local heroes. Since Herr is featured on another card here, I'll mention that it seems like he lives near me. He's from Lancaster, PA, where I live, and the address you can find online for TTM autographs for him is in a neighborhood I'm familiar with.
Tony Pena and Don Baylor.
Then we have Game 7. In the play at the plate featured here, Vince Coleman's throw from left field nailed Don Baylor at the plate, and he was out, maintaining a 2-0 lead for St. Louis. The Twins ended up winning Game 7 by a score of 4-2, and Frank Viola was named the World Series MVP. Don Baylor, a personal favorite, was in the midst of a string of World Series appearances, since he was on the '86 Red Sox and the '88 A's as well; 1987 gave him his only World Series win.
Thanks for reading! I'll go through the 1986, 1988, 1989, and 1990 World Series and the corresponding Fleer sets in due course.