The more I think about it, the more I realize just how much I enjoy early 80s Fleer. I started collecting cards in 1987, and throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Fleer sets tended to be pretty conventional and boring, although 1988 and 1991 did have some cool borders, at least. 1990 Fleer in particular may be the most boring major card set ever.
The era from 1981 to 1985, and particularly 1982, 1983, and 1984, really had a lot of goofy and interesting pictures.
Glenn Hubbard with the snake - the goofiest card of all time! I got this in the 10 boxes for 10 dollars I wrote about for the blog bat-around. I had been wanting this card for years - it did not disappoint when I got it. I had no idea there would be all those cartoon characters hanging around behind him! Is that Barney Rubble over there behind him?
A lot of the time, the goofiness is more subtle. In his article about the weird cards in 1983 Fleer, Sully makes fun of this picture of Gaylord Perry, sitting around looking like an old man.
Well, it turns out Fleer did that the year before as well! If anything, Perry looks even older and more worn out in this picture.
Interestingly, they show the pitcher holding a bat, and in 1981 Perry actually had by far his best year with the lumber, setting career highs for both on-base and slugging percentage.
Those early 80's Fleer cards really are great. If anyone has some available to trade and could use something on my trade list, let me know. I have very few cards from these sets and would love to get some more.