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!”


Here Are Some Cards From The *Previous* COMC Promotion…

I have to admit;  Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday have sucked up much of my “hobby time” for the past week…  As a result, I’m gonna buy myself some time by sharing an assortment of cards from the last time I took advantage of a COMC Promotion, which was back in June.

I mainly bought this card because it shows Jesse Gonder wearing a Mets uniform, a team he last played for in 1965.
1969 Topps Jesse Gonder
When I looked up Gonder’s record, I noticed that he never played for the Padres, nor was there any transaction that showed him going to the Padres. A little Googling revealed that he was a Spring Training invite, made the team but was released shortly into the season without having appeared in a game.

This card was a pleasant find… This card is a high number and a rookie card, plus it was a need, but I got it for under $1 because it was flagged as “Altered”. Once I got the card in my possession, I could tell it had been trimmed. I could also tell that I do not care.
1971 Topps Mets Rookie Stars

Ted Uhlaender’s daughter Katie was in the 2014 Sochi Olympics in the Skeleton event.
1972 Topps Ted Uhlaender
Ted’s last Major League at bat came as a pinch-hitter in Game 7 of the 1972 World Series.

I’m slowly… very slowly… working on the 1976 Kellogg’s set, but for now I’m keeping this set within a tight budget. We’ll see how far I get (probably not very). Dave Cash here set me back 55 cents.
1976 Kellogg's Dave Cash
Just a reminder that this winter’s “Hot Stove” custom set is based on this very same 1976 Kellogg’s set… I’m still working on some of the related images (you’ll understand when we get there), but so far I’ve got three customs made. Hint, hint: I’ve “photoshopped” on-field personnel into Red Sox, Marlins and Angels uniforms. I’m hoping to get the first one out this weekend.

This last card is shiny and features a decent photo, but I’ll be honest, I bought it for one primary reason: It’s a Japanese baseball card that was on sale for 35 cents.
2002 BBM Hanshin Tigers Extra Edition Go Kida
I don’t usually pass that by, no matter who’s on the card.

…And now you’re going to ask me who *is* on the card. Well, his name is Go Kida and I couldn’t find a whole lot about him… I guess he’s the kind of a guy who ends up on a 35 cent Japanese baseball card. Oh, I should mention that the set is the 2002 BBM Hanshin Tigers Extra Edition (at least that’s what COMC told me).

Hooray For The Red, White And Blue!

I don’t often do holiday-themed posts, but it just so happens that I have several 1976 Kellogg’s cards and 1976 Hostess cards I’ve been wanting to share, and both have that Bicentennial red, white and blue thing going for it, so I figured “What the heck”.

1976 Hostess Lee May
Lee May had 354 homers and 1244 RBI over his 18 year career… In 1976 he lead the league with 109 RBI.

1976 Hostess Tom Grieve
Tom Grive was the 6th overall pick in the 1966 draft, but never established himself as a regular at any position.  In 1976 he played in 149 games, 96 as a DH.  He’s the father of former Major Leaguers Ben & Tim Grieve.

1976 Kelloggs Eric Soderholm
Eric Soderholm was the Twins starting third baseman in 1974 and 1975, but he missed all of 1976 with a knee injury.  He was the comeback player of the year in 1977, but that was after he’d joined the White Sox as a free agent.

1976 Kelloggs Marty Perez
Marty Perez split the season between the Braves and Giants, playing mostly at 2nd base.  He played for five teams over his career, including a 1-game stint with the Yankees at the beginning of 1977.

1976 Kelloggs Rick Wise
Rick Wise had a 19 win season in 1975 and a 19 loss season in 1978 (with the Indians).  In 1971, while with the Phillies, he hit two homers in the same game that he was no-hitting the Reds. 

1976 Hostess Graig Nettles
Graig Nettles lead the league with 32 homers in 1976, but it was the only year from 1975 to 1980 where Nettles was not an All-Star.  More notably, he’s a Yankee that this Mets fan doesn’t hate.  (Don’t tell anybody).

The Kid And The Pirates (Three 1976 Kellogg’s Cards)

Not a lot to say about today’s cards, other than they’re from the 1976 Kellogg’s set, and the players were chosen by Kellogg’s based on their 1975 season.

