Wilt Chamberlain’s rookie card can be worth a quarter of the complete set price of the 1961-62 Fleer basketball set but that indicates how great his card is, not a lack of other stars to look for. The rookie cards of Jerry West, Oscar Robertson, Elgin Baylor, Sam Jones and KC Jones were also included in this set, which was the only Fleer set issued prior to 1986-87 and the first since Topps put out its 1956-57 issue. It’s 66 cards in size and plagued by centering issues that have kept prices of high grade examples strong.
The In Action singles are numbered 45-66 and feature photos of the bigger names in competition–something rarely seen on vintage cards in any sport. The regular cards (#1-44) and the In Action are sequenced alphabetically.
The Chamberlain rookie is card #8, and he also has a card in the In Action subset which is card #47. Scoring 50 points in a game is supposed to be difficult, but for Wilt it wasn’t as he did it 118 times during his career. What most fans will know about is the game in Hershey, Pennsylvania in 1962 when he scored 100 points in a single game.
Chamberlain rookie cards sell for a wide range of prices–from a few hundred dollars for lower grade examples to upwards of $9,000 for a mint 9. His ‘In Action’ card can bring $1500 and up in the highest grades.
Jerry West and Oscar Robertson were guards who could do everything. They scored with high percentages, could pass the ball and rebound. They each won one NBA title, late in their careers. Elgin Baylor retired from the Lakers during the year they won with West and Chamberlain, but Baylor’s career numbers match them in many categories.
Baylor was All-NBA First Team ten times, he averaged 27.4 points and 13.5 points over his career and Baylor even scored 61 points in a game during the NBA Finals. Guards Sam Jones and KC Jones gave the Celtics offense and defense. Jones hit many important baskets when the Celtics were winning titles, and averaged 17.7 points in his NBA career. KC Jones was a great defender as a player and won eight NBA titles, and he would later coach Bird and the Celtics to two titles in the 1980s.
1961-62 Fleer also has the second NBA card of many superstars, including Bill Russell, Dolph Schayes, Bob Cousy and Bob Pettit. They had rookie cards in 1957-58 Topps and for collectors who don’t have the money for their rookie cards they can still get a quality vintage card of the stars in this Fleer set.
All of the cards in 1961-62 Fleer have value, especially if the condition is right. The Baylor card and the #1 card of Al Attles have proven to be elusive in high grade.
Complete sets can be found online but will often include off-center cards, which are prevalent whenever a quantity of cards is discovered.