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 …

OBP! SLG!

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.


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JR
Guest
JR

What is that individual doing to the Vital Signs?

Tomahawk Mafia
Guest
Tomahawk Mafia

I always wondered that, but never could quite figure it out.

airfigaro
Member
airfigaro

applying for Tommy John Surgery

Matt Bertelli
Member
Member
Matt Bertelli

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

Carson Cistulli
Admin
Member

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

Damaso's Burnt Shirt
Guest
Damaso's Burnt Shirt

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

elguapo
Member
elguapo

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?

DoubleJ
Guest
DoubleJ

Ignatius Donruss too

aWolgs
Member
aWolgs

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

AC of DC
Guest
AC of DC

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

DoubleJ
Guest
DoubleJ

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

Chris K
Guest
Chris K

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

Damaso's Burnt Shirt
Guest
Damaso's Burnt Shirt

Just says “Coffee’s for Closers.”

Resolution
Guest
Resolution

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’

the sauce
Guest
the sauce

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

Joe
Guest
Joe

PA/K

ljc
Guest
ljc

I share the sauce’s confusion. Wouldn’t your definition mean that he struck out once every 5 at bats? According to the back of the card, that was never even close to the case for any one of his seasons. In fact, over his career to that point he struck out in only 6% of his at bats. And in fact, according to the Ellis Burks card shown in Cistulli’s January post about opening a pack of 1990 Fleer cards in a cafe, Burks’s strikeout rate was way lower even though he seemed to have struck out much more often. So confusing!

DrFarmer
Guest
DrFarmer

It’s probably the number of PA between strikeouts. 1/19.4 is close to 6%

Will
Guest
Will

Joe already answered your question.

In 1989, Ray had 582 PA and 30 K.

582/30=19.4

Meaning, he struck out once every 19.4 times he came to the plate.

ljc
Guest
ljc

Turns out I’m just an idiot, unlike the geniuses behind the 1990 Fleer cards!

Jason B
Guest
Jason B

It’s not you, LJ; it’s a very bass-ackwards way of showing K%.

Eminor3rd
Guest
Eminor3rd

Hermes Fleer, rofl

Nevin
Guest
Nevin

And it has his MiLB stats! Good stuff.

Billy Ripken
Guest
Billy Ripken

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

TKDC
Guest
TKDC

This should really be on FanGraphs.

wpDiscuz