1986-87 Fleer Basketball oddity. Can you help?

cadets68

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I was looking through this set tonight and started thinking about the photography. I remember reading years ago about how the pictures were taken at the Great Western Forum in games versus either the Clippers or Lakers. So I started looking at the cameo (background) players. I noticed a whole lot of Kareem and Marques Johnson. Which made me think about the movie White Men Can't Jump. Marques Johnson makes an appearance in the movie as Raymond - the guy who robs the liquor store.

Flipping through the cards (I am only missing the Jordan RC) I noticed Junior Bridgeman in the background. Bridgeman and Johnson were traded to the Clippers from my Milwaukee Bucks in September of 1984. I was a huge fan at that time and remember it vividly. No big deal until I get to the card of Otis Birdsong.

The Birdsong picture was not taken in Los Angeles. But rather New Jersey against the Bucks. The cameo player is Junior Bridgeman. Weird since Bridgeman last played for the Bucks during the 83-84 season. The 86-87 set photos should have been taken during the 85-86 season. So this photo was at least 3 seasons old.

Ok so now I was on a search to find out if other photos were not taken in LA. I did not find any in the set. So I checked the stickers. What do I find there? The Jordan sticker was also taken in New Jersey. Interesting, Jordan was not in the NBA yet when Junior Bridgeman played for the Bucks in New Jersey. Although Bridgeman did play 1 more game for the Bucks in New Jersey in 1987 when he was brought back to finish his career.

Just for giggles I pulled up the Jordan rookie card picture online since I do not have that card. Turns out that picture was also taken in New Jersey.

So the Jordan pics might make sense. Jordan broke his foot in the 3rd game of the 85-86 season and only played 18 games, none in LA. The 4th game was in Los Angeles against the Clippers. He was on his way to being a superstar and Fleer must have wanted him in the set. So they got the photos from his return at the end of the season (I assume this because the sticker photo clearly shows him wearing "Air Jordans" which were released during 1985). In the photo on the sticker the cameo player is Otis Birdsong. Birdsong whose own card has a photo from 3 years prior. I can not figure out the cameo player in Jordans RC photo.

Not sure what any of this has to do with anything, but I found it interesting.

If you have anything to contribute I would love to hear it. I tried searching to see if I could find a blog entry that talked about this, but did not find any.

Here are some scans.







 

cadets68

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If you want to see the rest of the cards in the set you can check my bucket. I have all of mine scanned in the 1986-87 Fleer Basketball folder.

Shawn
 

ckinney

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It is not unusual for card companies to use photos from previous years take these for example...




Also I know that Topps has used photo's of Bob Geren from the same photo shoot for at least three years in a row.

Oh, the strange thing the companies do to save a nickle.

- Chris
 

cadets68

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It is not unusual for card companies to use photos from previous years take these for example...

Also I know that Topps has used photo's of Bob Geren from the same photo shoot for at least three years in a row.

Oh, the strange thing the companies do to save a nickle.

- Chris

I assumed everyone knew that this was the first year for Fleer Basketball. But I guess I should have mentioned that.

So it has nothing to do with recycling photos.

Star Company had the only basketball license before Fleer.

The strange thing that Fleer did to save a nickel was take nearly every photo in Los Angles. They could not have recycled the card photos.

Anyone know of a blog or site where they explain more about this sets photography?

Thanks

Shawn
 

Yankeeswin

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Fleer probably bought most of the photos from a photographer based out of L.A., since they were based in the Philadelphia area I can't imagine anything else. In the 85-86 season it probably wasn't known by Fleer that they would be releasing a set the following year.

If you look at the cards from the '65-'70 years, a large number were taken either at the old Yankee Stadium or Shea Stadium, kind of makes sense since Topps was based in Brooklyn (they are in Manhattan now).
 

cadets68

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Fleer probably bought most of the photos from a photographer based out of L.A., since they were based in the Philadelphia area I can't imagine anything else. In the 85-86 season it probably wasn't known by Fleer that they would be releasing a set the following year.

If you look at the cards from the '65-'70 years, a large number were taken either at the old Yankee Stadium or Shea Stadium, kind of makes sense since Topps was based in Brooklyn (they are in Manhattan now).

Very possible. Almost the whole 1981 Donruss baseball set was photographed either in Chicago or Milwaukee. Not sure where Donruss was based then, but they are in the Dallas area now. So the same theory could hold true.

I was hoping somebody had a link to a story or something that talked about this. If you do please help

Shawn
 

Loyalty32

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cadets68 - Nice detective work! I would be interested to see if there is a story floating around about it out there. Keep us updated if you find out!

Thanks
Craig
 
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