Since the 1972 Topps Thread seems to be going over well, I thought I'd try my hand with the 1970 Kellogg's 3-D set.
As a child growing up in southern Indiana in the late 1960’s, there were three kinds of cereals that generally interested me: Kellogg’s Sugar Frosted Flakes; Kellogg’s Sugar Smack; and Kellogg’s Sugar Pops. Looking back on my childhood, I’m quite sure had the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder label been around back then, I would have been the poster boy for ADHD. In a rather ironic twist, as healthy eating became more and more mainstream, Kellogg’s later dropped the “Sugar” from their cereals without substantially reducing the sugar content.
My loyalty (and no doubt whining to my mother) all changed in 1970 when Kellogg’s putting “3-D Baseball Cards” in boxes of their Corn Flakes cereal. While I was certainly devoted to sugar, as were most kids back in the day, I was more loyal to baseball cards and I remember eating a lot of Corn Flakes that year. The 1970 Kellogg’s 3-D set looks rather corny (no pun intended) by today’s standards, but they were one of a kind and quite unusual in 1970. Topps had come out with a smaller, but similar “Test Set” in 1968, but this was the first major 3-D issue.
The 1970 Kellogg’s 3-D set consisted of 75 cards, including 21 Hall of Fame players, which were available in boxes of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes as well as in packs of six cards, along with two team logos. The novelty of the 3-D effect was also the downfall of the set, as the cards proved to be quite fragile and susceptible to cracking and peeling.
With the exception of the Atlanta Braves, all Major League teams, including the Montreal Expos and the San Diego Padres which had just finished their inaugural seasons, had at least one player featured. Even the defunct Seattle Pilots, who moved to Milwaukee in the off-season, had one card in the collection. The Minnesota Twins and the Oakland A’s each had six (6) players featured in the set, followed by the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs with five (5) cards apiece. If the Braves were overlooked, they should not have been as they had won the National League West the year prior. That Atlanta team featured Hank Aaron, who had finished second to Willie McCovey in home runs the year before, and Phil Niekro who was fresh off a 23-13 campaign, which was second in the Senior Circuit to Cy Young Award winner Tom Seaver.
Three other notable absences in the set were Carl Yastrzemski of the Boston Red Sox (40 HR, 111 RBI, .255 BA), Chicago’s Ferguson Jenkins (21-15 3.21 ERA 273 K), and Tony Perez of the Reds (37 HR, 122 RBI, 294 BA).
From a monetary standpoint, the Pete Rose card (#2) and the Roberto Clemente card (#27) are generally regarded as the key cards in the collection.
Although, there are no short prints in the set, two commons, Carlos May (#16) and Rich Reinhardt (#18) seem to be somewhat harder to find in mint condition than other commons. There is only one error card in the set. Bob Gibson’s card (#71) features the only corrected error card in the set. The initial card has a blank in 1959 for Innings Pitched. This was subsequently corrected.
Kellogg’s would go on to issue 3-D cards during the next 14 years with the exception of 1973, when Kellogg’s issued paper cards.
My 1970 Kellogg’s 3-D All Star Team
P Tom Seaver
C Johnny Bench
1B Willie McCovey
2B Joe Morgan (although Rod Carew was a better player at the time)
SS Luis Aparicio
3B Brooks Robinson
LF Lou Brock
CF Willie Mays
RF Roberto Clemente