Once upon a time, baseball cards were not limited to hobby shops and a small section of an aisle in Target.
All kinds of stores cashed in on the baseball card bubble of the 1980s, and manufacturers of other products found baseball cards a useful way to drive sales. And sometimes that meant you got baseball cards with your breakfast cereal.
I’m not sure how many people were happy to find Pat Zachry‘s baseball card in their Cornflakes in 1979, considering that the team narrowly avoided losing 100 games and finished last in the National League East. I don’t know – I don’t exactly remember 1979, but I do recall getting some of the later Kellogg’s cards as “prizes” with my breakfast.
Zachry himself was pretty much a non-entity one year after representing the Mets in the 1978 All-Star Game. An ulnar nerve injury limited him to just seven starts in 1979, though he did win five of them.
Outfielder Lee Mazzilli is the other Mets player included in the 60-card set. You could expect to spend $30 or less for a complete 1979 set, or about 25 cents for either Mets player’s card, should you find someone selling them.
However, if a piece of plastic and cardboard can bring back memories of a simpler time, maybe it’s priceless.
5 thoughts on “Mets baseball card of the week: 1979 Kellogg’s Pat Zachry”
Wow, Pat Zachry. There’s a name I haven’t heard in a long time. I remember his ’78 season. He was 10-4 at the All-Star break, and looked to have a legit chance to win maybe 18 games. Then, in July, he kicked a dugout step in frustration and broke his foot. That was pretty much that for the year.
Once, browsing through the old Total Baseball Encyclopedia (can’t remember which edition, but I think it had Carlton Fisk on the cover), I noticed that although every player who’d ever laced up spikes in baseball history was included, somehow they’d forgotten to include Pat Zachry.
I also remember that Mets announcer Bob Murphy used to make a big deal about the fact that Zachry was from Waco,Texas.
Ah, those were the days, when you could get your fill of artificial ingredients, high fructose corn syrup and preservatives, and increase your baseball card collection at the same time. In addition to the Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, my brother and I were avid collectors of the cards that were printed on the bottom of Hostess’ Cakes Products: Twinkies, Ho Hos, Suzy Q’s, Frosted Cupcakes, etc.
We actually lived not far from a Hostess Bakery outlet, where they’d truck in day-old products from far-flung stores, which seemed to have different print runs for their box bottoms and thus had cards we needed for our collection. We’d be on our knees at the displays checking whether Kingman, Staub, Seaver, Millan, Lolich, Stearns, McGraw, et. al., would be on the bottom of various boxes….
I missed out on the Hostess cards, but I remember the Drakes ones.
If I recall correctly, the Kellogg’s 3-D sets contained about 80 cards annually; the Drakes’ Big Hitters/Big Pitchers sets contained only 24-30; and the Hostess sets of the mid/late 1970s featured over 100 cards (about 4 players per team featured). So, the Hostess set was the hardest to complete, for my money.
The Kellogg’s sets ranged from 54-75 cards, Drake’s was 33 cards except for one year that they did 44. Hostess was 150 cards every year.
If you only had to track down 50 panels to finish the Hostess sets, it should have been harder to complete the Kellogg’s ones… but Kellogg’s let you send in box tops for complete sets so you could cheat. 🙂
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