Thursday, August 15, 2013

Just because

There are a lot of "just because" collectors on the blogs.

A "just because" collector is one who picks up a card "just because" it's interesting to them. It doesn't necessarily fill a collecting need. It's not for a set or a team need or to fill the yellow diamond frankenset binder.

It's "just because."

I can't say that I'm one of those collectors.

Oh, I do a little of that, with oddball cards. But every other card purchase has a definite purpose. I need it to complete a set, fulfill the "get every Dodger card ever" mission, pick up the latest on the store shelves, or it's too awesome of a night card.

Anything else and get outta here.

This is a self-preservation technique that I just mentioned a couple posts ago. I'm selective to preserve the peace -- both at home and in my head. I can't enjoy the hobby if I don't know what I have. Clutter creates confusion.

But I made an exception the other day and it wasn't for any oddballs.

Jeffrey from Cardboard Catastrophes had some spare 1963 Fleer cards available. I happen to think 1963 Fleer is the greatest Fleer set of all-time. So I jumped at the chance to own some cards even though I had never searched out a '63 Fleer card and don't intend to ever complete the set.

I wanted them "just because."

So, here they are. Ain't they great?

For whatever reason, '63 Fleer appeals to me in a way that early 1960s Topps does not. I don't know if it's the pleasing design or if Fleer had some different approach to the photography, but everything seems to stand out better.

I honestly can't tell you who most of these guys are, but I'm looking forward to finding out and they look great on these cards. Some may think they look plain compared with 1963 Topps, but I disagree.

OK, I do know who Frank Bolling is, just because I read somewhere about Frank and his brother Milt both playing in the majors. I don't know where or when, but I do know Frank Bolling.

1963 Fleer also has the most "of its time" card back of the 1960s, along with 1967 Topps. Look at that avocado. That screams '60s.

Also, you NOC veterans might remember that this is the set that I determined is one of the few that positioned the card number far from the corners. That "44" isn't Bolling's uniform number. That's the card number.

Most of these cards are from early in the set. I'm not sure whether those cards are more plentiful or if Jeffrey just had extras of those. Either way, I'm still giddy about having '63 Fleer. One day I'll get some Dodgers ... including that Koufax and Wills.

I'm finally getting to some guys I know. This one looks funny because I know Bob Rodgers as the crusty manager. I remember seeing him in person when he led the Montreal Expos -- looking all crusty-like. But look at this photo. No crust.

Super-pleased to have another Vic Power card. Also, you may notice the ballplayer drawing corresponds with the player. Pitcher, catcher, outfielder, hitter, etc. This is long before 1973 and 1976 Topps, which often gets more credit for the tiny position drawings.

Final card is of Terry's dad. I just love this shot, even if it's in old Yankee Stadium.

1963 Fleer has an appeal that makes you remember how cool it is to have more than one company producing licensed sports cards. I think that's what makes it stand out. Even though I grew up in a one-card company era, I like the different perspective.

And they're worth picking up, even if it's a set I'll never complete.

They'll always be with me.

Just because.


  1. I'm definitely a "just because" collector. Somehow, I have a good handle on what I have and don't have, though.

    I always love me some '63 Fleer. I picked up a Brooks Robinson from that set earlier this year from a dollar box, one of my greatest gets of 2013 thus far.

  2. I'm not a "just because" either. I was going to offer a trade for Tito, but I already have it ! Maybe someday I can find a '63 Fleer Dodger for Donovan.

  3. I couldn't help but notice that the players are photographed in Yankee Stadium.
    Was Topps unable to provide air fare for the picture-takers? Or train fare?
    Where do you suppose most of the NL players' pictures were taken? Oh, maybe, say, SHEA?

  4. Guilty as charged, just because.

    Those Fleers were a schoolyard sensation in '63. We were amazed that anyone had dared to challenge Topps. I can remember how the cookie tasted.

    The Francona card is awesome!!

  5. Owl,

    Your cards are early in the set because Fleer only issued their 1st Series, before Topps had them shut down.

  6. I'm partial to all vintage (sort of "just because" about it), but those are great. That was a nice "just because" pickup. I'm trying to "use" quotes as many times as "possible" in this comment. Someone "stop" me!

  7. Great post. I've loved these cards since I first saw them at a card shop in the mid 70s. Amazingly, they had hundreds of each player, including Clemente.

  8. Just because they're friggin' awesome! Dig 'em!

  9. Damn... I have a headache. I've been sitting here figuring out if I'm a "just because" collector or not. I definitely pick up cards "just because" they're cool from time to time... well... maybe even more often than that.

    But I also feel I collect with a purpose to fulfill my collecting goals and build my PC's.

    Uggghhh. I'm so torn.

    Btw... cool 63F cards.