2004 was a big year for the NBA and in basketball cards as well. LeBron, Wade, Carmelo, Bosh, and the star-studded rookie class entered the league in 2003 and that 2003-04 season has some iconic card sets, in my opinion. It was also towards the end of Fleer’s run producing basketball cards.
What I didn’t take part in back in 2004 was National Trading Card Day. I’m not sure what I was doing or where I was on April 4th, but it unfortunately didn’t include me going to a card store, that I can recall. And so I’m making up for it now. When searching for basketball card packs on eBay, I came across some unopened packs from 2004. I took a peak at the checklist, and when I saw the basketball names, I scooped up Fleer and Upper Deck packs. I’ll cover the Upper Deck pack in a future post.
The pack itself is clear, with a top card showing the Fleer logo and the 2004 National Trading Card Day logo. The set itself is 53 cards and includes cards from the 3 major brands: Fleer, Topps, and Upper Deck. The Fleer portion of the set is 9 cards and covers 3 sports.
I’ve discovered over time as we move farther away from the Fleer basketball card era how much I enjoy the sets. They did basketball cards well.
Since this is a basketball card blog I’m going to share the basketball portion of the pack first, which is cards 7-9.
Each card has the National Trading Card Day logo, and has a black and white background with the player in color at the forefront. These three guys were featured players for Fleer back at that time. Carter even had entire insert sets devoted to him early in his career.
When I saw Carmelo included in this set, I knew I needed to pick it up. It’s an easy way to pick up a card from Carmelo’s rookie season with the Nuggets.
Yao also has some great Fleer cards from early in his NBA career. His Hot Prospects rookie patch card I remember being highly sought after. I remember being super excited to pull a Jared Jeffries. Can’t imagine how pumped I would have been to pull a Yao.
Here are cards 1-3. Some big names on the baseball side included in this set.
Cards 4-6, including two football stars who I assume were highly featured in Fleer products at the time.
Did you experience a National Trading Card Day at your local card store? Anything stick out to you from those experiences?