After an error-riddled debut set, 1982 Fleer baseball cards had the heavy burden of establishing a better reputation for the hobby newcomers.

Uh … well …

The plan sounded good, but the execution had some flaws — lackluster design, dark and grainy images, tons of errors (still).

Even so, there was plenty of Hall of Fame star power and a bevy of high-profile rookies to keep collectors interested.

Today, these most valuable 1982 Fleer baseball cards highlight a set that gets little love but is still part of our cardboard history.

(Prices based on recent eBay sales for PSA 9 cards. And, by the way, this set had some doozy error-corrected combos — not going to include those here … maybe later.)

1982 Fleer Cal Ripken Jr. Rookie Card (#176)

1982 Fleer Cal Ripken Jr. Rookie Card

This card shows young Cal standing tensed in the field, probably waiting for a ball to be smashed his way, given the unfamiliar position designation under the photo — THIRD BASE.

Of course, Ripken would soon take his place at shortstop, helping to turn the position into a viable landing place for big, athletic players.

In short order, Cal won the 1982 American League Rookie of the Year award, the 1983 AL MVP, and a World Series with the Orioles under Joe Altobelli in 1983.

That rookie season (1982), Ripken would also begin the games-played streak that eventually brought him right to Lou Gehrig’s doorstep.

Today, this grainy RC is a $35 card in graded MINT condition.

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1982 Fleer Lee Smith Rookie Card (#603)

1982 Fleer Lee Smith Rookie Card

Smith had to wait awhile to join Cal in the Hall of Fame, but he was another big dude who helped change his position during the 1980s and 1990s.

Along with hurlers like Rich Gossage, Rollie Fingers, Bruce Sutter, Dan Quisenberry, and others, Smith crafted the image of the closer as the late-inning, shutdown guy who finished off games for his team.

Usually through mound-born intimidation.

It didn’t hurt Smith’s reputation that he was part of that 1984 Cubs team that finally won a division title.

Expect to pay about $15 for Smith’s Fleer rookie card (PSA 9).

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1982 Fleer Nolan Ryan (#229)

1982 Fleer Nolan Ryan

Ryan is going to sit near the top of the value list for just about every set he appears in, and that holds here for 1982 Fleer.

This card shows The Ryan Express pitching against a pole barn background with a military rucksack at his feet.

I don’t know.

I do know this card will set you back around $10 in PSA 9.

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1982 Fleer Pete Rose (#256)

1982 Fleer Pete Rose

Rose led the Major Leagues in hits (140) in 1981 at age 40, and in games played (162) in 1982 at age 41.

Those were the last two times Charlie Hustle was tops in any semi-major categories, but he was ready to take dead-aim on Ty Cobb’s all-time hits record.

After picking up his 4000th safety in 1984 with the Montreal Expos, Pete headed back to the Riverfront to wrap things up with the Reds.

Before that, though, and before he fell from grace, Pete doffed his cap and let his caveman locks flow all over this 1982 Fleer card.

You can usually find it today for under $7 in PSA 9.

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1982 Fleer Terry Francona Rookie Card (#188)

1982 Fleer Terry Francona Rookie Card

Tito Francona was a fine hitter in the 1950s and 1960s, so his son Terry came to the Majors in the early 80s with at least a little hype.

Terry had a rough time duplicating Dad’s success, but he did spend ten years in the Majors before embarking on his managerial career.

That’s where Francona started to shine, and it was under his leadership that the Red Sox finally got over Babe Ruth and broke their World Series “curse” in 2004.

Today, this Tito’s rookie card sells for $5-10 in PSA 9.

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1982 Fleer Reggie Jackson (#39)

1982 Fleer Reggie Jackson

By the time this card saw the light of day, Reggie was getting ready to debut for his new team, the California Angels.

In Anaheim, Jackson would win the 1982 AL home run crown and help the Angels capture the AL West title.

That makes this the last Fleer card showing Jackson with the Yankees, and it lines up in the $5-10 range (PSA 9).

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1982 Fleer Rickey Henderson (#92)

1982 Fleer Rickey Henderson

Rickey had served notice that he was an elite speedster by topping 100 stolen bases in 1980.

After the strike-torn 1981 season, Henderson came out with his jets on fire and saled past Lou Brock’s single-season record on his wan to 130 steals.

Henderson’s path to Cooperstown was set, and he would never look back.

This card from his record-breaking season sells in the $5-10 range for PSA 9 copies.

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1982 Fleer Mike Schmidt (#258)

1982 Fleer Mike Schmidt

Schmidt had won both the 1980 and 1981 NL MVP awards and looked poised to win another in 1982 when this card debuted.

If not for Dale Murphy’s breakout with the Atlanta Braves, Schmidt would have nabbed that third piece of hardware, too, but he’d have to wait until 1986 for that.

By that time, he was pretty much universally regarded as the game’s best third baseman, and he was a hobby staple.

This is about a $5 card in PSA 9 today.

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1982 Fleer Dave Stewart Rookie Card (#24)

1982 Fleer Dave Stewart Rookie Card

Stewart holds the dubious distinction of winning 20 games four seasons in a row as the A’s built a mini dynasty in the late 1980s … without ever winning a Cy Young award.

That didn’t keep collectors from digging his RCs out of commons bins when he broke out at age 30, though, and this Fleer version sells for about $5 in slabbed MINT condition.

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1982 Fleer Tim Raines (#202)

1982 Fleer Tim Raines

Raines always sort of played in the shadow of Rickey Henderson, checking in as the second best base-stealer and second best leadoff hitter of his generation (if not all-time).

The obscurity of Montreal didn’t help his fame, either.

But Raines is a Hall of Famer and a $5 member of this list (PSA 9).

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1982 FLEER BASEBALL SPECIAL CARS SET (18 CARDS PLUS CHECKLIST) IN TEAM BAG RED

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1982 Fleer Baseball lot of 24 Different Superstars Nm Mint

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1981 & 1982 Fleer Baseball Cards Pick the Cards You Need To Finish Your Sets

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1982 FLEER BASEBALL CARDS BOSTON RED SOX TEAM SET

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