In 1975, Manny Sanguillen was an All-Star and hit a career-high .328.
1976 Kelloggs Manny Sanguillen

In 1975, Jerry Reuss was also an All-Star and had 18 wins and 6 shutouts, both were career high marks he’d match – but not surpass – in later years.
1976 Kelloggs Jerry Reuss

In 1975, Gary Carter wa– OMG, LOOK AT HOW YOUNG GARY CARTER IS!!!!
1976 Kelloggs Gary Carter
“The Kid” truly is a kid on this card.

In 1975, the 21-year-old Carter was (surprise surprise) an All-Star, and finished second in the NL Rookie Of The Year voting to John “The Count” Montefusco. He also was more of a right fielder than a catcher, having played 66 games behind the plate and 92 out in right.

My Favorite Card Of The Moment: 1976 Kellogg’s Frank Tanana

My favorite recent acquisition was one I got on COMC because it was a cheap Kellogg’s card. It wasn’t until after I saw it in person that I fell in love with this card.

It’s got a fake cloud background. It’s got a fake pitching pose. It’s made with technology which fakes a 3-D effect. And it is GENUINELY AWESOME.
1976 Kellogg's Frank Tanana
During the 1970’s, the Angels’ combination of Nolan Ryan and Frank Tanana formed a righty/lefty combo that was feared throughout the American League. Tanana was a 3-time All-Star, lead the AL with 269 K’s in 1975 and a 2.54 ERA in 1977. Also in 1977, Tanana and Tom Seaver lead the Majors with 7 shutouts.

An arm injury ended Tanana’s flamethrowing days, but he reinvented himself, remained an effective pitcher for many years and had one of the better careers of any pitcher not in the Hall Of Fame. His 2,773 strikeouts ranks 21st, his 616 starts ranks 18th, his 4,118.1 innings pitched ranks 34th. According to, his 57.5 career WAR ranks above such notables as Mariano Rivera, Whitey Ford, Sandy Koufax, and Orel Hershiser.

Tanana’s 1977 Topps card pointed me towards a very interesting boxscore… On August 27th, 1976, Tanana and Catfish Hunter went toe-to-toe, each pitcher shutting out the opposing team’s batters for 13 innings. Hunter struck out 8, Tanana struck out 13 while giving up only 7 hits and 2 walks. Both teams went to the bullpen in the 14th and the Yankees scored 5 times in the 15th to win 5-0.

Ya Get Whatcha Get: Randy, B.J., Batman and Milt

One of the things I did during my COMC Black Friday shopping was buy up any and all cheap Kellogg’s cards I found (and needed). This Randy Jones came from the 1976 set (in case you couldn’t tell by the red, white & blue motif).
1976 Kellogg's Randy Jones
Turns out that this particular card was damaged in a sneaky sort of way… No cracks, no damage to the edges but there was a spot in the middle where it almost looks like someone tried to push something through the back. Oh well, it’s still a nice card for the most part. Did I mention the cheap part?

Even if I weren’t a B.J. Surhoff collector, I would’ve picked this card up just for the photo:
1991 Stadium Club BJ Surhoff
Nobody in the field, nobody in the stands, it looks like B.J. is by himself in County Stadium, running the bases for the heck of it. If any of you are familiar with Buster Keaton’s film “The Cameraman”, it kind of reminds me of the scene where he’s alone in Yankee Stadium and pretending to play a game.

This is far from the most exciting card in the 1966 Batman “Black Bat” series…
1966 Topps Batman Black Bat 5 Roof Top Vigil
…But it’s a card I need to complete the entire 11-card “Batman Vs. The Joker” subset. When I’ve got all 11 cards I promise I’ll post all of them in sequence so you can enjoy the story being told.

This 1972 Milt Wilcox is one of a dwindling number of needs for the 4th series of 1972 Topps.
1972 Topps Milt Wilcox
Milt is showing off the long-lost skill of looking up at the sky / a pop fly / a bird, all in the name of making it easy to use the photo after a guy’s been traded.  In December, 1971 Milt Wilcox was traded from the Reds to the Indians for Ted Uhlaender… and at this time a year ago, Ted’s daughter Katie was preparing for the Sochi Olympics… Which has nothing to do with nothing, I just figured I’d mention it.


