30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Lunch Time Treats and Cool Cardboard Collectibles from the 70's

Memories are precious.  Sadly... mine just isn't what it used to be.  The good news is that certain ones stand out like a painting in my mind.

The late 70's were the primary years of elementary school for me... and one of the most vibrant memories is getting excited about hanging out with my friends at lunch.  We'd sit down either in the cafeteria or out on the blacktop, open our lunches, and check out what our moms packed.

Every now and then, I'd talk my mom into buying me a box of Zingers or Ding Dongs and she'd toss one into my Star Wars lunch pail.  The details on this part of the story are a little fuzzy... but I feel like it happened a few times a month.

Another fuzzy memory are the trading cards found on Hostess boxes from 1975 to 1979.  I'm pretty sure I remember seeing them when I was a kid.  But  since I didn't really start collecting baseball cards until 1981... if I did cut them out... I didn't bother saving any from my childhood.

These days... they're highly treasured oddballs in my collection.

And in honor of today being National Brown-Bag-It Day, I figured I'd get off my butt and write a post about my five favorite Hostess cards in my collection.  However before I share my list... here's a quick year by year look at the Hostess baseball card designs of the 70's:

1975 Hostess #43

With the exception of the 1976 design, the other four years sort of blend together in my mind.  White borders with red and blue text.

1976 Hostess #19

The 1976 design is hands down my favorite, because the red, white, and blue stripes stand out and separate themselves from any of the other designs.

1977 Hostess #2

The 1977 design uses a non-rectangular photograph which makes it a little more distinguishable from the other designs.

1978 Hostess #120

While the 1978 and 1979 designs are very similar with larger red text for the names, smaller blue text for the teams, and smaller black text for the positions.

1979 Hostess #13

In 1979, Hostess decided to try something new and put the information at the top.  As for the backs, there are slight differences between each of the five releases... but looks pretty much the same to me.

Honestly before writing this post, 1976 was the only design I would have been able to point out in a lineup.  I'm pretty sure that I'll be able to recognize 1977 Hostess cards from this point moving forward.

Okay... let's move along to my five favorite 70's Hostess collectibles from my collection...

#51975 Hostess Strip #61, 62, & 63

I own five or six different strips from this set... but this one stands out the most because it features three solid and popular players from the era.  Cey looks fantastic with the posed swingPorter is wearing the spectacles I associate him with.  And Carlton is rocking the killer 'stache.  

#41975 Hostess #80

Next up is a graded rookie card of a hall of famer and by now you probably know I have a deep appreciation for rookie cards of hall of famers... and don't have any problems with slabbed cards.

#31977 Hostess #46

Fidrych might not be a hall of famer, but I'd take this graded card over the YountThe Bird is just one of those players that brings a smile to my face whenever I hear his name or stories about him.

#21979 Hostess #102

I've never associated Ozzie with the Padres.  He'll always be a St. Louis Cardinal to me... but that's why I enjoy seeing cards featuring him wearing the Brown & Gold.  The fact that this is another hall of fame rookie card puts this one at the #2 spot.

Honorary MentionJose Altuve Custom

I couldn't put this on my official list, because it's not an official Hostess card from the 70's... but it's really cool and I had to show off Gavin's awesome custom.

Okay.  Sitting at the top of my list...

#11976 Hostess Strip #145, 146, & 147

As I mentioned earlier, the 1976 design is hands down my favorite Hostess design... but my favorite thing about this panel is the Reggie in the middle:

Just like the Cey above... there's just something I love about the posed swing.  Toss in the cool shades, mustache, and the Oakland Coliseum in the background... and this card is truly a work of art.

I can't imagine another Hostess card out there capable of knocking Mr. October from his throne.  But if you have any suggestions... leave them down below in the comment section and I'll check them out.

Happy National Brown-Bag-It Day and sayonara!


  1. '76 is far and away the best Hostess design, and one of the best oddball sets ever. That Reggie would be high on my list too, darn near a perfect baseball card!

  2. Well, you KNOW I like '70s Hostess cards. (P.S.: I think you should crack those out of their prisons, Hostess looks really weird in graded cases).

  3. Carlton and Bowa both have mustaches. Weird.

    Of course, Maddox was a long-time Phil, so you have three Phillies here.

    Yeager's responsible for the catcher's throat protector, but it was inspired by an injury he suffered while in the on deck circle.

