I finished off the outstanding 1978 Kellogg's 3-D set last week when the final card arrived.
Wrapping up that set also finished the trifecta of Kellogg's sets that I consider the absolute pinnacle of the Kellogg's 3-D experience.
The 1976, 1977 and 1978 sets are completed, sleeved and stacked, and every time I look at them I have to beat back the memories with a cereal spoon. I don't remember much about the '76 cards, but memories of the year are all up in my brain. Meanwhile, the '77 and '78 cards are the first ones I ordered off the Frosted Flakes box and waited FOREVER for them to arrive.
Few folks remember how cutting edge the 1978 Kellogg's set seemed at the time. Not only was Kellogg's using the very '70s color of BRIGHT YELLOW as its primary backdrop, but it slapped its brand logo on the front of every card in bright red.
In terms of content, the first Blue Jay and Mariner to appear in a Kellogg's set showed up in '78. Eddie Murray's rookie card is in the '78 set. It's the first appearance in Kellogg's for players like Gossage, Rice, Sutter, Dent and some of the hottest young stars of that time, Templeton, Page, Valentine and Rozema.
Lyman Bostock's only Kellogg's card shows up in this set. One of Rich Gossage's only appearances anywhere in a Pittsburgh Pirate uniform is in '78 Kellogg's. It's also Reggie Jackson's first time in Kellogg's as a Yankee, Tom Seaver's first Kellogg's card as a Cincinnati Red and the Kellogg's finale for Lou Brock and Thurman Munson.
The final three cards that arrived in my collection were:
Larry Bowa. There are a lot of Phillies in this set. Five of them. They were kind of a big deal in '77, '78.
Eddie Murray, of course. It's the Hall of Famer's rookie card. It's the most I paid for any single card in the set.
Finally, demonstrating the "pop-culture tax" as well as any other card, Dave Parker arrived last. A few other collectors have already told me it's the last card they needed to finish this set, too.
And now the trifecta is done.
But that doesn't mean I'm done with collecting Kellogg's sets.
I'll be pursuing the 1975 and 1979 Kellogg's sets next.
The '75 set will take a little bit of doing so the '79 set is there to off-set some of the Kellogg's aggravation. I've already posted my '75 Kellogg's want list and I added the '79 wants today. I need most of the '79 set as several in my collection suffer from that unfortunate yellowing.
The trifecta may be finished but the quadfecta and quinfecta are not!
But before I focus on those projects, I'll do another "joy of a team set" wrap-up of the '78 Kellogg's set.
Favorite element on the back:
Ken Griffey's hobby is drawing cartoons and Lenny Randle's is wine labels, but Carl Reginald Smith's is "working with plastics," and I don't even know what that is.
Most aggravating card: The Gossage. I've had to purchase two copies because the first one cracked to pieces sitting in a binder page. This was before I decided that a top loader was the safer option for Kellogg's cards.
The "it made sense at the time" cards: There are a lot of these in Kellogg's sets every year. Because the 1977 White Sox were a national sensation in '77, we were graced with three players in those old-timey uniforms. Kellogg's mercifully cut off the photo just in time on the chance any of them were wearing shorts.
Weirdest-in-hindsight cards: Paul Dade of the Indians. Steve Ontiveros of the Cubs. Tom Johnson of the Twins.
Most heartbreaking card: I discovered while doing this post that the George Foster card is cracked. I don't remember it being cracked at the time I got it and that's what scares me the most.
Coolest card: Without a doubt, it's Frank Tanana. Yes, even with the cracks. I like to pretend he's really pissed off at the cracks. Either that or I pretend lightning is shooting off him as Tanana unleashes his thunder ball.
Yup, another one of the sets of my youth is complete and I could tell stories for days about the players featured here.
It's time to move on to Kellogg's sets that I don't hold quite as dear but are no less thrilling and fascinating.
They are Kellogg's sets you know.