Friday, November 21, 2014

Food-Issue Friday: Caught in the Middle of the Cola Wars

I was in for a surprise today as I sat down to do a little research on the 1995 Sonic baseball set. I googled that exact phrase, only to see images of a set that is completely different from the one I had been familiar with. Both were from the same year and feature the Sonic name on it, but look nothing alike. It didn't take long to see that the fast-food chain had got caught in the middle of the cola wars during the mid-90s.

The one Sonic set I had been aware of is the Pepsi/Sonic Baseball Greats 12-card set, with fronts that feature colored photos and red borders, while the backs are white with blue lettering and a touch of red as well as the Major League Baseball Players Alumni logo. You know, basically an All-American design for the home of the All-American Dog. Did I mention Pepsi- the All-American drink?

On the other hand was the newly discovered 1995 Sonic/Coke Heroes of Baseball 20-card set, which featured sepia toned photos on the front and a dark blue back with a smattering of red and white. Like the Coca-Cola drink, the cards are pretty bland and left a bad after taste. But let's not get into a cola debate. *actually, the cards aren't that bad.

Unlike the Sonic/Pepsi cards, which has no mention of card manufacturer, the Coke Heroes of Baseball cards were produced by Upper Deck. They also contain the Sonic logo- something the Sonic/Pepsi cards do not have (I wouldn't consider the Sonic name on its front a logo), as well as a card number on the back, which its counterpart doesn't.

As far as the player checklist goes...well, I hate to say it, but Coke wins that one as well with a much stronger lineup (BTW-no player appears in both sets).

I do find it odd that the fast-food chain got sponsorships from the two soft drink giants for its cards, considering that they serve Coke products. Perhaps they offered both (or at least served one or the other in various regions) during the mid-nineties?

While an argument can be made for the Upper Deck Sonic/Coke being the better card, there's no doubt as to which soft drink company has the better product. And it ain't the one in Georgia.

1 comment:

  1. Honestly, which is better depends entirely on the water where it's bottled. Coke in Georgia tastes better than Pepsi. Pepsi in Wisconsin (being bottled in Milwaukee) tastes better than Coke (from Illinois there).

    Both those cards, however, are incredibly awesome! :-)