Post and Jello Sets from the 1960's
by Peter Mead
This is a set of nine cards (five baseball, two baseketball, two football). The cards are approximately 7 x 8 1/2 and were distributed on the backs of Grape Nuts cereal. These normally run above $25 each, even in lesser condition, with a few stars (Mantle) costing considerably more. (the set includes Bob Cousey, Bob Pettitt, Frank Gifford, Johnny U, Kaline, Drysdale, Mathews, Mantle, and Killebrew). I have two of these and both of them have the telltale sign of having been stuck to a wall with a thumbtack.
This was Post's first of three annual 200 card sets that were traditionally found on the back of cereal boxes (or as an insert in those small ten-package variety packs). This is the only one of the three annual sets that has a box version and a company version. A complete set can not be put together without cards from both box and company variation.
Box cards were cut off the back of cereal boxes by kids with scissors so they are perfect for the OBC collector. There are a number of box only cards, in other words, there are cards that were not part of the mail order company cards.
Company cards arrived in team sets of ten cards and were separated by perforations. The cardboard is slightly lighter in weight than the box cards. You may also be able to differentiate box vs. company because some company cards will exhibit the perforation tabs.
The Company team sets includes some players who were traded mid-season creating a number of different variations. For example, the box card of Gene Conley shows him as a Phillie. The corresponding company card still shows him as a Phillie but another line of text is in the bio portion indicating "traded to the Red Sox" on a certain date. Conley is part of the mail away Red Sox team set (perfect for the variation collector).
This set is readily available with the exception of two cards, both of which are company only cards: Chuck Estrada of the Orioles and Chuck Stobbs of the Twins. Both of these cards run $75 or more (I was lucky enough to get a mislabeled Stobbs on Ebay for $12 a couple of years ago). You should be able to find bulk lots of these cards for $.50-.75 each. Short prints and stars will obviously be more expensive.
This set is probably the easiest of the three sets to build. American League players comprise the numbers from 1-100. Each card has the Post logo on it and the statistics have a blue border around them. The National League numbers from 101-200 and have a red border around the statistics.
There are short prints scattered throughout the set, but all are more readily available than SPs from either 1961 or 1963 - Sieburn, Keough, Hodges, Coleman, Lynch to name a few. Most of the games stars are represented in this set with a few exceptions - Stan Musial and Warren Sphan (even though he was in the 1961 set) come to mind.
There are also fifteen or so variations in this set. By far the most difficult are the blue line versions of Koufax, Clemente and Joey Jay. These cards have the normal red border around the statistics, but the hairline rules dividing the statistics is blue rather than red. There are also two versions of Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. One from the back of the cereal boxes whereas the second was an insert in an April 1962 edition of Life Magazine promoting the Post baseball card set. The final notable variation is of Brave Joe Adcock. Post misspelled his name on the some of the press run so collectors look for the Joe Adock variation.
You should be able to pick up inexpensive bulk lots on this set as well. All of the SPs can be found on Ebay on a semi-regular basis. Simply be patient.
1962 Post Canadian
A sister set to the 1962 American edition. This set comprises the same two hundred cards. Primary differences - this set is bi-lingual and none of the cards have either a blue or red border around the statistics.
The first 150 or so cards can be found without a lot of difficulty. Then it begins to get difficult. I am down to needing seventeen cards and haven't seen even one of them at auction or for sale over the last three or four months. A number of us are hovering around needing 40 cards for completion.
Commons go for a buck or two each. Short prints are considerably more expensive - if you can find them. There are also a number of variations, mostly around bio language differences.
Another set that is a cousin of the main 1962 set. The primary differences - these cards do not have the Post logo and do not have any colored border around the statistics. This set is comprised of 197 cards - for some reason the set is missing Brooks Robinson, Ted Kluzewski, and Smokey Burgess. Post also substituted a different player for card number 19. In the American set #19 is Rocky Colavito (a major star of the day), but in the 1962 Jello set #19 is journeyman Ken Aspromonte.
These cards are tough to find and prices seem to be going up. I try to find commons for between $3-5. I am presuming that some of these are near impossible to find as well - Bobby Richardson for example. I think Ray Luurs has more of these than anyone else in OBC and he still needs more than 100.
Two sets that look very similar with two minor differences. The Post cards are slightly larger, width wise, than the Jello set, and the hairline rule separating the statistics is shorter on the Jello version. The easiest way to remember this is to compare a Jello and Post card side by side and then you won't ever forget the differences.
The easiest way to approach this set is to try and build a composite set. There are a number of short prints in both sets that are tough and they are different Post to Jello. For example, Post versions of Jim Bunning, Yaz, Jiminez, Floyd Robinson, Willie Davis, Billy Williams and Curt Flood are all really tough. The Jello versions of these cards are much easier to locate, but be aware that many dealers and Ebay sellers frequently try to sell these cards as Post (when they are actually the Jello version).
The overall Jello set is chock full of short prints. There are at least 40-50 different cards in the set that are harder to find. I think one of Ray Luurs' last cards in this set was Don Mossi - the Jello version is really tough to find, whereas the Post version is easy.
Last note - this set has the toughest card to find across any of the Post sets - Bob Aspromonte. He must have been found only on Bran Flakes (or some other tasteless cereal) because he is near impossible to find. Another toughie in either Jello or Post will be Jerry Adair.
But the chase is fun and there are enough different sets to make it a long chase. Enjoy.