Throughout baseball history confectionery businesses and food chains have used baseball cards to increase sales of their products or visits to their stores. In 1976, the A&P grocery chain used paper-based picture cards of MLB players from the Kansas City Royals and Milwaukee Brewers to increase the number of sales for certain products they were promoting in those two cities.
The 1976 A&P Royals set consisted of 16 over-sized semi-gloss paper (5 7/8″ X 9″) and as the name indicates was distributed by the A&P grocery chain around the Kansas City region. Customers received a set of four cards with the purchase of certain weekly specials.
The cards show 16 players, of which George Brett (a second year card) is the only Hall of Fame player. The unnumbered cards show a portrait of each player without cap. The fronts have a white border with a black facsimile autograph and the MLPA logo on the top-right. The backs are blank.
The 1976 A&P Brewers set had the same number of cards and same design. The player list included two Hall of Fame players, Hank Aaron and a second year Robin Yount. Unlike the Royals set, the Brewers set included a card of County Stadium which reduced the player selection by one (15 players instead of 16).
Both sets have fallen into the background of hobbyists’ minds, of those that even remember these sets at all given their regionalism and 30 year history, and justifiably so. Presently, the Yount, Brett and Aaron cards are the only ones worth any significant amount of money (if you call $20.00 or less significant). The rest are only interesting to individual player, or team collectors.
For a full checklist and image catalog, see below: