Today's post is the first in a series of five. We'll be taking a look at some recent pickups--the Cubs from each of the Hostess issues from 1975 - 1979.
As a kid I never collected these. There were two reasons. First, in my mind Topps cards were the only ones. The Hostess cards were wannabees on the bottom of a Twinkee box, not worth my time. Secondly, we never, or rarely had Hostess products. Little Debbies were cheaper, so we had Little Debbies.
They came back on my radar about six months ago when I realized that the cards were produced by Topps. But they were still on the back burner until a couple weeks ago when a seller had lots of Cubs from each of the five years for auction. Among the five lots were 20 of the 30 Hostess Cubs. I figured if I could win all five, and get the shipping combined, then I would be in the Hostess Cubs business.
You can figure that if I've got these posts coming up, then I won the auctions. The best source for the other ten was Beckett Marketplace. I found nine of the ten (I'll have more about the missing card later) and placed an order. A week later, I was the proud owner of 29 Hostess Cubs.
There were six cards from each of the five years. Since the set had the stars of the team, among the 30 cards, there are only 13 different players. That's ok since they are of many of my favorites for the era.
Today I'll start with the six from 1975. The Cubs were a bad team that year, going 75-87 and tied for last place.
Don Kessinger was the last of the '69 Cubs to leave, and 1975 was his final with the team.
Bill Madlock had a great season in 1975, winning the NL batting title with a .354 average. Not bad for a guy Hostess labeled as a pitcher
Jose Cardenal's afro was at its peak. Look at it sticking out of his hat! Jose hit .317 and knocked in 68 runs in 1975
His given name is Rickey Eugene Reuschel, but no one except for the guy who made the card called him Rickey. Big Daddy had the worst season in his young career in 1975, going 11-17. But he looks pretty skinny on this card...I guess he wasn't Big Daddy yet.
Not only was his first name spelled wrong--Bert instead of Burt, but his last name is wrong too - Hooten instead of Hooton. Happy went 0-2 in three starts, getting rocked for a 8.18 ERA before the Cubs shipped him to the Dodgers. He turned things around in LA in a big way, winning 18 and losing only 7 with a low ERA of 2.82
Rick Monday was the Cubs center fielder. He was the Cubs center fielder and leadoff man. His 17 homers was more that you would expect from the top of the order.
Now a little about the Monday card; its a creation of mine, not Hostess. The 1975 Rick Monday card is the one that I'm missing. All my usual spots didn't have it....Ebay, Beckett, Checkoutmycards, Dean's Cards and Sportlots. I have no idea what the real card looks like. But I kinda like mine, with Monday signing for fans.
If anyone has a lead on where I can find this card, let me know. Otherwise, I'll keep checking the usuals every week until one finally pops up.