Kellogg’s Cards & Vague Ramblings About Goals And Stuff

On those rare occasions where I can find relatively cheap Kellogg’s cards from the original 1970 – 1983 run, I am there.  For me, cheap Kellogg’s = Happiness… which is kind of amusing given that I made absolutely no effort to collect them back in the 1970’s.  At the time, I regarded them as baseball card wannabes, little plastic tchotchkes that came in boxes of cereal.  Real cards were printed on cardboard and came in packs with gum.  What can I say, I was a snob about cards.  (These days I’m mainly a snob about pizza, bagels and rye bread, but that’s another story).

…Which reminds me of one of my all-time favorite Hallmark cards;  the cartoon was of a man standing in a bakery, in the middle of racks full of loaves of bread, and he’s exclaiming “You call this rye bread?” and the caption was, of course:  “Kvetcher In The Rye”.

…But I digress…

1972 Kellogg’s Merv Rettenmund

There are days when you could ask me what my goals are for the original run of Kellogg’s cards and I’ll say “I want ’em all… All 850 of ’em.”

1974 Kellogg’s Willie Horton

…But that’s not entirely true.  Push comes to shove, my collection will be fine if it doesn’t include a 1982 Dwayne Murphy or 1973 Steve Blass (to pick two arbitrary examples, no offense intended for either player).  I mean, the 1973’s have only two dimensions, what fun is that?

1976 Kellogg’s Dave Parker

…But I can definitely see myself chasing after the 1976 set someday.  It has one of the nicer designs, and it’s right in my sweet spot as far as my initial “Everything Is Awesome” period of collection.  I’d made it a goal before – I probably said something about it here – but having it as a goal has only gotten me 16 of the 57 cards, and most of the 16 are commons.

1978 Kellogg’s Ron Cey

…Which brings it all back to “focus”.  I got this 1978 Ron Cey because it was cheap… but I don’t have a goal of collecting 1978 Kellogg’s in particular, I don’t collect Dodgers or Ron Cey, and visually speaking this card is perfectly fine but not particularly great – no offense intended, Night Owl – but it was available and there was something of a Kellogg’s feeding frenzy going on (not unlike me with a box of Froot Loops).

1979 Kellogg’s Chris Chambliss

There’s a post I wrote but never posted because it’s overly navel-gazey and whiney, but the gist of it is that I’ve been feeling guilty and overwhelmed lately because a lot of my hobby time and resources have gone towards “what the heck” projects;  meanwhile my collection is getting bloated and I’m not making progress on more important objectives.

1981 Kellogg’s Mike Flanagan

So I’m back to trying to work out what it is that I should be focusing on.  I would like some sort of Kellogg’s project outside of Mets and Orioles team sets and given that a number of my other projects have hit budgetary roadblocks, I could use a relatively easy win.  I was wondering if one of the later Kellogg’s sets might be cheap and common enough to give me an ego boost.  I don’t love the 1981 design, but I like the fact that they’re standard sized (and have plenty of background for the players to be “3D” against) is a  point in their favor.

1983 Kellogg’s Keith Hernandez

1983 Kellogg’s seems to be relatively common, but it’s not a great design and the cards are very narrow… again, that matters to me because more background means a stronger 3-D effect.

1970 Kellogg’s Ed Kranepool

1970 would be my dream Kellogg’s set to chase after, but for the previously mentioned budgetary considerations, it will have to wait for another day.

So that all brings me to my question for everybody…  Which year of Kellogg’s would you consider to be a fun but relatively inexpensive chase? 

At this point I don’t even know if a Kellogg’s set will be part of my goals for 2018, but I feel like it’s worth considering…  and I do want to have some sort of achievable goal to get me going, something similar (in terms of difficulty) to the 1968 Topps “Game” insert set. The answer may very well be “Dude, just knuckle down and work on the 1976 set!”


Four Cards With Varying Degrees Of Canadianosity (Yet No Hockey Cards)

Sometimes a post just falls together.  This was originally just a “Ya Get Whatcha Get” post featuring four random cards, but I realized that three of the cards featured a Canadian connection (not to be confused with “The Mexican Connection”, the Billy Joel instrumental that plays just before he comes out on stage).

I’m not one to walk away from a theme that presents itself, so I went looking for another card to complete the quartet, swapped it in, and here we are.

First off, we have a 2014 Bowman Prospects card of Trevor Gretzky (and yes, he’s the son of who you’d think).  Trevor is not Canadian, having been born and raised in Los Angeles, but he’s the son of a prominent Canadian, so that’s close enough.
2014 Bowman Prospects Trevor Gretzky
Even though this is his first Bowman card, he’s already in a different organization after having been involved in a trade that was noteworthy for non-baseball reasons.  Back last March, Gretzky got traded to the Angels for Matt Scoscia (and yes, he’s the son of who you’d think).  Gretzky went on a tear in 11 games in Rookie level Orem, got bumped up to the Low-A Burlington Bees…. and did not go on a tear.  He just turned 22, so there’s still time for him to figure things out.

