Friday, June 27, 2008

1981 Fleer - Billy Sample

Decided to post number 637 in the 1981 Fleer set as a Sample of what Fleer's initial offering looked like. Sorry, couldn't resist.

Actually Fleer released several sets about the time Billy was born in the mid 50's. A lawsuit from Topps shut them down though until 1981. Their return was marked by flimsy card stock and somewhat poor photography. Not as bad as Donruss' debut the same year though.

Texas must have thought a lot of Sample, they used two draft picks on him. He was drafted in 1973 but didn't sign. The Rangers waited a few years and drafted him again in 1976 and got him to sign. He moved up from the 28th round to the 10th in the meantime.

Billy seems to be grimacing a little in this picture. Maybe he knew it was going to be a rough year. In 1981 he was fourth in the AL in getting hit by pitch. He got on base seven times that way that year.

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