The 1962 JELL-O Baseball Card Set: Wobbles, Gobbles and Bobbles

In the fall of 1961, General Foods embarked on the planning and production of a baseball and football trading card promotion unprecedented in the food industry.  Beginning with an advertising roll-out campaign in March of 1962, the United States and Canadian Post cereal product lines depicted packages featuring major league baseball and football players.

The 200 baseball players appearing in both the U.S. and Canadian Post cereal issues are the same, with the neighbors to the north being treated to modified text accommodating English and French language narrative and statistic titles.  The 200 football players appearing in each country are completely different, representing the U.S. National Football League (NFL) and Canadian Football League (CFL), respectively.

Mickey Mantle 1962 Jello Advanced collectors pursuing the 1962 Post cereal baseball and football trading cards have long benefited from having access to comprehensive player-to-product (PTP) lists.  The PTP lists are invaluable tools in assessing scarcities and variations, and form the foundation of the four books I have written pertaining to the 1961-63 U.S. and 1962 Canadian baseball card promotions.  The PTP lists for the 1962 NFL and CFL sets have also been shared through collector networks, and periodically appeared in hobby publications.

The foregoing serves as a preface to the focus of this article on the 1962 JELL-O baseball card promotion.  A number of years ago, sports collecting hobbyists were fortunate to receive the 1963 JELL-O baseball card PTP list as part of an excellent article written by Stewart Jones.  Predictably, people contacting me about my Post cereal baseball card monographs, ask if I have written similar books on the 1962 and 1963 JELL-O baseball card sets.  The simple response has been no, while referencing the Jones article entitled “JELL-O”:  A Shaky Investment” as the only known informed analysis of 1963 JELL-O card distribution and scarcity.

1962 Jello baseball cards unopened boxWhich brings us to the 1962 JELL-O baseball card promotion.  Unlike the U.S. 1961-63 baseball sets, I have never been able to locate source material or contact a person who actually worked on the JELL-O promotions.  It certainly hasn’t been for a lack of trying.  Over the past 30 years, I have sent questionnaires, letters, e-mails, and initiated phone calls to advertising agencies, corporate headquarters, museums, and collector clubs — without success.  As collectors may surmise, the nature of responses have run the gamut from incredulous laughter to total silence.

The Philip Morris-Kraft consumer relations and patent/copyright attorneys were amazed to think anyone in their right mind would believe archives on the promotions would exist, but were kind enough to thank me for my interest and grant written permission to display card representations without copyright constraints.  The JELL-O museum curator in Leroy, New York and major U.S.-based JELL-O Collector’s Club provided a sympathetic ear but did not have source material or contacts directly related to the baseball card campaigns.  I never received a response from the long-time advertising agency, Young & Rubicam, and any residual materials from the campaigns that may have resided in White Plains, New York or the Leroy plant (which, along with 3 other locations were closed in 1964) have long been lost.  The leads pursued through my Post Cereal Art Department and printer contacts in Battle Creek, Michigan were to no avail, as those kind gentlemen had no recollection of ever sharing copy art with either their Canadian counterparts or JELL-O colleagues.

Roger Maris box Jello PuddingSo, you may be thinking, “Why am I wasting my time reading this article?”  The short answer is that this article provides information on the 1962 JELL-O baseball card set seldom distributed or never publicly released.  If you are intrigued, read on.

The following information has been compiled based on archived material appearing in vintage sports collector publications, personal observations, private collections, and posted internet images.  The purpose of the listing is to share data with advanced JELL-O collectors and solicit confirmed additions from hobbyists.  The ultimate objective is to assemble a complete 1962 JELL-O player-to product (PTP) list, which will enable structured analysis of relative card scarcity and shed light on the General Foods marketing plan.  Comments related to this list may be referred to Ken Marks at [email protected] or Dan Mabey at [email protected] This compilation of confirmed 1962 JELL-O Gelatin and Pudding boxes housing baseball trading cards will be updated as new information is received.  PTP updates will be distributed to hobbyists contributing to this project.

Known PTP allocations are:

