Spotlight on Oddballs: 1995 Jimmy Dean

1995 Jimmy Dean All Time Greats

1995 Jimmy Dean All Time Greats

The 1995 Jimmy Dean set is the 4th year the sausage company produced a set of baseball cards (1991-1995 excluding the 1994 strike year). It would also be its last. The 1995 set was its smallest of its regular sets (1991 had 25 cards, 1992 had 18 cards and 1993 had 28 cards). It was also the first time they produced a set involving retired players as well as having autograph versions of some of those cards (3 of the 6 cards).

The card fronts were border-less with a white framing line just on the inside of the four edges. The top-right (or left) identified the set (a graphic design stating “1995 All Time Greats Collector’s Set” was printed on each card). The bottom left (or right) featured the Jimmy Dean logo with the name of the player below).

The backs of the cards had the same two graphics as the front, both at the top, with the player’s accomplishments and personal information in list form as well as a short baseball biography and career stat-line below. The backs also have a framing line but this time it was in gold.

The cards were not sanctioned by Major League Baseball so all MLB logos were airbrushed away.

Included in specially marked packages of sausages were one plastic-wrapped card from the set as well as an autograph offer form. With $7.00 and two proofs of purchase you could choose one of the three autographed cards (Al Kaline, Billy Williams, or Catfish Hunter).

The autographed cards were the regular cards with the player signature on the front in blue ink. Along with the card itself you also received a Certificate of Authenticity card.

The 1995 Jimmy Dean set was not very popular with collectors and Jimmy Dean stopped producing cards after this set was issued. The set was too small to pose a challenge for collectors. It featured retired players rather than the star players of the time. Even the signature cards, the best part about the set, were mostly ignored. They still sell at the lower range of signature card prices so if you are a fan of any of the three players and are on a limited budget these cards may interest you.

Probably the most enjoyable way to collect this set would be to include it as part of a Jimmy Dean master collection where you would search out all the Jimmy Dean cards from 1991 onward. Where this set has only six cards, nine with the auto cards, the complete Jimmy Dean Collection is 104 cards, a much more challenging pursuit. Here are the sets you would need:

  1. 1991 Jimmy Dean – 25 cards
  2. 1992 Jimmy Dean – 18 cards
  3. 1992 Jimmy Dean Living Legends – 6 cards
  4. 1992 Jimmy Dean Rookie Stars – 9 cards
  5. 1993 Jimmy Dean – 28 cards
  6. 1993 Jimmy Dean Rookies – 9 cards
  7. 1995 Jimmy Dean All Time Greats  – 6 cards (+3 Auto’s)

1995 Jimmy Dean All Time Greats Images:


Spotlight on Oddballs: 1950 V362 Big League Stars

1950 Big League Stars #45 - Tom Lasorda

1950 Big League Stars #45 – Tom Lasorda

Goudey, through its Canadian subsidiary World Wide Gum Co, of Granby, Quebec, released this set of minor league cards in 1950. The 48 card set measures 3 1/4″ X 2 5/8 and feature players from the International League. Fronts show an image of the player in Blue ink with biographical notes both in French and English. The bottom shows the name of the set and number of the card and the top prints the player name and team affiliation. The backs are blank.

There are two cards of note in the set, Chuck Connors, the actor, NBA and MLB player, and a very early card of Tommy Lasorda. Lasorda is the only Hall of Fame player in the set. You can see the full set below:


Spotlight on Oddballs: 1976 A&P Brewers & Royals Sets

1976 A & P Royals #NNO2 - George Brett

1976 A & P Royals #NNO2 – George Brett

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.

1976 A & P Brewers NNO15 - Robin Yount

1976 A & P Brewers NNO15 – Robin Yount

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:

Too Many Big Macs: A Return to 1992 and the Donruss/McDonalds Cards

1992 McDonalds Donruss Display

1992 McDonalds Donruss Display

Back when I was a younger man and had a thirst for all things baseball, McDonalds partnered with Donruss to put out a set of cards for the Canadian market which would increase the sale of its sandwiches. The ’90s were a time when sports cards dominated the hobby market and baseball became a rival to hockey in Canadian collector’s minds. With the Blue Jays winning the World Series sales of baseball cards could be purchased at corner stores, gas stations, and hobby stores. Dealers carried commons to fill your sets and displayed insert and rookie cards along side their hockey counterparts. Yes it was a golden time for Canadian boys interested more in baseball than ice skates and hockey sticks.The honeymoon lasted a good four or five years before the Canadian market returned to its usual ways of leaving all sports cards except hockey by the wayside.

