1981 Fleer

Set Type: Primary
Card dimensions:
2½” x 3½”
Rookie Cards: Bob Walk & George Vukovich. Beckett and SCD both list Keith Moreland as having his rookie card in this set. However, Topps issued a card for him in the 1980 Topps Burger King Phillies set, which makes his rookie card designation debatable.
Additional Information: Fleer’s first set depicting active players since 1963. The set is riddled with variations caused by errors that it corrected (in some cases, needing two attempts) after its initial printing. All errors and variations are noted in the checklist below. Because Fleer used the same photo for its two Tug McGraw cards, the “Game Saver” variation for card #7 causes it to look identical to card #657. Also, both versions of the “Triple Threat” card (#645) appear to be available in equal quantities. Note that the checklist below uses the SCD designations for the variations and that Beckett lists the Schmidt and McGraw errors and corrections differently. However, it should be noted that SCD does not list variation [b] of the Kevin Saucier card. It comes from the Beckett online guide, and it is listed here because The Trading Card Database confirms its existence. For reference purposes, scans of both Saucier backs are included at the end of this checklist.

Fleer recycled the design (rather poorly) in its 2001 Fleer Platinum set.

1

2
3
4
5[a]

5[b]

6[a]
6[b]

6[c]

7[a]
7[b]
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24[a]

24[b]

24[c]
25
26
27
640
645[a]

645[b]

657
660[a]

660[b]

Pete Rose (uncorrected error; should read as having 170 hits in 1963, not 270)
Larry Bowa
Manny Trillo
Bob Boone
Mike Schmidt (portrait variation, just states “Third Base” under name on front of card; slightly rarer version)
Mike Schmidt (batting variation, states “M.V.P. Third Base” under name on front of card)
Steve Carlton (“Lefty” on front of card; most common version)
Steve Carlton (“Pitcher of the Year” on front of card; 1966 incorrectly listed as “1066” on back)
Steve Carlton (“Pitcher of the Year” on front of card; 1966 listed correctly; rarest of three versions)
Tug McGraw (“Game Saver” on front of card)
Tug McGraw (“Pitcher” on front of card; more common version)
Larry Christenson
Bake McBride
Greg Luzinski
Ron Reed
Dickie Noles
Keith Moreland
Bob Walk
Lonnie Smith
Dick Ruthven
Sparky Lyle
Greg Gross
Garry Maddox
Nino Espinosa
George Vukovich
John Vukovich
Ramon Aviles
Kevin Saucier (“Kevin” on front of card & “Ken” on back;
most common version)
Kevin Saucier (“Ken” on front of card & “Kevin” on back;
least common version)
Kevin Saucier (“Kevin” on both front and back of card)
Randy Lerch
Del Unser
Tim McCarver
Mike Schmidt (“1980 Home Run King”)
Larry Bowa, Pete Rose, & Mike Schmidt (“Triple Threat”; no number on back of card)
Larry Bowa, Pete Rose, & Mike Schmidt (“Triple Threat”; card number on back of card)
Tug McGraw (“Game Saver”)
Steve Carlton (“‘Lefty’ The Golden Arm”; 1966 incorrectly listed as “1066” on back)
Steve Carlton (“‘Lefty’ The Golden Arm”; 1966 listed correctly; rarer of the two versions)

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2 responses to “1981 Fleer

  1. no! i thought i had all those variations…now, I have to go back and check for the kevin saucier one…i missed it in my lists….eh, maybe it’s not that important…who am i kidding? of course it is, i’m a completist (sorry, you can ignore the inner dialogue)

    this information for set by set breakdowns is great.

    • You know, I only learned about a couple of these variations today, when I put together the final checklist for posting here. It didn’t help that SCD and Beckett can’t agree on how to list the variations. In the case of this particular set, it would probably be helpful to see scans of all the Schmidt, Carlton, and McGraw cards just to keep variations properly sorted out. Having said that, I think everything has been listed properly.

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