1          Skowron        Blackberry, Raspberry

3          C. Boyer         Chocolate Pudding

5          Mantle            Apple

6          Maris              Apple, Blackberry, Chocolate Pudding, Coconut Cream

7          Berra              Blackberry, Strawberry, Vanilla Pudding

10        Terry             Lime

11        Blanchard      Blackberry, Lime

12        Arroyo          Blackberry

14        Cash               Blackberry, Butterscotch

17        Fernandez     Raspberry

19        Aspromonte   Strawberry

20        Kaline             Strawberry

22        Lary                 Orange Pineapple, Vanilla Pudding

23        Mossi              Lime

24        Regan              Lime

Jello Ad26        Bunning          Black Raspberry

27        Gentile            Blackberry, Coconut Cream, Lemon Pudding

28        Breeding         Raspberry

30        Hansen           Chocolate Pudding

32        Williams          Strawberry

33        Triandos         Raspberry

34        Pappas             Chocolate Pudding

36        Estrada           Lime

37        Power              Raspberry, Lemon Gelatin

38        Temple           Raspberry

40        Francona        Blackberry, Chocolate Pudding

42        Romano          Black Cherry, Orange-Pineapple

43        Perry               Strawberry

44        Held                Vanilla Pudding

45        Essegian         Lemon Pudding

46        Sievers           Raspberry

47        Fox                  Blackberry

49        Aparicio         Orange Pineapple

50        Landis             Black Raspberry

51        Minoso            Blackberry, Vanilla Pudding

52        Carey              Strawberry

53        Lollar              Lemon Pudding

54        Pierce              Blackberry

55        Wynn               Lime

57        Runnels          Vanilla Pudding

61        Yastrzemski    Strawberry

62        Jensen             Apple

65        Long                Raspberry

66        Cottier             Raspberry

73        Donovan         Lemon Pudding

74        Bilko               Raspberry

75        Bridges           Raspberry

76        Yost                 Raspberry

77        Wagner           Strawberry

81        Duren             Lemon Gelatin

83        Allison             Butterscotch, Raspberry

84        Martin             Raspberry

85        Killebrew         Raspberry, Lemon Pudding

86        Versalles         Strawberry

87        Green, L.         Strawberry

91        Pascual           Black Cherry, Strawberry

93        Lumpe            Raspberry

99        Sullivan         Lemon [Gelatin or Pudding?]

100     Ditmar           Lemon [Gelatin or Pudding?]

101     Hodges           Raspberry

102     Neal                 Raspberry

103     Spencer          Raspberry

105     Davis, T.         Strawberry

109     Koufax            Lemon [Gelatin or Pudding?]

110     Drysdale         Lime

111     Sherry             Lime

114     Snider             Apple

119     Kasko              Strawberry

120     Bell                  Strawberry

121     Pinson             Blackberry

122     Robinson, F.   Blackberry, Lemon Pudding

124     Jay                  Black Cherry

125     Brosnan          Lime

126     O’Toole          Blackberry, Coconut Cream

129     K. Hunt           Orange (Large), Vanilla Pudding

135     Kuenn             Strawberry

136     Cepeda           Lemon Pudding

139     McCormick     Lemon Gelatin

140     Marichal         Lime

141     Sanford           Lime

142     Mays               Black Cherry

143     Miller              Blackberry

145     Adcock          Black Cherry

148     McMillan      Strawberry

149     Aaron              Black Cherry, Coconut Cream

154     Buhl                Lime,  Vanilla Pudding

156     Maye               Black Raspberry

157     Spangler         Black Raspberry

161     Warwick          Strawberry

162     Sawatski         Strawberry

168     Grammas       Black Raspberry

Clemente Jello170     Mazeroski       Blackberry, Lemon Gelatin

172     Groat              Blackberry, Orange Pineapple

173     Clemente        Strawberry

174     Skinner           Orange

177     Face                Lime

178     Friend             Black Cherry

180     Haddix           Black Raspberry

184     Santo              Orange-Pineapple

185     Rodgers          Strawberry

186     Ashburn        Chocolate Pudding

188     Banks             Orange Pineapple, Vanilla Pudding

189     Taylor, S.       Lime

190     Elston             Lemon Pudding, Lime

193     Taylor, T.         Lemon Pudding

196     Smith, B.G.     Strawberry

200     Buzhardt        Lime

For collectors familiar with my monographs on the Post cereal baseball trading card promotions, you will note that it would be futile to begin any 1962 JELL-O scarcity analysis at this point.  As a departure point, there is no available account of the flavors or package sizes selected for the test promotion.  To demonstrate the significance of this absence of data, one only need to glance at “The Joys of JELL-O” recipe book published in 1962 by General Foods.

A page in the book listing JELL-O flavors available in preparing light dessert creations actually excludes some varieties (which actually house baseball cards), and totally ignores all pudding and pie filling packages.  The book acknowledges strawberry, raspberry, lemon, lime, black cherry, and orange-pineapple; all of which are known to have participated in the 1962 promotion.  The list also includes cherry, orange, black raspberry, mixed fruit, strawberry banana, tropical fruit, and orange-banana.  Finally, the book advertisement also introduces “for the first time” flavors of celery, mixed vegetable, seasoned tomato, and Italian salad.  However, the cited page does not mention apple or blackberry flavors, which we definitively know housed cards of Mantle and Fox (among others), respectively.

It is also confirmed that 1962 JELL-O pudding flavors of chocolate, coconut cream, lemon, and vanilla participated in the promotion, but there may be others.  Accordingly, advanced JELL-O collectors are implored to submit only verified PTP additions to the list, and not resort to deductive reasoning or speculation based on color/tint inflections.

In the interest of sharing information that may expand knowledge or enhance enjoyment of the 1962 JELL-O baseball card set, the following paragraphs are offered for the reader’s consideration.  I wrote the article below in November 1995, but considered it a “fluff” piece that did not warrant distribution.  The original narrative and graphics are unaltered, and simply offered for the JELL-O collector’s amusement.

JELL-O 1962 (NOV 1995)-page-001

I look forward to receiving collector input on this project, as we strive to better understand the General Foods marketing strategy and idiosyncrasies of one of the most enigmatic food issues produced.  Please feel free to drop me a line at e-mail: [email protected] Until then, happy collecting!