Skip to main content

When men were men, cards were cards, and food was ... uh, something

If I ever decide to downsize my card collection, it will be with one stipulation: that I can continue to add oddball cards.

If it's possible to fall in love with a particular genre of card, then I am about to ask each and every food issue card to marry me. Expect an announcement -- and a wedding date -- on the blog soon.

One day, I may ditch all cards so I can dedicate myself toward tracking down every cookie company, gas station, department store, tire shop, clothing outlet and hot dog stand that ever manufactured cards.

That really seems like meaningful life's work.

I'm already getting a head start thanks to some people who read my blog and take me seriously when I say I want cards that once came out of potato chip bags.


Isn't that fantastic??

This is an honest-to-goodness 1962 Bell Brand Potato Chips card. Bell Brand issued sets of Dodger cards in the late '50s and early '60s. This is the first one I've ever seen in person, being a poor, deprived East Coast soul.

Greg Z. was kind of enough to send it to me. And it's in terrific shape for coming out of a potato chip bag (never mind the creases, they don't show up as prominently on the card as you see them here on the scan). Bell Brand was smart enough to package each individual card in cellophane to protect the cards from staining.

Some cards still have stains or have browned because of the grease eventually leaking through. But what do you expect? There were no kettle-cooked, mediterranean cream herb chips back in the day. Just boil those taters in as much grease as possible and bury them in salt! That's how people grew in 1962. Or so I hear. I wasn't alive.

OK, so you're not as impressed as I am by a single potato chip card.

How about this?

That is a genuine box of Hostess Suzy Q's from exactly 35 years ago.

How do I know it's from 35 years ago?

Well, silly ...

Because it has 1977 Hostess baseball cards on it!

This tremendous find was sent to me by mr. haverkamp. He always tracks down the best stuff.

Obviously it's not just any '77 Hostess Suzy Q box. It's a '77 Hostess Suzy Q box with a card of my favorite player of all-time on it, Mr. Ron Penguin Cey!

This box may not have any Suzy Q's in it anymore, but it is still filled with tasty information. I never knew you could get a copy of the Sporting News off a Hostess box. You could also cut out the mini cards of Jim Palmer and Reggie Jackson and pretend they were real cards, and when kids in the neighborhood demanded that they see the back of the card you could tell them "No way! You're not touching my cards!"

There's even a drawing of Suzy Q on the box, enjoying a Suzy Q.

Which brings me to the one downer on the whole thing. The nutritional information.

From the looks of the ingredients, eating a couple Suzy Q's a week will probably take 20 years off your life. Polysorbate 60 is bad, bad news, as are mono- and diglycerides, not to mention shortening, corn syrup, sugar, artificial flavor ... there is no way my mother allowed these things in the house.

In fact, it's possible I've never had a Suzy Q in my life. Ding Dongs, yes. Twinkies, you bet. Ho-Hos, certainly (and, no, those are not euphemisms for something else). But no Suzies (but that one may be).

It appears that Suzy Q's are made from pretty much the same stuff that they were made from in 1977 -- which is both comforting and disturbing.

It's also possible that all those emulsifiers is the reason that box is in such nice shape after 35 years.

And that leaves me with a problem.

I already have the 1977 Hostess Ron Cey card.

It's not a bad little specimen. Obviously, it was removed from the box by a youngster, but that doesn't concern me.

The only gnawing issue is that there is a great, big, brown, Suzy Q stain on the back of the card. Card back problems don't bother me much, but now I have this opportunity to have a pristine 1977 Hostess Ron Cey card in my collection. After all, I am an adult, I can cut straight, and there is a box waiting for me and everything.

Why, I could even cut out the Rick Waits and Al Bumbry cards, too, and distribute them to appreciative Indians and Orioles fans.

Or, I could leave the box intact because ... it's a 35-year-old box of Suzy Q's, for crying out loud, with BASEBALL CARDS ON THEM!!!

So I don't know what to do.

I know I won't be eating any Suzy Q's. The box will never stand a chance. And those 22 grams of sugar per cake will adversely affect my cutting skills.


Commishbob said…
My favorite was Drake's Devil Dogs. They looked like a skinnier Suzy Q. Tastycake Krimpets (the butterscotch ones, not the nasty jelly ones) were another snack we loved. Went great with RC Cola.
Spiegel83 said…
The Bell cards are awesome. I have seen some in really good condition and may pull the trigger and get one someday.

Do you collect odd ball cards of any other teams or players that aren't Dodgers?
Nothing like a fresh Suzy Q or Ho-Ho. I know that the food label makes it a no-no for you, but if you plan a treat of these do yourself a favor and freeze them.

I say keep the box intact. I say that because I think the box looks great as a display item, not because you might lose some value by cutting the cards. As a collector of all oddball cards from our youth, the entire box is part of the collectible to me. We didn't have King Dons in my area, but I guess those are Ding Dongs. Crumb Cakes anyone?

Yeah, that's the same Cey box that I just purchased in a lot.

Keep up the oddball stories.
arpsmith said…
Never had a Suzy Q either (did date a Suzy R in college but that is a whole different story for an entire different type of blog).

I would keep the box in tact. I think it looks great. It is also cool that your player is framed in the middle of the box.

I am a big fan of oddball cards too, not sure why but they put an extra big smile on my face when I pick up a new one.
Anonymous said…

Don't you dare cut up that box!

If you want a nicer 1977 Cey, go buy or trade for one... But a complete Hostess box is far too awesome to cut up.

Think of future generations who will have one fewer complete box to gaze upon with amazement. Think of the children, dammit! THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!!

OK, I think I've been sufficiently melodramatic.
Marcus said…
I've been downsizing my collection, but the oddballs are staying put. What I didn't really like as a kid I now love as an adult.
night owl said…
@Spiegel83 ~ I'm always willing to take on '70s Kelloggs cards of any team, but that's about it ... for now.
dayf said…
I look at complete boxes of old food products with cards on them like I look at uncut sheets of baseball cards. They are too pretty to hack up. There's plenty of Ceys out there, not so many uncut boxes. Plus Ron is right in the middle of the panel. That's fantastic.
Fuji said…
Damn... now you have me craving some polysorbate 60 & the Suzy Q's.

As for the box... it'd be a shame to see you cut it up. Keep that bad boy intact!
Greg Zakwin said…
thanks again for the swap fellow Greg! and leave it intact.
hh99 said…
if your Cey card has food stains on it it is from an individual package of suzy q's(or possably a jusy a messy kid). so now you have both versions. keep it intact.
Now I want a ding dong. The foil wrapped kind.