Back in the 1950’s Topps signed up 98% of all Major League Baseball players to an exclusive contract permitting this young candy company to print and distribute pictures of players in all their bubble gum products. Fleer wanted in on this action but were only able to compete with non-active players like Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth and some newcomers like 1962 MVP Maury Wills. Fleer tried to sign-up Topps players but had little success. With mounting competition, Topps paid their signees to larger contracts leaving Fleer with few options. Fleer decided if they could not acquire a large roster of players, they would pay top dollar for one superstar player. To launch their new line of baseball cards, Fleer created an 80 card set of their newly acquired superstar, Ted Williams.
Trouble for Double Bubble
This retrospective set highlights Ted Williams life on and off the field from early childhood all the way up to the 1959 season. This set contains pictures of Ted with famous athletes such as Babe Ruth, Jim Thorpe and Sam Snead. However, not everything ran smoothly for Fleer. One card had to be pulled early on from production. Red Sox General Manager, Bucky Harris featured on card #68, Ted Signs for 1959, happened to be signed exclusively with Topps. Topps demanded his card be removed. This small baseball card skirmish between Topps and Fleer makes card #68 a very special card indeed. Even in lesser condition, Ted Signs for 1959 can sell for $400 and more. The example we picked up is beautiful on the front with very little wear but on the back of the card are some fine wrinkles (barely noticeable at first glance). We grade this card VG-EX. Overall the 80 card set is in NM Condition. Stop by if you are looking to pick up a few of these beauties or would like to see the famed #68 card in person.
By the way, in 2008 my old shop, J.J. Teaparty was featured in a Tuff Stuff article about this 1959 Fleer Set. Check it out.
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