The 1987 Fleer traded set is considered one of the most iconic and valuable vintage baseball card releases of all time. While the design was hardly groundbreaking compared to earlier Fleer issues, what made the ’87 traded set so notable was the inclusion of several highly sought rookie cards that would go on to capture the imagination of collectors for decades.

Released in packs alongside the flagship 1987 Fleer baseball card set in spring 1987, the traded issue contained 228 total cards and was largely made up of veteran players who had been traded to new teams in the 1986-87 offseason. It also featured the premier rookie cards of players like Mark McGwire, Kevin Mitchell, and Benito Santiago that would become future Hall of Famers and stars.

The McGwire rookie in particular is one of the most iconic and valuable baseball cards ever made. Depicting “Big Mac” in an Oakland A’s uniform, it marked the first widespread appearance of the slugger who would go on to break the single-season home run record. In top graded gem mint condition, McGwire’s traded rookie has sold for over $400,000, making it one of the highest valued modern-era cards.


Another huge star who debuted in the 1987 Fleer traded set was Mets outfielder Kevin Mitchell. His rookie card, which showed him sporting Dodger blue after being traded from San Diego in the offseason, preceded Mitchell’sNational League MVP campaign of 1989. High-grade versions of Mitchell’s debut are also extremely valuable, routinely trading hands for tens of thousands.

Coming off a Rookie of the Year campaign in 1986, catcher Benito Santiago’s traded card signified his first appearance in a Padres uniform after being dealt from the Cubs. His stock rose even more with a few more strong seasons, making the Santiago traded RC another highly sought piece from the ’87 issue.

Beyond the star rookie cards, the set as a whole featured several other intriguing traded veterans like Orel Hershiser, Dale Murphy, and Bob Welch. It also contained repeat cards of notable players like Rickey Henderson, Jose Canseco, and Don Mattingly in their new uniforms. The visual aesthetics, though standard Fleer designs of the time, added context and intrigue of players changing teams right as the traded player era was heating up in MLB.


While production numbers for 1987 Fleer traded were substantial compared to modern parallels, demand and appreciation for the iconic rookie cards has seen supply dwindle drastically over the past 3 decades. In top graded form, complete sets often sell for well over $10,000. Even common players command prices well above their 1987 retail costs. The longevity of stars like McGwire, Santiago, and Mitchell have ensured this set remains a pillar in the vintage baseball card market.

For collectors, acquiring key 1987 Fleer traded cards presents both opportunity and challenge. Prices remain high, especially for the star rookie hits. Appreciation over the long term is almost guaranteed given the immense impact and name recognition of players featured. For researchers of baseball card history and those fascinated by the beginnings of modern legends, the ’87 Fleer traded release also offers a unique window into the emergence of some of the game’s greatest talent from the late 80s and 90s. Decades after release, it retains its stature as one of the most important and investment-worthy vintage issues ever made.


While package design and photography were nothing groundbreaking, the 1987 Fleer traded baseball card set achieved legendary status due to the star power and impact of rookie cards within. Featuring debuts of Hall of Famers like McGwire, All-Stars like Mitchell and Santiago, and numerous veteran improvements, it has maintained extremely strong collector demand. The unique storyline of depicting players in new uniforms added charm and informational value as well. For these reasons, the 1987 Fleer traded set will undoubtedly remain a pillar in the world of vintage baseball memorabilia for decades to come.

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