You guys probably know Jay, from the blog Card Hemorrhage. A couple of weeks ago I received an email from him informing me that he was getting out.
He said the hobby hadn't stuck for him and he was looking for advice on the best way to sell off his collection. He sent along a list of his inventory, and I did my best to give him a plan of attack.
But before he started selling his cards to complete strangers, I swung a deal for one item on his list. I'm now the owner of a complete, and pristine, 1981 Kellogg's 3-D set.
This set gives me a run of complete Kellogg's sets from 1976 through 1982 and it's the second one I've "completed" this year (I don't know if buying a whole set in one shot can technically be considered "completing"). It's fired me up enough that I've started looking around again -- a little bit -- at pre-1976 Kellogg's cards. But I don't expect to do a lot there for quite awhile.
The '81 Kellogg's set has always been the black sheep of Kellogg's sets for me. My brother and I, who had been religiously tracking Kellogg's cards on the back of Frosted Flakes and Raisin Bran since 1977, called it quits in 1981. We were too old, and the cards weren't included in boxes of cereal anymore (they were only available as complete sets through the mail).
I don't even think I saw what the 1981 set looked like for years, and when I did ... well, that's a lot of yellow.
A decade before Fleer thrust a plague upon collectors with its 1991 set, '81 Kellogg's was The Yellow Set. It screamed the color as well because this set was also the largest Kellogg's had created, both in terms of width -- the cards were 2 1/2-by-3 1/2 now, matching the size of a regulation Topps card -- and set size, at a record 66 cards.
Since my return to the hobby, I've reacquainted myself with the Kellogg's sets I missed and had a smattering of '81 cards, all the Dodgers and some random others. But the inspiration to get more was low, because part of the appeal of Kellogg's cards is they're neatly narrow.
Now I have them all and am coming to terms with both the width and the yellow.
Buying the set all at once is a relief because it means I don't have to search for stars at inflated prices like I've had to do with other Kellogg's sets. I can't imagine seeking each of these out and having to pay a couple dollars or more apiece. Nothing from the '80s should cost that.
Every time I acquire cards or a set from that key 1974-84 period, I marvel at the new images of players I followed avidly at the time. All of the above were favorites of mine at one time or another.
One of my favorite parts of finishing off a Kellogg's set is going through it and finding the players who made their Kellogg's debuts. All of the above were appearing in a Kellogg's set for the first time in 1981.
A few made their debuts due to newsworthy seasons in 1980, particularly Joe Charboneau, Tug McGraw, Willie Wilson, Larry Gura, Steve Stone and Ben Oglivie. It's surprising to see that Robin Yount and Dave Concepcion didn't appear in a Kellogg's set until 1981.
Out of the players in the previous photo, these are the players whose only Kellogg's appearance was in the 1981 set. I was tempted to say Alan Trammell got slighted but that's probably because Kellogg's stopped issuing sets before we got to 1984.
Several days after Jay contacted me, he posted on his own blog, discussing his hobby departure. I was happy to read that he's still holding onto some key cards he collected over the last couple of years.
I hate to see another card blog disappear but at least I have a set here now to remind me of the Card Hemorrhage days.