Card of the Day: 1975 Kellogg’s Richie Zisk

From 1970 until 1983, Kellogg’s put out their own set on baseball cards that came inside specially marked boxes of their cereal products. You were also able to buy them directly from the company. The sizes of the set varied from year-to-year, but they always had somewhere close to 60-70 cards each year. This is the first Kellogg’s card featured here, so I could have went in any direction with the player/year. I settled on the 1975 Richie Zisk, since he hasn’t been one of our Card of the Day subjects yet.

Here’s the front of the card:

The Kellogg’s cards had a 3D effect to really make the pictures of the players stand out. As you might be able to tell right away with the Zisk card, the photo for his 1975 card was taken some time during the 1973 season. The 21 in a circle as a tribute to Roberto Clemente gives that away. The front has a facsimile of his real autograph. The fronts of the cards only included the last name of players, something they also did in other years.

Here’s the back of the card:

I really like the back of these cards. They did a great job on getting a ton of information into a little space. They have the bio info to the top left and a Pirates logo to the right. His full stats over four seasons in the majors are included, then a large recap of his minor league days, ranging from his draft status to a fact about winter ball. It also includes some high school bio information. In the bottom right corner you’ll notice that he is card #25 of 57 cards that season.

Zisk had established himself as a star in 1974, so he was more than qualified to be in this small set labeled “super star” players. He actually finished ninth in the NL MVP voting that year, one of the few things Kellogg’s left out of his information. Zisk had a similar season in 1975 overall, though he average dropped by 23 points and his RBIs fell well off from 1974. He ended up with just a 12 point different in his OBP and two points in his slugging. Zisk didn’t end up in the Kellogg’s set again until 1979 with the Texas Rangers, then once more in 1982 with the Seattle Mariners.

The 1975 Kellogg’s card is the toughest one to find for Zisk and it’s also his most popular one. Despite those facts, there isn’t a big difference in the prices. If you wanted one, you could find it for $5 delivered off of Ebay, while his other two examples can be had for $2-3, with multiple sellers to choose from at that price range. The stock used for this card was thick, so they are easy to find in higher grades. You could actually buy a perfect example (PSA 10) of his 1975 card for under $30.

Here are the previous Card of the Day articles. Eventually we will have a better way to organize them on Pittsburgh Baseball History, as opposed to just a continuously growing list at the bottom of each article:

1887 N172 Sam Barkley (guest submission)

1998 Topps Jose Guillen (guest submission)

1931 W517 Paul Waner (guest submission)