In one of my initial posts I wrote about how the 1986 Topps set was my introduction to baseball cards. That same summer Topps and Quaker Oats had a promotional set of cards included in each specially marked package of Granola Bars and i couldn’t be happier. I found it to be quite easy to get my mom to buy box after box. After all, they were healthy! I made sure those granola bars were gone by the time the next trip to the store was scheduled so i wouldn’t miss a week.
The 33 card set included all the stars of the day, so it was hard to be disappointed with each “pack” I opened. Ryne Sandberg was the only Cub in the set, and he was one of the first cards I got my hands on. Pete Rose, Wade Boggs, and Nolan Ryan were also popular in my neighborhood. The set contained several young players in either their first or second year of having cards available. Dwight Gooden, Vince Coleman, and Ozzie Guillen were a few of the young stars you could pull.
It also had a number of players who made their major league debut’s in the 60s. Reggie Jackson, Tom Seaver, Phil Niekro, and the above mentioned Ryan and Rose topped the list of crafty veterans in the set.
The photography was pretty basic with only a headshot of each player, but I still get a kick out of some of these images. Willie McGee looks like he may have been enjoying some herbal supplements prior to the shoot. Wade Boggs and Eddie Murray win the “Awesome Facial Hair” award, and Reggie Jackson just looks like he is up to no good!
I haven’t seen a lot of these in person, but last year I picked up a collection that had several “odd ball” sets in it, and one of those sets was the Quaker. All the memories of that summer came flooding back. It’s hard for some people to understand the excitement that can come from a small set valued at $5 or less, but can you really put a price tag on the memories of our youth?
Promotional sets were all the rage in the late 80s and early 90s. What were your favorites?