Thursday, April 11, 2013

One Score & Zero Years Ago: The 1993 Fleer I Braves

 Like many of its competitors, Fleer introduced changes during the 1993 card season. The company broke tradition by forgoing a single series set, as well as by not releasing a factory set. Released as two 360-card series, the 1993 Fleer flagship brand featured a more subdued design than its two previous offerings. And with its silver border, it evokes memories of the classic 1985 set. I have to admit, I didn't like the design twenty years ago, but it has grown on me since. However, I still hate the card backs.

Series I Braves
1 Steve Avery, 2 Sid Bream, 3 Ron Gant, 4 Tom Glavine, 5 Brian Hunter, 6 Ryan Klesko, 7 Charlie Liebrandt, 8 Kent Mercker, 9 David Nied, 10 Otis Nixon, 11 Greg Olson, 12 Terry Pendleton, 13 Deion Sanders, 14 John Smoltz, 15 Mike Stanton, 16 Mark Wohlers

Series I Inserts:

Tom Glavine Career Highlights #1-12
While Atlanta signed Greg Maddux prior to the '93 season, the future Hall of Famer had yet to make his mark as the best pitcher in Braves franchise history (with all due respect to Warren Spahn). The ace of the staff had been Glavine and Fleer chose him as one of their spokesmen for the 1993 product. Despite winning the Cy Young Award in '91 and finishing 2nd to Maddux in '92, it seemed strange to have a 'Career Highlights' insert set for a pitcher who had only 72 wins under his belt. I'm not complaining- I've just always thought it strange.

Were they to do a 2013 set featuring a Career Highlights insert set featuring a Braves pitcher, Tim Hudson would be the natural choice. I guess Upper Deck is going to do a Fleer Retro set this year, so it doesn't hurt to dream a little, does it?

Major League Prospects #1 Melvin Nieves

1993 Fleer Major League Prospects #A1 - Melvin Nieves - Courtesy of 

Nieves was beginning his sixth season of professional ball in 1993-and yet would not turn 22 years old until the end of December. He had made his major-league debut the previous season as a twenty-year old, getting  nineteen at-bats during his September call-up- they would be his only games donning an Atlanta Braves uniform. Heading into the 1993 season, Baseball America had Melvin ranked as the 39th top prospect in the game, and he spent the first few months of the season in Richmond for the Braves' AAA team. Melvin's time in the Braves organization would come to an end on July 18th of 1993 when he was traded along with Donnie Elliott and Vince Moore to the Padres in the Fred McGriff deal.

NL All-Stars #11 Tom Glavine  
Glavine would be named to his third All-Star game in 1993, but would not appear in the mid-season classic at Baltimore's Camden Yards. Tom had pitched on July 10th and would start the Braves first game after the All-Star break- leaving him unavailable out of the pen.

No comments:

Post a Comment