  4. 1976 is most definitely the best set that Hostess offered up. Still, yet I love and want them all. In fact, I have a special Hostess post coming in the next week or so. I'm only working on the singles for now. Once those are completed, then maybe the panels. Nice Reg! and Yount! and Ozzie!

  5. Love Hostess cards. Don't have many of them. Ah slowly grabbing cheap Giants and trying to keep an eye out for photos at Candlestick. Definitely agreed oni 1976 being the best design.

  6. Not familiar with Zingers. That a regional thing?

  7. nick - if it weren't for those 70's lenticular kellogg's cards... i feel like 70's hostess cards would receive a lot more love from collectors. that being said... there are plenty of us scooping them up whenever we can get our hands on them

    night owl - i totally see your point. i think it has to do with the fact that hostess are hand cut cards. but if i ever get to the point where i want to crack them out of their plastic prisons... i'll probably just sell them and buy raw copies for a fraction of the price.

    elliptical man - didn't know that about yeager. thanks for the trivia. i actually picked up a cool card of him on comc a few months ago. when i finally have them ship it to me, i'll have to remember that tidbit.

    johnnys trading spot - i'd love to one day own complete panel sets... but by the time i started searching for them on ebay they were a bit too expensive for my budget. looking forward to reading your post

    jeff b - you're making porter jealous

    nick vossbrink - that's the great thing about 70's baseball cards... there are so many of them that feature candlestick park (or the oakland coliseum) in the background. we lucked out.

    anonymous - not sure if they're regional or not... but they are shaped like twinkies and have cream in the middle. the chocolate ones have a thick chocolate frosting on them, but my favorites were the raspberry ones with coconut sprinkled on them. they still make them today.

    the lost collector - good to know they were out on the east coast as well.

  8. Remember getting cupcakes, Twinkies, etc, and hoping their was a Bill Freehan, any Tigers, on the back of the box.

    Good Job. 👌

  9. This post feels like kindergarten to me. Not in a 'bad writing' way, but in a 'takes me back' way. Fun stuff.

  10. I'm impressed that those graded cards ranked so high for being hand cut - I wish my hands were that steady and precise!

  11. Whenever I see Reggie Jackson's full name, I hear Howard Cosell reading it out loud. Reg-i-nald Mar-tee-nez Jack-son.

    I've only got a few Hostess cards in my collection, but this post is making me want to look through some checklists and add more. Good stuff, Fuji.

  12. What a great post. I'm not even sure I've seen a '78 Hostess before - I certainly don't have any. You've done a fine job pulling these together.

  13. I am a big fan of the Hostess cards, but haven’t really picked up any of the ones from the 70s. Might have to track down some of the rookie cards you showcased.

  14. I toyed with the idea of collecting all the Hostess sets for a while, but now I think I'm just doing a catch-all Vintage Frankenset with a Hostess sampling within it.

    Thanks for the honorary mention with the custom! First, I did a group of 1975 customs, then the next year did a few 1976 customs, and had sorta planned to keep going (ie, doing a group of 1977 customs the next year and so on) but that plan sorta petered out. But maybe someday I'll revisit that idea with more Hostess customs.

  15. john sharp - as much as i try to avoid eating hostess snacks, i'd have a hard time passing them up right now if they started printing cards on their boxes again

    the diamond king - thanks. i feel the same way. i was in kindergarten the year that fidrych was printed on a box

    matt - i'm guessing hand cut and paper cutter are synonymous to psa.

    gregory - based on some of these card numbers, their checklists are huge... so you're bound to find someone for your collection

    jay - thanks jay. based on my vintage binder, that langford is the only 1978 hostess card i own.

    daniel wilson - dennis eckersley also has a rookie card in the 1976 hostess set. i still need to add that to my collection

    defgav - i'm sure i'm not alone when i say that i'd love to see more hostess customs.

  16. These are great cards. I have done a lot of work on the Kellogg's sets, but haven't really done much with the Hostess cards. Such an underrated product from the 1970s and 1980s. Simple design, good clean look.

    Zingers are excellent. My personal favorite Hostess snack.

    1. the snorting bull - i don't fault you for focusing on the kellogg's sets. they are my favorite oddball issues of all-time. but i agree... hostess are underrated or overshadowed by them. as for the zingers, which ones are your favorite? chocolate, vanilla, or raspberry?

    2. I am going chocolate or vanilla. It's a toss-up. Depends on my mood.