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1975 Hostess Baseball

By Patrick Mondout

Hostess Bakeries produced baseball cards on their outside boxes of their snack cake products from 1975 to 1979. The cards were usually printed in a three-wide panel with the front of the card visible on the bottom of the box (taking all the mystery out of what cards you were getting). That they were printed on the bottoms of the boxes meant that they were subject to more abuse before they got into the hands of the collectors than just about any other type of card. Add to that the wide range of approaches to cutting them out and you have a set that is hard to find in top grades.

The cards had a printed border similar to a grocery coupon and it was up to you to cut the cards out. The most savvy collectors saved the entire box intact. For those who did cut them individually, at least they did not share a border as with similar issues of the past.

This initial set contained 150 cards distributed as 50 panels of three cards. Certain panels were only available on the boxes of less popular products and are thus more scarce. Hostess not only did a better of job of including all the big stars (after five years of sets, Kellogg's finally included Carl Yastrzemski in its 1975 offering), it had the foresight to produce a rookie card of Robin Yount.

There were no factory sets so the only way to collect was to buy the packages at the store, beg your neighbors and friends to save them for you (not an option for most adults as it was not yet accepted as a valid hobby for those over 18), or put an ad in a sports publication looking for traders.


While the backs of Hostess cards were pretty uninspired, at least they had statistics. As this requires a second printing process and costs more, most companies printed backless panels.


There is also a test subset of 50 single card panels called "Hostess Twinkies." These single cards were issued only on the West Coast and used as the cardboard bottom in individually wrapped Twinkies. As such, they are more likely to be damaged and stained. You can tell such a card from the standard version by the presence of additional black bars on the back.

There were a number of error variations in this set: Burt Hooton's named misspelled as Hooten, Doug Rader's name as Radar, and Bill Madlock listed as a pitcher and an infielder. Not all errors were corrected. The card of Milt May features a picture of Lee May, for example. 

An album to hold the cards was produced and distributed at Hostess outlets. They are quite scarce today.

Here's a checklist of 1975 Hostess cards. A brief description of this set is here.

1 Bob Tolan
2 Cookie Rojas
3 Darrell Evans
4 Sal Bando
5 Joe Morgan
6 Mickey Lolich
7 Don Sutton
8 Bill Melton
9 Tim Foli
10 Joe Lahoud
11 Burt Hooton
12 Paul Blair
13 Jim Barr
14 Toby Harrah
15 John Milner
16 Ken Holtzman
17 Cesar Cedeno
18 Dwight Evans
19 Willie McCovey
20 Tony Oliva
21 Manny Sanguillen
22 Mickey Rivers
23 Lou Brock
24 Graig Nettles
25 Jim Wynn
26 George Scott
27 Greg Luzinski
28 Bert Campaneris
29 Pete Rose
30 Buddy Bell
31 Gary Matthews
32 Freddie Patek
33 Mike Lum
34 Ellie Rodriguez
35 Milt May
36 Willie Horton
37 Dave Winfield
38 Tom Grieve
39 Barry Foote
40 Joe Rudi
41 Bake McBride
42 Mike Cuellar
43 Garry Maddox
44 Carlos May
45 Bud Harrelson
46 Dave Chalk
47 Dave Concepcion
48 Carl Yastrzemski
49 Steve Garvey
50 Amos Otis
51 Rick Reuschel
52 Rollie Fingers
53 Bob Watson
54 John Ellis
55 Bob Bailey
56 Rod Carew
57 Rich Hebner
58 Nolan Ryan
59 Reggie Smith
60 Joe Coleman
61 Ron Cey
62 Darrell Porter
63 Steve Carlton
64 Gene Tenace
65 Jose Cardenal
66 Bill Lee
67 Dave Lopes
68 Wilbur Wood
69 Steve Renko
70 Joe Torre
71 Ted Sizemore
72 Bobby Grich
73 Chris Speier
74 Bert Blyleven
75 Tom Seaver
76 Nate Colbert
77 Don Kessinger
78 George Medich
79 Andy Messersmith*
80 Robin Yount*
81 Al Oliver*
82 Bill Singer*
83 Johnny Bench*
84 Gaylord Perry*
85 Dave Kingman*
86 Ed Herrmann*
87 Ralph Garr*
88 Reggie Jackson*
89 Doug Rader*
90 Elliott Maddox*
91 Bill Russell*
92 John Mayberry*
93 Dave Cash*
94 Jeff Burroughs*
95 Ted Simmons*
96 Joe Decker*
97 Bill Buckner*
98 Bobby Darwin*
99 Phil Niekro*
100 Jim Sundberg
101 Greg Gross
102 Luis Tiant
103 Glenn Beckert
104 Hal McRae
105 Mike Jorgensen
106 Mike Hargrove
107 Don Gullett
108 Tito Fuentes
109 John Grubb
110 Jim Kaat
111 Felix Millan
112 Don Money
113 Rick Monday
114 Dick Bosman
115 Roger Metzger
116 Fergie Jenkins
117 Dusty Baker
118 Billy Champion*
119 Bob Gibson*
120 Bill Freehan*
121 Cesar Geronimo
122 Jorge Orta
123 Cleon Jones
124 Steve Busby
125 Bill Madlock
126 Jim Palmer
127 Tony Perez
128 Larry Hisle
129 Rusty Staub
130 Hank Aaron*
131 Rennie Stennett*
132 Rico Petrocelli*
133 Mike Schmidt
134 Sparky Lyle
135 Willie Stargell
136 Ken Henderson
137 Willie Montanez
138 Thurman Munson
139 Richie Zisk
140 George Hendrick
141 Bobby Murcer
142 Lee May
143 Carlton Fisk
144 Brooks Robinson
145 Bobby Bonds
146 Gary Sutherland
147 Oscar Gamble
148 Jim Hunter
149 Tug McGraw
150 Dave McNally
* = Single printed (harder to find)


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Year: 1975

Manufacturer: Hostess

# of Cards: 150 (Checklist)

Value/Price: Check eBay (see links below)

Image courtesy of Hostess

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