Tuesday, March 29, 2011

1997-98 Fleer Million Dollar Moments

Spanning two years of sets, and included in 1997 Fleer Series 2, 1997 Flair Showcase, 1998 Fleer Series 1 and 1998 Ultra Series 1, the Million Dollar Moments cards were basically sweepstakes promotions, inserted one in every pack.

The cards include both modern day and retired stars, with the fronts including the description of a specific moment in the players career. Not surprisingly, they chose May 1, 1991, the day he broke Lou Brock's all-time stolen base record.

The backs of the cards included the official rules of the sweepstakes, as well as a place to fill out all of your personal information in case you managed to complete the entire set. It is the information on the back of these cards, however, that makes what should be a throwaway card into a player collectors treasure hunt! As can be seen above, the text in the white box on the box of the cards states "You're One Step Closer to Winning $1,000,000." This is the message that was found in all of the cards that were inserted in packs, and is the version that you can readily find for sale.

There are certain cards on every player collectors want list that don't seem like they belong. For me, the 1997-1998 Fleer Million Dollar Moments Redemption was one of those cards. For the longest time, I had no idea what the card even was (Beckett lists it as "1997-1998 Fleer Million Dollar Moments Redemption," with a price of $0.25), and yet I only know of one other Rickey collector that has one, until now that is! I managed to track down a few complete sets of these redemption cards, which were given to collectors as a prize for sending in the first 45 cards of the 50 card set (the last 5 cards were extremely short printed, and it's with these that you had a chance of winning $1,000,000). Unlike the cards found in packs, the backs of the redemption cards state "This is Not an Official Game Card." This should be the end of the hunt, but there is still a third version that exists.

This last version is the same as those found in packs, but has been stamped "1-45 VOID" on the back. I'm not 100% positive how these can to be, but my guess is that when a collector would send in his cards to get the redemption set, Fleer would mail back the redemptions, along with the initial 45 cards that were submitted. It makes sense that Fleer would void these cards, as they wouldn't want everyone turning right back around and submitting them again for another set.

It's also possible that a fourth version of the cards exists. There were supposedly 10,000 "Instant Winner" cards inserted in packs, which I'm assuming would also be noted in the white box on the back. I've never seen or heard of a Rickey (or any other player for that matter), but that doesn't mean they aren't floating around out there somewhere.

Shameless plug alert: To attempt to recoup the cost of the sets, I've currently listed some of the redemption singles on eBay. The checklist card above shows the entire set, but I've also included a complete list below. If any player collectors are still looking for their players card, send me an e-mail, and I'm sure we can work something out.

1. Checklist (with all cards listed for you hardcore player collectors)
2. Derek Jeter
3. Babe Ruth
4. Barry Bonds
5. Brooks Robinson
6. Todd Hundley
7. Johnny Vander Meer
8. Cal Ripken Jr.
9. Bill Mazeroski
10. Chipper Jones
11. Frank Robinson
12. Roger Clemens
13. Bob Feller
14. Mike Piazza
15. Joe Nuxhall
16. Hideo Nomo
17. Jackie Robinson
18. Orel Hershiser
19. Bobby Thompson
20. Joe Carter
21. Al Kaline
22. Bernie Williams
23. Don Larsen
24. Rickey Henderson
25. Maury Wills
26. Andruw Jones
27. Bobby Richardson
28. Alex Rodriguez
29. Jim Bunning
30. Ken Camminiti
31. Bob Gibson
32. Frank Thomas
33. Mickey Lolich
34. John Smoltz
35. Ron Swoboda
36. Albert Belle
37. Chris Chambliss
38. Juan Gonzalez
39. Ron Blomberg
40. John Wetteland
41. Carlton Fisk
42. Mo Vaughn
43. Bucky Dent
44. Greg Maddux
45. Willie Stargell
46. Tony Gwynn
47. Joel Youngblood
48. Andy Pettitte
49. Mookie Wilson
50. Jeff Bagwell

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Random Inserts and Game-Used from February

Here's a few of my favorite Rickey additions from the past month or so.

I missed out on 2006 Triple Threads when it was released, so these are the first two that I've been able to pick up, they just happened to arrive in the same month. You can't beat a card with Rickey and Reggie!

The 2009 Triple Threads at the top helped "complete" the set for the year. I now have all three variations numbered to /36, /27, /18, and /9.

This one is obviously not a Rickey card, but is a nice oddball addition to the collection, as you can prominently see him celebrating on the front.

Another oddball card is this 1991 Tuff Stuff Jr. cut-out. Although it is on magazine stock, and not card stock, it does actually have a back to it, so it was meant to be cut out.

The multitude of 1990's Pacific parallels seem to be never-ending, so it's nice to cross a few off the list whenever possible. I used to despise these parallels, but they've actually started to grow on me.

We'll end with a couple of more recent cards, as although he's in the Hall of Fame, Rickey's cards just keep on coming. The first is from 2011 Topps, while the second is from 2010 Topps Sterling.