Get this line from his Minor League Baseball bio:  “…played football in high school alongside Nick Montana and Trey Smith, the sons of Joe Montana and actor Will Smith…”

I don’t know what to follow that up with, so I’ll move on…

This next card is uniquely Canadian, as it’s an O-Pee-Chee set that has no Topps equivalent.  This is a 1991 O-Pee-Chee Premier card of Jeff Conine.  I’ve been a fan of “Niner” ever since he was on the Orioles
1991 OPC Premier Jeff Conine
Jeff Conine was the Grover Cleveland of MLB in the he had non-consecutive stints with the Royals (1990-92 & 1998), Marlins (1993-97 & 2003-05) and Orioles (1999-2003 & 2006).

Getting a bit more Canadian, here’s a 1974 Kellogg’s card of the Expos’ Ken Singleton.  Singleton spent 3 years in Montreal and in 1973 he lead the league in OBP (not something that’s going to get you on a Topps “League Leaders” card).
1974 Kelloggs Ken Singleton
I’ve got to say, I’ve spent so much time this winter creating custom 1974 Kellogg’s cards that it’s a bit odd to look at a real one.

Ken’s uncle Harvey Singleton played for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League.

…And speaking of the CFL…

This next card is one of my favorites from my recent COMC shopping sprees.  It’s a 1972 O-Pee-Chee CFL card of Edmonton Eskimos tackle Charlie Turner.
1972 OPC CFL Charlie Turner
Check out the facial hair on this dude!  I don’t even know what you’d call that.

Being an offensive lineman in the CFL, I couldn’t a lot of information on him outside of what’s on Wikipedia and a few off-handed references.  He won the “Outstanding Offensive Lineman” award in 1975, won two Grey Cups (the CFL championship) in Edmonton and one in Hamilton.  A newspaper clipping I found in Google News says that he signed with the AFL’s Buffalo Bills in 1966, but I couldn’t find any more information about that.

During the nearly-two-month NFL players’ strike of 1982, I watched the CFL games that got broadcast in the U.S. to fill the programming time, and became something of an Eskimos fan.

Sharp-eyed football collectors will notice that this design is very similar, but not identical, to 1972 Topps. The font and corners are different, there’s no thin black border around the edge of the photo, and there are probably other things I’m not picking up on.  Here’s the back.
1972 OPC CFL Charlie Turner back
You can’t argue that “Bloqueur Offensif” sounds a lot more impressive than “Offensive Tackle”.

There were a couple of other CFL cards I picked up, but I’ll share them another time.

Has anybody else picked up something Canadian recently?  And yes, Labatt’s, Molson, Canadian Club or Tim Horton’s Donuts are all valid answers.

Looking For Feedback On Prototypes For My “Hot Stove” Set

Topps released a preview of their 2015 set the other day, and yesterday Jim over at The Phillies Room released a preview of his 2015 Chachi set, so I thought I might get in on the action as well.

For those of you who have not followed this blog through prior offseasons, I’ve been doing a custom set I call “TSR Hot Stove”.  The general idea is to show guys “photoshopped” into new uniforms and the like, while giving me the opportunity to flex some creative muscles and play with my Paint Shop Pro software.

If you’re curious about the prior sets, go up to the top, click on the “Galleries Of Custom Cards” tab, and scroll down to see the 2013/14 set (which was based on 1959 Bazooka) and scroll down even further to see the 2012/13 set (which was based on 1960-1962 Bazooka).

I like the idea of using a vintage “oddball” set for the design, but I don’t really care as much for the other vintage Bazooka designs.  As a result, I’d been toying with using the design from 1974 Kellogg’s for my 2014/15 Hot Stove set.

1974 Kelloggs Felix Millan

The one thing I wasn’t thrilled about was the lack of team identification, and also the fact that it shows only the player’s last name (something I’ve never cared for).

To see what I might be able to do with this, I first made a Bartolo Colon prototype without changing things a whole lot… sort of a “proof of concept”  Here’s what I got.
2014 Hot Stove Prototype 1
The only thing I changed from the original design was altering the text at top to read “2-D SUPER STARS”, just to acknowledge the fact that I’m not quite good enough at this to completely simulate the lenticular “3-D” effect.

I was pretty happy with that custom, so I went back later and decided to expand the box the name goes in, and add in the first name in a smaller font, kind of like Topps did in their 1974 set.

Just for fun and to give myself and all of you an idea of what this might look like “in production”, I went and looked at a list of prospective free agents, picked one of the bigger names and made a not-unreasonable guess as to where he’d end up.

Here’s the second prototype:
2014 Hot Stove Prototype 2

To fit the full name in, I made the box slightly taller, but I doubt that one could even tell without measuring.

So… what do you think?  Are you OK with the liberties I’ve taken, or do you prefer that I stay faithful to the original?  I’ll be honest, I’m still going back and forth on that.

But what’s more important right now is “Would you want to see more of these from November through February?”  I hope so, because as of right now I don’t have a “Plan B”.