You know, 1991 Fleer baseball cards take a lot of grief … and for good reason.

I mean, grab your sunglasses, down some Dramamine, and take a gander at an example of the atrocities they unleashed on humanity:

OK, I’ll grant you that this shot of B.J. Surhoff is pretty decent. Catchers cards are easy to make look good, though.

And I have heard tell of collectors here and there who like the linesof 1991 Fleer — something about the actual lines on card fronts, I guess, and the perfectly centered text blocks, aside from that FLEER’91 logo.

But, man, that yellow is rough — ROUGH. And the whole thing looks like a Geocities web page from about 1995. Heck, maybe we have 1991 Fleer to blame for some of those early web designs. Who knows?

Here’s the thing, though …

You can’t blame 1991 Fleer for the introduction of yellow card borders to the hobby.

The 1982 Zellers Expos set, one of the awesomest oddball issues of all time had yellow borders, after all.

1982 Zellers Tim Raines - Wax Pack Gods

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And then you had the 1987 Classic Travel Update, which allows us to draw a direct parallel …

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In case you don’t remember, the original 1987 Classic cards were part of the Classic Major League Baseball board game that year …

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This game was a lot of fun for a baseball nerd (asking for a friend) because it was all about diamond trivia and it came with baseball cards. But you can see from that box up there that the cards were green-bordered, like grass or turf.

There were 100 of those.

And then, in true 1980s excess fashion, Classic issued a 100-card Travel Update set late in the year capturing traded players and rookies who made The Show during the season (or who at least made a splash and missed out on the first series).

Enter B.J. Surhoff and his first yellow Major League card.

Now, I always liked the classic cards.

But …

If you consider the Travel Update thing may have engendered 1991 Fleer, I may have to rethink.

What do you think?

Is the 1987 Class Update Travel set to blame for 1991 Fleer? And which one is more obnoxious?

Either way, you have to have both — in all their yellow gory glory — if you’re going to finish off that Surhoff master set of yours.


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