It was a one and done set tucked into the holy trinity of food issue sets from the 1960s and 70s. While Kellogg’s and Hostess enjoyed multi-year runs in the latter decade and Post Cereal’s baseball sets are an icon to those who love the early 60s, the Post football set came and went over the course of several weeks in the autumn of 1962.
Today, though, the set is revered by most collectors of vintage football cards and one that has a story to tell.
Consider it told.
Long-time collector Ken Marks, the hobby’s foremost authority on the ’62 Post set, has put his knowledge—and some great pieces of his collection—into a new, 113-page paperback book.
Goal Posts, The 1962 Post Cereal Football Card Promotion is a first-of-its-kind handbook for the set– sort of a pigskin companion to the remarkable spiral-bound tomes written by Post baseball card guru Dan Mabey several years ago.
Even if you consider yourself an advanced collector of football cards, you’ll probably learn a lot from Goal Posts. It’s the type of book that only years of research could produce.
Launched as part of a wider promotion by General Foods that also included the team photos available through TANG, Marks says the company spent over $3 million on ad campaigns alone including nine TV commercials with Green Bay Packers star Paul Hornung, full-page ads in print media and even ads on the back cover of a couple of comic books.
Stars, Rookies, SPs and More
Like its baseball brothers that were produced from 1961-63, the Post Football set had a checklist of 200 cards including early issues of Fran Tarkenton, Mike Ditka and Bob Lilly and stars of the day like Hornung, Jim Brown, Johnny Unitas, Bart Starr and others. The Post sets are also notorious for “common” players who are a major challenge to locate because they appeared only on the backs of less popular cereals. In the book, Marks breaks down exactly how all 200 cards were distributed and why Dave Baker should be considered the toughest card in the set.
‘Goal Posts’ Finally Reaches the End Zone
Marks actually wrote the book nearly 20 years ago, storing the information on documents and spreadsheets, adding to it when he had fresh bits and pieces or new photographs. He shared it with other avid Post Cereal collectors, considering it simply his own contribution to the hobby he’s loved for so long. Mabey and fellow collectors Dave Worley and Fred McKie kept pushing for him to put the book into publication so more collectors could discover and utilize the information.
“But given so-so computer skills and no knowledge of the publication business, I just never got it done,” he told Sports Collectors Daily.
“Maybe a year and a half ago, Dave Worley started raising the subject again and said he would help produce. And really he took the ball and ran with it with both the vision and abilities to get it produced. While the finished product is my writing and contains hundreds of pictures of my collection, the book would have never been produced without his big-time efforts.”
While the book would have been a worthwhile read even in the last millennium, the fact that it’s just now hitting the market means a publication that’s a little richer in visual aids.
“One good thing about the 20 year delay was that I was able to significantly increase my Post Cereal Football collection over that time with many more panels, boxes, and advertising material being acquired, and that are displayed in the book. Perhaps 50 percent of the book is narrative and 50% of the book is colored pictures.”
Readers will see dozens of uncut panels, advertising materials, a display of boxes showing the huge variety of players used on the front of the Post boxes in 1962, a full box that was never folded for use, complete, unopened boxes (don’t eat the cereal) —even the comic books where the ads appeared.
Avid collectors of the set and all of its components will see a listing and description of each card in a “Master Set” (one card from all the different back panels – over 500 different cards).
Goal Posts is priced at $30 and available here.