Although quality control measurements were much better than they were 20 years earlier, the early 80’s were still trickled with error variations. 1982 Fleer is no exception. Let’s address the Lee Smith 1982 Fleer #603. This error caught me completely off guard when I first discovered it. As you may have guessed by now, I’m a huge fan of manufacturing errors, love ’em!
Once upon a time, in 1994, I lived in Fairfax VA. I was in 6th grade and I didn’t have too many friends. I kept my head up by collecting baseball cards. I spent a lot of time organizing my growing collection. Most days when not at school I was in my room sorting through my cards. One evening while my parents were away, I was assigned a “sitter.” That’s fine I guess, and it gave me a chance to hang out with someone else and perhaps develop something of a social life. At the time I didn’t really think much of it. I don’t remember what the guy’s name was but he and I spent time sorting cards together.
We were going through my two 5000 ct boxes of late 80’s and early 90’s stuff (only the best mind you). We revisited brands such as Stadium Club, Studio, Donruss, Topps, Score, and Fleer. We spent a few hours looking at player stats figuring out who’s who and discussed prime topics like why Todd Van Poppel wasn’t as hot as he once was in years prior. It was during that time that my new friend found a Lee Smith card from 1992 Stadium Club and noted his talent as a pitcher. At the time I hadn’t any idea about Lee Smith. I was only collecting guys who were listed in the price guides and didn’t pay much attention to unmentioned players. From that point on I took note of Smith and filled a few pages in the “S” section of my collected players binder.
Fast forward to oh I don’t know, about 3 months ago (16 years later). I’m sorting through some old box of cards and find a small handful of this 1982 Fleer Lee Smith RC’s. I’m a huge RC collector and I knew that I had Smith’s Topps RC but over the years I hadn’t put much effort into locating his other RC’s. Finding the Fleer RC was a nice little addition. I picked up a few more copies over the summer. As I examined them more closely, I noticed an interesting misprint on the back of the card.
If you look closely at the Cubs logo you’ll notice it’s been flipped upside down. This error is very easy to miss if you don’t look at it directly. It took me 16 years to notice! Another interesting fact about this error is that it’s actually worth 66% less than the corrected version. I can only account for this value discrepancy by assuming that the error was discovered very late in the manufacturing process. This may have resulted in a decreased correction production time. This limitation may have resulted in a lower production run for the corrections making them scarcer than their erroneous counterparts: Current values: ERR = $2, COR = $6.
Question of the Day:
Can you remember another notable error from 1982?
To see the current eBay auctions for the 1982 Fleer Lee Smith, click here.