Nostalgic Wax: The Hostess Collection

I have a confession. I love oddball baseball cards.

I love the store chain-issued cards - the Kmarts, the cards from Ames and Hills. I love the 3Ds from Kellogg's. I even like the Post cereal cards - flimsy, yes, but nice.

But I suppose few cards - save the 1978 Topps - can top my love for the small assortment of baseball cards I personally cut from the bottom of boxes of Hostess Twinkies and King Dons in the late '70s. Yes, "King Dons". Yes, I'm snickering. No, I'm not 12. [Editor's Note: For more on King Dons, click here and scroll down.]

You see, these were the baseball cards that first graced my hands - the reason why Mom and Dad picked me up a handful of packs of '78 Topps for me a year later.

The Fidrych and Bell here - and a few others in my collection of 50 or so - were the true firsts for me.

I have about 50 Hostess cards - in a range of conditions. While I took excellent care of all of my baseball cards as a kid, the Hostess cards had to survive not just my youthful, over-sugared, hands but scissors too. Mixed results, you might notice.

It's also likely Mr. Bench and Mr. Rice (pictured below) partook regularly in the various statistically driven baseball games I came up with to amuse myself. They apparently were extra well loved.
Dave Kingman = Goofy
We weren't a huge snack family but clearly I successfully convinced my mom to pick some of these up from time to time. I was always much more thrilled to get to the cards than to the snack. At least that's how I remember it now. I also recall being bummed when mom would come home from the grocery with Hostess dupes - of which I still have a few.

I always liked the backs of these cards too. Plain, simple and easy to read - and full names that sometimes amused - "Bertram Ray Burris"? Sometimes the names barely fit. To wit:
So there you have it - a peak at some of the first cards I ever owned.

I adored these cards then and hold them even more dear today - knowing they kick-started what has been a fantastic hobby.

I'd love to hear if anyone else feels this particular way about a certain year, brand or even just a single card.


  1. I collected 1990s bball cards as a kid and this one is the first AWESOME card I ever owned. It (along with being able to trade with two or three of my friends) kept me buying wax.


  2. I never got anything like this when I was a kid. No snackcakes in my house. If they still put cards in cereal and snackcakes I would probably force my kids to eat them.

    Any chance sone of your dupes are Red Sox?

  3. I collected these too... the sad thing is... I never put it together that these too were my first cards. I've always given credit to a stack of 79 Topps cards my neighbor gave me... but in reality it was these same box bottoms you've blogged about.

    I have a couple laying around in boxes at my house... but I don't think any are from my childhood. If I didn't have a million things already on my plate, I'd hunt some of these cards down.

    Thanks for sharing your awesome collection!


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