Friday, February 17, 2012

Food-Issue Friday: 1993 Nabisco All-Star Autographs Phil Niekro

Who doesn't enjoy a good snack. Cookies, crackers-they're both good, and towards the end of the junk wax era Nabisco combined the two with autographed cards for a pretty sweet promotion. For five bucks and two proof of purchases from participating Nabisco Brands (Oreos, Chips Ahoy, Ritz Crackers, and Wheat Thins), collectors could send in their choice from a six player checklist. Players on the checklist included: Ernie Banks, Don Drysdale, Catfish Hunter, Niekro, Brooks Robinson, and Willie Stargell. The promotion was included on a full-page insert which ran on June 27 and July 18, 1993. Not only was the offer promoted in the FSI's, but Nabisco also publicized the offer on reportedly 80 million packages of their products. Speaking of large numbers, Rod Taylor, in his 2006 Promo article, reported that International Sports Marketing (who owned the marketing rights to the Major League Baseball Alumni Association) contracted with each of the Hall of Famers to sign the cards for $2 apiece. He also reported that the snack company requested 90,000 cards and 20,000 signed premiums per player, for a guaranteed $220,000 payout for the player. One interesting note on this set: as noted earlier, Don Drysdale was included in the set. You might remember that double-D died on July 3, 1993, which came a week after the promo began, and just over two weeks before an ad featuring his autographed card would appear in the July 18th FSI. As a result, the fulfillment company was deluged with Drysdale requests.

It's not everyday that one can pick up the autograph of a Hall of Famer for less than $15.  And while I would prefer to have picked up an Knucksie autographed ball, I was thrilled to pick up an auto for $12.

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