I Went To COMC For Some TOMC …ver

I never set out to buy up a bunch of Tom Sever cards when I was doing my Black Friday shopping, but it sure ended up that way. I guess that there were just good deals to be found on Tom Terrific.

It mainly started with knocking some cards off my Kellogg’s want lists, including the infamous two-dimensional set of 1973.
1973 Kelloggs Tom Seaver

…The patriotic 1976 set…
1976 Kelloggs Tom Seaver

…and 1980. I don’t mind the Reds uniform or the lack of a fake pitching pose, it’s still Seaver.
1980 Kelloggs Tom Seaver

I later turned my attention to those cards in the 1980 Burger King Pitch, Hit And Run set which had a different photo than the regular Topps card. Just so happened that one of my needs was Tom Seaver.
1980 Burger King Tom Seaver

Back in 1984, I think I bought one pack of 1984 Donruss and my reaction was something along the lines of “Meh”.  Lately I’ve been appreciating that set much  more than I did 30 years ago.

I went to see if there were any interesting 84D cards to be had and – Oh, look! Tom Seaver!
1984 Donruss Tom Seaver

2002 Topps Super Teams is a set that I always feel like I should make more of an effort on, especially since both the 1969 Mets and 1986 Mets were considered to be “Super Teams”. I only have a handful of these, but I added this one to the group.
2002 Topps Super Teams Tom Seaver
Between the black armband and longer hair, I’m thinking this photo is actually from 1976.

Finally, I was looking for cheap cards to fill out my 2005 Topps Rookie Cup collection. This set has been growing on me despite the design. I just like the photos. I got an Ozzie Smith (which I’ll feature later) and – What are the odds? – Tom Seaver.
2005 Topps Rookie Cup Tom Seaver
If they had used the full photos without cropping the background and used a more appealing design, I would’ve been seeking out each and every card in this set instead of looking for particular players or cheap cards.

I still have another 40 or 50 Black Friday cards to share, so you’ll be seeing more of this in the next couple of weeks.

The Spirit Of ’76!!!!

I think it’s safe to say that many of you weren’t around for America’s bicentennial in 1976.  Too bad, you certainly missed something.
1977 Mets Yearbook Photo Of Bicentennial
It was hype and nationalism and commercialism all wrapped into one particular event which was technically one day – July 4th, 1976 –  but had one hell of a lead-up.  Imagine the Olympics lasting for 18 months, and you’ll start to get an idea.

CBS broadcast a “Bicentennial Minute” every day for 2 years.  We had bicentennial TV specials, bicentennial candy bars, bicentennial soda bottles…  We even had special quarters.
1976 US Quarter reverse

That might not seem like a big deal now, but back then it was absolutely crazypants to have anything other than an eagle on the back of a quarter.  There were special half dollars and dollar coins as well, but we didn’t really notice because then, as now, nobody used those.

Everything was Stars & Stripes and three-cornered hats.  If there was anything that could be spangled with stars, Buddy, you’d better believe that it was star-spangled!

1976 Mets Yearbook Dairylea ad

Everything was made to be red, white and blue… fire hydrants, freight trains, water towers, trash cans, park benches…

…baseball yearbooks…
1976 Mets Yearbook Revised Edition
1976 Pirates Yearbook
1976 Tigers Yearbook

…baseball cards…

1976 Kellogg's Felix Millan

1976 Hostess Bucky Dent

After two years of build-up, I’m sure that there were a lot of people who became sick and tired of all the hype surrounding this event… but at least they could comfort themselves with “The Beer For The Bicentennial”.
Schmidt's Beer Ad From Mets Yearbook

An Arbitrary Selection Of Mets I Got At The National

…and, just because it’s Labor Day, my top 10 songs with “work” in the title:

“A Clean Break (Let’s Work)” — Talking Heads
“Dirty Work” — Steely Dan

“Don’t Gotta Work It Out” — Fitz And The Tantrums
“Finest Worksong” — R.E.M.

“I Never Go To Work” — They Might Be Giants
“There’s A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis” — Kirsty MacColl

“We Can Work It Out” — The Beatles
“Workin’ At The Car Wash Blues” — Jim Croce

“Working Man” — Domestic Science Club
“Working My Way Back To You/Forgive Me Girl” — The Spinners