If you were geeked about Roger Clemens entering the 1986 season, chances are you fall into one of a select few categories:

  • Diehard Red Sox fan
  • Retired scout
  • Longhorn
  • Clemens’ mother
  • Purveyor of fish stories

Because, the the truth is, Clemens wasn’t even an afterthought for most fans as we considered the splendors of the summer ahead.

And for collectors, Clemens certainly wasn’t high on our list of “must have” rookie cards.

Not with Vince Coleman and Ozzie Guillen and Jose Canseco (non-Topps division) popping out of our then-current wax packs.

And not with piles of 1985s still waiting to be mined for Oddibe McDowells and Alvin Davises and Sid Fernandezes.

But when Clemens turned into The Rocket? When he reeled off 14 victories to start the new season? When he had Boston looking like a real contender?

Yes, THEN we all scrambled to pluck his cards from the commons bins, or at least from the check-later bins.

Because, suddenly, later had arrived.

And, so, for the last 35 years, through 20-win seasons and Cy Young Awards and championships and declines and rebounds and scandal, those Clemens rookie cards have been hobby royalty.

You know the roster …

1985 Donruss

1985 Fleer

1985 Topps

And, especially, 1984 Fleer Update, if you can afford it, or if your dream muscle is in good working order.

But, even though collectors and casual fans and everyone outside of that small list above pretty much ignored Clemens over the first couple seasons of his big league run, he actually got a bit more baseball card love than those four.

Sort of.

Because, in 1985, fresh off a sixth-place finish in American League Rookie of the Year balloting in 1984 (bet you didn’t remember that, right?), Clemens landed himself a prime slice of sticky cardboard real estate:

Check prices on eBay (affiliate link)

Check prices on Amazon (affiliate link)

Yes, “card” #123 in the 126-piece 1985 Fleer Sticker set is as much a Clemens rookie as any of the big four we usually think of, but it’s been pretty much an afterthought lo these many years.

But, even as Clemens has run headfirst into block wall as his Hall of Fame candidacy nears its expiration, this little gem is starting to get some play.

And if you don’t believe me, just take a look at this PSA 10 copy that sold on eBay (affiliate link) toward the end of 2021:

Yes, nearly a grand for a “mere” sticker.

Now, if YOU want to tell it that it’s not a real rookie card … be my guest.

Ever wonder what sorts of baseball cards people are buying on Christmas day? Check out our YouTube rundown of the top eBay sellers on December 25, 2021:

Kirby Puckett RC 1985 Fleer #286 Twins Rookie GEM MINT 10

End Date: Thursday 05/16/2024 14:05:52 EDT
Buy it now | Add to watch list

1985 Fleer Don Mattingly New York Yankees #133

End Date: Wednesday 05/15/2024 13:19:04 EDT
Buy it now | Add to watch list

(4) 1985 Fleer Rickey Henderson A's

End Date: Sunday 04/21/2024 15:26:45 EDT
Bid now | Add to watch list

Nolan Ryan 1985 Fleer Baseball #359 set break

$2.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Tuesday 04/23/2024 13:33:00 EDT
Bid now | Add to watch list

1985 Fleer In Action #30 HOUSTON OILERS Football Card

End Date: Thursday 05/16/2024 11:07:35 EDT
Buy it now | Add to watch list