1990 Fleer Cards, Sabermetric Trailblazers

It’s not really important how events conspired to have me stumble upon and examine like a jewelry appraiser this seemingly valueless 1990 Fleer Johnny Ray card …

Johnny Damn Ray!

Johnny Damn Ray! Since tradition demands that you can liken a player only to another player of similar ethnic extraction, I’ll point out that Johnny Ray was Ray Durham before there was any such thing as Ray Durham.

But here’s the point of all this. Take a look at the flip-side …


Please do note the “Vital Signs” section at the bottom. That, friends, is OBP and SLG — the good two-thirds of our cherished triple slash! The miracle is that this happened, as implied above, in 1990, when everyone was stupid.

I like to think it was Hermes Fleer himself who insisted on deviating from the de rigueur AVG-HR-RBI trinity that prevailed in his industry.

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Handsome Dayn Perry can be found making love to the reader at CBSSports.com's Eye on Baseball. He is available for all your Twitter needs.

25 Responses to “1990 Fleer Cards, Sabermetric Trailblazers”

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  1. JR says:

    What is that individual doing to the Vital Signs?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Matt Bertelli says:

    Based on those “vital signs” Johnny Ray may not be alive.

    +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Hermes Fleer, Augustus Score, and Jean-Paul Sportflics: business was still good for them on that side of the millennium.

    +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Damaso's Burnt Shirt says:

      A year before, Felonious Upper Deck showed up and started pooping on their party.

      +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • elguapo says:

        I never trusted those johnny-come-lately grifters with their 3-D and their holograms, trying to put mom and pop Topps out of business. I mean, what kind of sick wizardry creates a pack of baseball cards without the last card in the pack having a big wax stain on it?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • DoubleJ says:

      Ignatius Donruss too

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. aWolgs says:

    Back in ’90, Hermes Fleer was also trying to revolutionize “batting average” by referring to it as “Pct.”

    +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • AC of DC says:

      That column actually refers to how much of himself a player gave in a given season. The maximum, of course, is 1.100.

      +8 Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. DoubleJ says:

    They only let their fat, nerdy intern put this on J-Ray’s card where they thought no one would notice.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Chris K says:

    I’m curious as to Banknotes Harper’s vital signs. EV? P/E? TheWillToWealthmanage?

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    • Damaso's Burnt Shirt says:

      Just says “Coffee’s for Closers.”

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Resolution says:

        Along with the notorious ‘Fuckface’ Ripken cards, a Banknotes Harper card had to be recalled because it just said ‘Fuck You, That’s my name!’ instead of ‘Banknotes Harper’

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. the sauce says:

    I can’t for the life of me figure out what that strikeout ratio number means. Am I missing something?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. Eminor3rd says:

    Hermes Fleer, rofl

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  9. Nevin says:

    And it has his MiLB stats! Good stuff.

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  10. Billy Ripken says:

    I sure do miss 1990 Fleer. They finally got my pic right with that set.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. TKDC says:

    This should really be on FanGraphs.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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