Cereal manufacturers used to put all sorts of strange and wonderful (if you were a child) things in their boxes to entice people to buy their products -- baking-powder submarines, fanciful space creatures that rode on a spoon and rings.
Kellogg's is doing it again with something that may have collectors of all ages shaking their Corn Flakes boxes for hidden treasure.
For the first time since 1983, Kellogg's is putting out a baseball set. This year's is one of the smallest by the cereal maker, and it marks the only appearance this season of Sportflics.
The Corn Flakes "Baseball Greats" set consists of 15 cards, including 11 Hall of Famers. The fronts employ the Sportflics "Magic Motion." There are two pictures, and when the card is tilted, the picture shown switches. One is a head shot, and the other is an action photo. These are similar to the 1990 Sportflics, which used two pictures (previous issues used three) and a moving border. The Kellogg's cards also have moving baseballs at the top, and the player name box changes with picture. It has his name and team with the head shot, name and position with the action photo. The words "Corn Flakes" also switch between black and white lettering.
Action photos is a general term, however. Warren Spahn is shown ready to pitch, leg extended, a winner of a card, especially for anyone who saw him pitch. Boog Powell and Ernie Banks have just made contact, Harmon Killebrew is coiled and waiting for the pitch, Don Baylor has held up on his swing, and Steve Carlton is in his windup. The rest are shown in posed action: Gaylord Perry, Bob Gibson and Rollie Fingers are pitching to the photographer in an empty stadium, and Lou Brock, Yogi Berra, Ralph Kiner, Billy Williams, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron are just holding their bats.
The backs repeat the head shots in navy with red broken borders (mimicking the black and white borders on the front) and contain biographical information.
Kellogg's put cards in its cereal from 1970-83. Except for the 1973 cards, these were simulated 3-D, made by placing a player photo between a layer of ribbed plastic and a blurry stadium background photo. All but the 1971 set could be completed through a mail-in offer. The first two sets contained 75 cards each; subsequent sets had 54 (1972-74), 57 (1975-78), 60 (1979-80, 1983), 64 (1982) and 66 (1981) cards. In 1972, Kellogg's issued a second set, 15 "All-Time Baseball Greats" and inserted it in packages of breakfast rolls. This set is similar to a 1970 Rold Gold Pretzel issue.
Collectors can assemble the set by eating lots of Corn Flakes, since the cards are packed one per box, or they can get a complete set and display rack for $4.95 and two proofs of purchase. Details are on specially marked packages of the official cereal of Major League Baseball.* Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson is depicted on one of the latest offering from Chicagoland Processing Corporation. The company has produced 15,000 silver coins with a head shot of Robinson and the inscription "No. 5" on one side and his 1983 Hall of Fame induction date on the other side. The coin sells for $29.95 plus $3 postage and handling and is available by calling (800) 765-0123.
Today, baseball card show, Security Holiday Inn, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 922-8366.
Today, baseball card show, Holiday Inn Columbia, Rtes. 1 and 175, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 740-3368.
Saturday, baseball card show, Comfort Inn Airport, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 922-8366.
June 2, baseball card show, Pikesville Hilton, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 243-1705 or 529-1624.
June 2, baseball card show, Towson Quality Inn, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
June 7-8, baseball card show, Holiday Inn Timonium, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. (June 7), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (June 8), 254-2729.
June 8, baseball card show, Towson Sheraton, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 922-8366.
June 15, baseball card show, Comfort Inn-Airport, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 922-8366.