We all have a memory of some cool place we hung out at as kids. It was probably the first place our parents would drop us off and leave, other than school. We could go be with our friends, make our own rules (sort of) and pretend it was our world for a while. That place, for my daughter Bailey, is the horse barn where she takes lessons. She spent most of the summer there and probably had lessons 10% of the time she was there. But she had her place to get away from the dictators in her life and just have fun with her friends. Because there were adults there the entire time, and because we trust her, we felt like it was great for her.I was fortunate enough to have a couple of these places growing up. I’ve talked about the Legion Pool before in my post about My Hometown. But there is another hot spot I haven’t discussed before that holds a lot of great memories for me; Logue’s Skating Rink in Pelham, Ga. A skating rink in 1987 was quite different than a skating rink in 2017. At least I remember them differently then. Heck, they may be exactly the same but I sure don’t have as much fun at them now as I did when I was a kid. It’s one of those places that doesn’t age well with you. At the age of 40, I don’t need blacklights, cardboard pizza and top 40 hits to have a good time. But I wouldn’t be the man I am today without those fast times as a kid.I celebrated birthdays, “slow skated” with chicks, watched music videos on the big screen and learned to play PacMan at the skating rink as a kid. Friday nights and Saturday mornings were the hot times to be there depending on our agenda. Friday nights were for trying to find girls to skate with and scheming to spend the night at friends houses to watch scary movies. The night time always seemed more serious and “grown up.” We didnt have time for kids stuff while we were strutting around with our spiked hair, neon shirts and tight roll jeans. We were all business! I held a girls hand for the first time on a Friday night at Logue’s. That’s not the kind of thing you pulled off on a Saturday morning.Saturday mornings were for parties and video games; the less serious things in life. The big screen would show Saved By The Bell and other Saturday morning classics to entertain while you wheeled around in a circle for hours. Games like “Red Light, Green Light” and “Limbo” made us all laugh and enjoy ourselves. I was constantly juggling the battle for high scores in PacMan and Donkey Kong while trying to learn how to skate backwards. That last part was always in vain. I eventually accepted that I was a forward skater only, so I tried to work on my speed and gave up on the dream of being some fancy reverse roller.But what I really remember about those days is the fact that we were left to our own devices. Our parents dropped us off and that skating rink was easily a 25:1 adult/child ratio throughout those trips. We could’ve started some sort of revolution and taken over our town with the numbers we had. Of course, why do that when you can spend your time watching Belinda Carlisle sing “Heaven is a Place on Earth” on a tv screen the size of a pickup truck? I may have been 12 but I was still a guy and thought she was as close to heaven as you could get. She’s still probably in my top 10 childhood crushes. She’s not #1 like Kelly Kapowski but there will only ever be one of those hotties!
And yes, I even remember opening baseball cards at the skating rink. We would buy (or convince our parents to buy) some Donruss or Score and we would sit on the benches where you change your shoes and pull off trades. I specifically remember a Bo Jackson ‘87 Fleer that a friend was showing off that I really wanted back then but I didn’t pull enough from my packs to pull off a deal. I couldn’t even throw in a free snow cone to make it happen. Dang, I remember a snow cone as major currency back then but it still wasn’t enough! Of course, cards were for Saturday mornings too as we didn’t like to mix our hobby with our romance. I think I grew up some at the skating rink. I learned how to talk to girls, rub elbows with some arcade champs and manage $3 throughout and entire night. And I even learned how to work the trade market in the card hobby. Those are all skills I learned back then that I’ve carried into adulthood.One thing I carried with me for a while was my longing for that Bo Jackson Fleer. I didn’t have a ton of opportunities to buy that card because (1) it wasn’t cheap, (2) we didn’t have a lot of Fleer in my area and (3) it was already 1989 so I was 2 years late already. So while I spent Friday nights trying to find a chick to skate with, I spent my Saturday mornings imagining I was skating with that beautiful ‘87 Fleer. Much like the ‘89 Griffey Upper Deck, I have owned a few of the Bo rookies but never pulled one pack fresh. Besides Bo, there are some other very solid rookies in the set; Will Clark, Barry Bonds and Barry Larkin, among others.So here we are again, some 30 years after production and I am chasing a well known rookie card. I picked up clean box from Steel City Collectibles for just under $40 and sat down at the sorting table to relive another part of my youth. The box configuration was typical of others from the era with 36 packs, 15 Cards and a Team Sticker. The wax pack was a bright blue with a baseball logo and orangeish highlights. I really love wax packs!The design of ‘87 Fleer is one of the better mid 80’s designs for me. There was a blue border that faded to a white border near the bottom of the card. The player name and position was at the top and the team logo in the bottom corner. The Fleer logo was at the bottom of the photo and the bottom border had various colors depending on the team. The back of the card was like many other Fleer designs but had a bolder red, white and blue back as opposed to some of others. The top of the card had biographical info and the bottom had charts showing success rates of the player.
Let’s check out what was lurking in this box!
The stickers came in two variations; the big team logo and the dual smaller logos with team banner.
The hitters are solid in this set. You have all your major 80’s Stars like Ripken, Sandberg, Strawberry, Mattingly and Puckett. Of course, I love the Ozzie Smith, Eric Davis and Tim Raines as well. Hard to beat this veteran checklist!
The pitchers showcased a nice selection of young and old arms. Several Hall of Famers here too. My favorite back then was Dwight Gooden.
As usual with Fleer, they included some multiplayer inserts near the end of the checklist. Canseco and Wally Joyner were Rookie All-Stars, Gooden and Clemens were Dr. K and Super K and Mattingly and Strawberry were Sluggers from the left side. I always remembered the Horner 4 HR card as a Braves fan.
Another “end of the checklist” staple for 80’s Fleer were the prospect Cards. I’ve mentioned before that there weren’t always big name players found here but there are some cool names. Devon White, Kevin Seitzer and Marvin Freeman headline this year.
The All-Star insert set in ‘87 was a little odd looking in my opinion. I do like Clemens and Bell but the cards didn’t really wow me.
Finally, the rookies! I scored all the ones I wanted plus some. The top row are the great ones and those on the second row were great players in the era. I used to really collect Ruben Sierra hard! And Kevin Mitchell was a player I liked a lot too. Very pleased with the rookies I pulled from this box!
This box bottom was pretty awesome. The inclusion of Brett and Puckett was great but I also love the inclusion of 80’s masher, Jesse Barfield! Was in pretty decent shape too!
This was an awesome box to rip. I had a lot of 1987 Fleer in my collection but this is my first box rip of the product. I got lucky with a very nice box from SCC and always trust them with my wax boxes when I really want something unsearched. I like the ‘87 design, I like the packaging, I like the veteran checklist and I love the rookie class. You have to search for quality boxes sometimes but when you find one at a reasonable price, I’d encourage you to pick up some ‘87 Fleer. There isn’t much to dislike about this set. What say you about ‘87 Fleer?
1. Let me be the sacrificial lamb so you don’t have to buy these cards. Just read the post and thank me later.
2. There is worse but there is much better – not worth the effort though.
3. Middle of the road – I wouldn’t talk you into buying these but I certainly wouldn’t talk you out of them.
4. You should probably go out and buy a box and enjoy the rip – I did! It has some downside but worth the ride.
5. Stop reading and find a box to buy and get to Breaking! What are you waiting on?