Sy Berger and the rest of the Topps braintrust must have had a major “not this crap again” moment when 1963 Fleer basebll cards hit store shelves that spring.

After a dedicated 1959 Ted Williams set and two years of Baseball Greats issues, Fleer stopped pussy-footing around and took dead aim at Topps — on a technicality.

Since Topps had exclusive rights to issue cards of current players with gum and other confections, Fleer pulled the old hidden-ball trick and issued their 1963 cards with cherry-flavored cookies.

1963 Fleer Baseaball Wax Pack

Sigh.

Topps promptly took Fleer to court, won the suit, and stopped the Philadelphia-based company from issuing a second series.

So, we’re left with a single 66-piece series from which to draw this list of the most valuable 1963 Fleer baseball cards.

(Rankings based on PSA 7 values cited at the PSA Sports Market Report Price Guide.)

1963 Fleer Willie Mays (#5)

1963 Fleer Willie Mays

Mickey Mantle didn’t make the cut for Series I of the 1963 Fleer set, so … since there was no Series II … that meant no Mantle.

That leaves the field wide open for the other mega-super-duper star of the era to step in and claim the top seed here.

And that’s just what Mays does, with a card that sells for close to $150 in PSA 7 condition.

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1963 Fleer Sandy Koufax (#42)

1963 Fleer Sandy Koufax

Koufax led the National League in strikeouts for the first time in 1961, and then copped his first ERA title in 1962.

But it wasn’t until 1963 that Koufax really started to blow the world away, running up a 25-5 record with a 1.88 ERA and 306 strikeouts.

It was all good enough to win the NL Cy Young and MVP awards, and set up the Dodgers to win the World Series over the bitter rival Yankees that October.

This 1963 Fleer was right there for collectors to love during Sandy’s breakout season, and it’s another $150 card in graded NM condition.

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1963 Fleer Roberto Clemente (#56)

1963 Fleer Roberto Clemente

This card has become an iconic hobby piece over the years, with Clemente in full-frame head-and-shoulders mode, looking off to his left.

It also helps that Fleer didn’t call the Hall of Famer “Bob” like Topps did.

Clemente brings about $140 in PSA 7 condition.

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1963 Fleer Joe Adcock (#46)

1963 Fleer Joe Adcock SP

Adcock was a key member of the loaded Milwaukee Braves teams that fed off Eddie Mathews‘ power and Hank Aaron‘s all-around greatness in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Even with all the firepower around him, Adcock was a steady force at first base for many of those seasons.

It’s his status as a short-print in the 1963 Fleer set, though, that secures his spot here with an $80 price tag.

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1963 Fleer Carl Yastrzemski (#8)

1963 Fleer Carl Yastrzemski

Yaz won his first batting title in 1963, hitting .321 and adding 40 doubles to go with with his 14 home runs.

Within a few years, of course, Yastrzemski would win an AL Triple Crown and MVP (1967), and he forged a 23-year career that led him right to Cooperstown.

This early Yaz issue is a $70 card in PSA 7.

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1963 Fleer Maury Wills Rookie Card (#43)

1963 Fleer Maury Wills

In 1962, Wills set the single-season stolen base record with 104 en route to nabbing the National League MVP award.

And, despite the 1982 Kmart evidence to the contrary, there really was no 1962 Topps Wills card.

In fact, there was no Wills card at all, which makes this $70 Fleer beauty his rookie card.

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1963 Fleer Brooks Robinson (#4)

1963 Fleer Brooks Robinson

Robinson was only 26 years old in 1963, but he already had three Gold Gloves to his name

He would end up winning 16 in a row and is still generally regarded as the greatest fielding third baseman of all time.

This card captures a young B. Robby and hammers down at around $65 in PSA 7 condition.

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1963 Fleer Bob Gibson (#61)

1963 Fleer Bob Gibson

Gibson was still a few seasons away from developing into the dominating force that would help the St. Louis Cardinals nab World Series titles in 1964 and 1967, but he was already an All-Star workhorse.

These days, Hoot maintains a reputation as one of the fiercest competitors ever, and his mound exploits are legendary.

No wonder his 1963 card lines up at $65 (PSA 7).

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1963 Fleer Steve Barber (#1)

1963 Fleer Steve Barber

Barber was a fine pitcher who won 20 games for the 1963 Baltimore Orioles several years before their rotation became the envy of baseball with the likes of Jim Palmer, Dave McNally, Pat Dobson, and Mike Cuellar.

But it’s his placement on the #1 card of the set, with all the condition problems that designation brings with it, that lands him on this list.

Barber goes for about $55 in slabbed NM condition these days.

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1963 Fleer Don Drysdale (#41)

1963 Fleer Don Drysdale

Drysdale won 25 games and picked up the NL Cy Young Award in 1962, staking his claim as the Dodgers’ ace and solidifying his spot as one of L.A.’s first superstars.

Today, Airedale’s 1963 Fleer sells for about $50 in PSA 7.

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1963 Fleer Warren Spahn (#45)

1963 Fleer Warren Spahn

Spahn doesn’t need any short-print magic to help him join Braves teammate Adcock on this list.

He was already a legend — not to mention 43 years old — when 1963 rolled around, but he went ahead and tacked on a 23-7 season for good measure.

Spahn’s ’63 Fleer sells for about $45 in PSA 7.

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1963 Fleer Ron Santo (#32)

1963 Fleer Ron Santo

Santo hit 20 home runs for the first time in 1961, but he didn’t score his first All-Star berth until 1963.

Just in time for this card to make some hay, in other words.

Today, the Cubs’ legend lines up here at about $30 in graded NM condition.

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1963 Fleer Lot of 5 Different EX or Better

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LOT OF 3-1963 FLEER BASEBALL CARDS WHITE-FREESE-CLINTON EX B-286 BV $45.00

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1963 Fleer Baseball Card #41 Don Drysdale EX+

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1963 Fleer Baseball Card #42 Sandy Koufax

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1963 Fleer Baseball Card #61 Bob Gibson NRMT

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