In 1972, Kellogg’s produced its third consecutive set of 3D baseball cards. But unlike past years, the manufacturer pleased both young and old fans with the creation of two sets. The first was a standard 1972 Kellogg’s issue featuring current players while the second was a smaller set of all-time greats.
1972 Kellogg’s Basics
Kellogg’s primary set in 1972 was a bit different from the company’s past releases. Not only were there fewer cards included, but the actual size was smaller. The set was shrunk dramatically from 75 cards in the 1971 issue to only 54. Further, the size of the card in 1972 was 2 1/8″ x 3 1/4″ – a tad smaller than the 2 1/4″ x 3 1/2″ cards produced the year before.
Player names and positions adorned the card on the fronts along with an image and replica signature. The backs included a small headshot, team and Major League Baseball logos, and biographical and statistical information.
Also differing from the year before was the mode of distribution. In 1971, collectors were forced to complete sets by buying Kellogg’s product as cards were packaged inside boxes of cereal. The 1972 Kellogg’s set was a little easier on fans as they obtained complete sets via a mail-in promotion.
Digging Deeper Into The 1972 Kellogg’s Set
One thing that didn’t change from past years was the presence of numerous errors and variations. Quality control clearly wasn’t a strong suit in the production of this issue. In all, no fewer than 20 errors/variations of mostly statistical inaccuracies and subsequent corrections exist.
Those with stat differences include Tom Seaver, Willie Davis, Willie McCovey, Vida Blue, Jim Palmer, Dave Roberts, Joe Coleman, Bob Gibson, Mike Cuellar, Dave McNally, Bill Freehan, Bud Harrelson, Sam McDowell, Claude Osteen, Cookie Rojas, Dave Johnson, Billy Williams, Sal Bando, Willie Stargell, and Willie Mays. That more than 1/3 of the set contains errors is nothing short of mind-boggling.
Speaking of players, there was an abundance of stars included. In addition to many of the names above, the set also included players such as Pete Rose, Fergie Jenkins, Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter, Juan Marichal, Lou Brock, and Roberto Clemente, among others.
Also noteworthy is that Clemente’s card would be his final appearance in the Kellogg’s sets after his tragic death in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972.
While the first issue featured current players, Kellogg’s second set in 1972 provided a glimpse back into the past. The All-Time Greats issue was a 15-card set that included some of the game’s biggest legends.
The set was a massive collection of talent with subjects including Babe Ruth, Walter Johnson, Rogers Hornsby, John McGraw, Mickey Cochrane, George Sisler, Lefty Grove, Pie Traynor, Honus Wagner, Eddie Collins, Tris Speaker, Cy Young, Lou Gehrig, and Ty Cobb. Ruth was the lone player that was duplicated as he appeared on two cards.
There were also many other differences aside from the players included. For starters, these cards were a bit larger than the 1972 set and the same size as the company’s 1971 release – 2 1/4″ wide x 3 1/2″ tall. They also featured a 3D look and included the player’s name, image, and replica signature on the front. However, the distribution on these was also different as the All-Time Greats cards were included in breakfast roll products.
1972 Kellogg’s Prices
Both sets remain extremely affordable despite being nearly 45 years old. As with Kellogg’s other vintage 3D issues, these cards are susceptible to cracking on the fronts. Collectors seeking them in mid- or high-grade condition can become frustrated easily. However, even in excellent condition without that common flaw, prices on both sets are relatively low with many cards being available for under $5.
Ungraded examples of bigger names can range up to $20 or more. However, for the most part, these are sets that can be pieced together inexpensively. High grade examples are a bit different since they can draw a premium because of the large number of cards suffering from cracking. If raw cards are acceptable, though, collectors will find these very affordable.
Complete 1972 Kellogg’s sets (minus all of the variations) generally sell in the $150 – $200 range and are usually available online. The All-Time Greats set can be had for about $50 – $75.