The 1992 Donruss McDonald’s set itself consisted of 33 cards which were identified as twenty-six MVP cards (one from each MLB team who they considered to be the team MVP), six Blue Jays Gold subset cards, and one unnumbered checklist card. These cards included stars and semi-stars and the following Hall of Famers: Cal Ripken Jr., Frank Thomas, George Brett, Nolan Ryan, Ryan Sandberg, Robin Yount, Barry Larkin, Kirby Puckett, Roberto Alomar, Ken Griffey Jr., and Ozzie Smith.

The 26 MVP cards were designed after Donruss’ regular issue of 1992 with an added MVP logo and the McDonald’s Golden Arches trademark shown on both sides of the cards. The six Blue Jays Gold cards show front full-bleed photos with gold foil stamping in a rectangular outline just inside the card edges. The backs of all 32 cards show player biographical information and recent yearly statistics and career statistics.

The cards came in a gold foil wrapper inside of which were four cards, three from the MVP set (included in the mix was also the Checklist card) and one Blue Jays Gold card. Packs could be aquired for thirty-nine cents (Canadian) with the purchase of a sandwich or breakfast entree.

Lastly, randomly inserted into packs was a redemption card which could be sent in to receive one of 1000 serial-numbered Roberto Alomar autograph cards.

1992 Donruss McDonald's MVP's Alomar Signature Card

1992 Donruss McDonald’s MVP’s Alomar Signature Card

The Alomar signature card came in a plastic holder and a letter (see the post: The Most Elusive Roberto Alomar Signature for more details).

Assembling this set was one of the highlights of my early ’90s collecting although once the promotion was finished I had a dislike for Big Macs and McChicken sandwiches. I frequented the local restaurant daily replacing my regular lunches with a McDonalds sandwich and a pack of baseball cards. I never found any redemption cards for the Alomar signature but I did accomplish both completing the regular set and gaining ten pounds.



The Most Elusive Roberto Alomar Signature

1992 Donruss McDonald's MVP's Alomar Signature Card

1992 Donruss McDonald’s MVP’s Alomar Signature Card

1992 Donruss McDonald's MVP's Alomar Signature Congrat. Letter

1992 Donruss McDonald’s MVP’s Alomar Signature Congrat. Letter

If you are an autograph collector, especially for autographs on baseball cards, and you also like Hall of Famers, then the 1992 Donruss/McDonald’s Roberto Alomar signature card is something you may want to pursue. Not only is it Alomar’s first signature card, it is also one of the rarest. Back in 1992, Donruss and McDonalds teamed up to distribute four card packs of “MVP” cards. This set consisted of 26 regular cards (one player from each MLB team), a checklist card, and 6 “Blue Jays Gold” insert cards.

Randomly inserted into these 4-card packs was one of 1000 redemption cards good for an Alomar signature card. Only 1000 of these signed cards exist. They are very rare. In the last 5 years on ebay I have only seen the card appear three times. the back of the card has a hand written number beside a printed 1000, so the cards are serial-numbered.

1992 Donruss McDonald's MVP's Alomar Signature Card Encased

1992 Donruss McDonald’s MVP’s Alomar Signature Card Encased

It is hard to gauge a proper price for the card as I said due to it rarely showing up. But also because it is a Canadian card. Like O-Pee-Chee cards, many American buyers avoid cards printed outside the USA because of their thinking that they are all odd-ball cards.The first time I saw the card (2011) it sold for $100.00. The second time I saw it (2013), it listed at $300.00 but went unsold. The third time I saw it (presently), it has a list price of $499.95. Myself, I would think it’s worth around $100.00-$150.00. What would you pay for it?