1987 Fleer Michael Jordan: The Ultimate Collector’s Guide
Like all of his cards, the 1987 Fleer Michael Jordan basketball card remains extremely popular throughout the hobby.
Not even its relatively bland design can stop collector excitement.
While many of his cards captured him soaring high above the rim, this particular card showcases him controlling and leading the offense towards victory as he so often did.
Make no mistake, even though this card is somewhat overshadowed by his rookie card from the year before, this second-year Jordan card is a must-have.
And in this guide, I cover everything you need to know about this impressive card.
Let's jump right in!
1987 Fleer Michael Jordan Value
The value of a 1987 Fleer Michael Jordan card will vary between $10 to $5,000 or more depending on its condition and whether it has been professionally graded.
Now, that's quite a range in values.
But, it goes to show how drastically condition and professional grading can affect the value of sports cards.
For a card to be graded in pristine condition, companies like BGS and PSA will review the card under magnification to look for the tiniest of flaws.
Pristine cards will be in pack-fresh condition with great centering, sharp corners, and no surface damage.
And collectors will pay huge price premiums for flawless specimens of this card.
See for yourself in the table below.
I threw in the 1987 Fleer sticker as well for reference.
'87 Fleer Sticker
'87 Fleer Sticker
Now, let's take a look at what makes these cards so special.
1987 Fleer #59
Distinction: The 1987 Fleer basketball card set is interesting because it's loaded with Hall of Famers and even common players that can be worth big bucks in top condition.
Guys like Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing and the usual stars of the era can be worth hundreds of dollars or more in high grades.
But, even lesser-known players like John Bagley, Gene Banks and Thurl Bailey can be worth four figures.
It all comes down to how popular this set is and how difficult it can be to complete in top condition.
Set builders looking to complete the set in PSA 10 grade will pay huge bucks for even common players in that grade.
But, no card in the set is more important or more valuable than Jordan's #59.
It is by far the key to the set.
Number: This is card #59 out of 132 total cards in the set.
Design: The design of 1987 Fleer set is instantly recognizable with its large player images and gray stripes that flank the top and bottom borders.
The Fleer brand and Bulls team name are showcased across the top while Jordan's name and position round out the bottom.
Everyone loves a nice image of Jordan in the middle of one of his highlight dunks but even an image of him calling a play as he brings the ball up the court makes for a great-looking card.
Reverse Side: The reverse side of the card is printed with a vertical layout and features his personal information and stats from previous years.
The overall vibe of the reverse is very similar to his 1986 Fleer rookie card as it features many of the same design elements.
Condition Issues: Centering is usually the biggest obstacle for collectors with this card and that is why they can be so tough to find in top condition.
The gray coloring on the front as well as the blue and red on the back can also easily show wear and chipping.
1987 Fleer Sticker #2
Distinction: Each pack of 1987 Fleer basketball also contained a sticker of 1 of 11 star players of the day that were intended to be peeled off and placed onto any number of surfaces.
Not surprisingly, Jordan was one of those players and in PSA 10 or BGS 10 condition, his sticker is worth more than his base card because of the extreme rarity of finding them in that condition.
This sticker is arguably his most difficult to locate in top grade.
Number: This is card #2 out of 11 stickers in the set.
Design: The design of the sticker has a patriotic tone to it with the red and white striped background and blue strip covered in white stars along the left side.
The thin yellow strip that contains his name, Bulls team affiliation, position, and Fleer brand adds some nice pop.
But, the image of a young Jordan smiling brightly and enjoying the game he would eventually master is what makes this card so great.
Reverse Side: The reverse side of the card features a huge write-up about how unstoppable a scorer Jordan was during the 1986-87 season when he averaged a stunning 37.1 points per game.
There's also a brief mention of his defensive artistry, too, but most of it is centered around offensive numbers that will make your jaw drop.
The card is flanked along the top and bottom by thick, blue stripes and you can see in the upper-right corner where collectors were encouraged to peel off the stickers.
Hopefully, you did not peel yours off if you ever owned one of these.
Condition Issues: Centering is extremely tough with these stickers and their colored borders are easily susceptible to showing wear.
Obviously, though, even slight peeling of the stickers can also prevent top grades.
Michael Jordan’s Legacy
Michael Jordan was a joy to watch night and night out and goes down in history as the greatest to ever play the game of basketball.
Unstoppable on offense, Jordan was just as good of a defender on the other side of the ball which is what truly made him stand apart from the competition.
Over 15 seasons as a pro, he would achieve the following:
- 1984-85 Rookie of the Year
- 6x NBA Champ
- 5x MVP
- 14x All-Star
- 10x Scoring Champ
- 11x All-NBA
We'll be forever left to wonder what that list of accomplishments may have looked like had he not retired twice along the way.
Like all of his cards, this 1987 Fleer sticker will be in high demand for quite some time.