Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday Extra - 1981 Drake's

Another set I only know about because of a wikipedia entry. I have collected cards for nearly 30 years off and on, and I have never bought a Beckett or a larger price guide book. I have thumbed through them in book stores and that is about it. I have never been that interested in the value of my cards. The downside of that is that there are tons of sets like this I know nothing about. That is why I really like the blogs and other info I can find on the internet, as it helps me fill in the blanks.

Anyway, I came across this set under the 1981 Topps entry on wikipedia. Here is what the entry said...

Drake's Big Hitters

Topps produced for Northeastern regional bakery Drake's a promotional set of 33 cards. The cards were issued in boxes of Drake's Cakes and featured position players and no pitchers. The front of the cards have a design that differs from the Topps set while the backs resemble the Topps cards.

I thought aha, since this is a regional set, I may be able to find some rare players to fill in the blanks for my checklist. Nope this was another of those 33 card all-star sets issued with a consumable product. I have no cards in this set as they didn't sell these snack cakes in the region of the country I grew up in. I knew there were 33 players after looking on ebay, as the top front of the card has a line that says Card x in a series of 33. After searching through ebay and finding pictures of each card in the set, I found that this set has at least one player for each team, including the Blue Jays, which were shut out of the Squirt and Fleer Sticker sets I reviewed earlier with a card of John Mayberry. The set has multiple cards for the Angels, Yankees, Mets, Orioles, Phillies and Red Sox. The extra Angel was Fred Lynn who was just traded from the Red Sox, so having multiple players on all the teams in the northeastern region of the country is probably what makes it regional. A complete checklist of this set can be found here.

These cards must've been issued during spring training because we come across Dave Winfield on the Yankees and Jerry Mumphrey again being the token Padre, but as I've noted before, he was traded to the Yankees late in spring training of 1981.

So again, this is another set that will not help me with this project.

Adding after the original is a link to a Night Owl cards blog entry that shows the photo variations between the regular Topps cards and the Drakes set. Also has more information, such as you were able to get this set by ordering it through the mail. I do know for a 29 year old set I thought was rare, there are a lot of these cards up for sale on ebay right now. I am also adding a link to Night Owl Cards on the side.


  1. My tribute to the '81 Drake set: