Thick McRunfast

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Member Since:   11/28/2018
Last Login:   7/19/2024
Points:   657
Location:   New York
     
Collection:   32,109 cards
     

Collects:

 

My goals: I'm trying to complete a few sets from the 1980s and early 1990s. Please have a look at my goals list for details.

Your goals: If you need any cards from my trade lists, feel free to send a trade proposal. Even if you don't have anything on my want lists to send in return, let me know anyway. I'm always willing to try to work out a trade.

About me: I blog about trading cards and also create and sell custom cards and other sports-related items. If that piques your interest, please have a look at the following sites:

 

My trading card blog: Nine Pockets

My 8-bit sticker shop: redbubble

My custom card store: eBay

     
Awards:  
2018 - Favorite Thread


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A Smorgasbord! Farmland Dairies/Junior Mets Club

From the 1970s through the 1990s, it seemed like you could find your favorite baseball stars on food product packaging everywhere you looked: supermarkets, corner stores, restaurants, and beyond. This past year, in an effort to capture a little more nostalgia, I set a goal to expand my own collection of these "food-issue" cards. In this series I'll show the specific examples I've acquired, and share a little bit of history about the food or beverage sponsor as well. 

Previous entries can be found here.


It's Friday night, July 7th, 1989, and the Mets have just closed out the Cincinnati Reds at Shea Stadium by a score of 7–1. Sid Fernandez had the complete-game victory, and it keeps the Mets within 3.5 games of the first-place Montreal Expos. (Dad let you stay up for the whole game.) And even better, the next day at the local baseball fields, your friend—who's a Yankees fan—trades a few Mets cards to you, and he even throws in this beat-up beauty for free.
 
 
 
1989 Farmland Dairies/Junior Mets Club NNO Gregg Jefferies


"Ohh!" You exclaim, despite your confusion about what exactly you're holding in your hand. You look over at your buddy, who's more focused on flipping through the Yankees cards you gave him, so in an instant you go through the card manufacturers in your mind:
 
It's not Topps. It's not Fleer, Donruss, Score, or Upper Deck, either. It's definitely not those extra-large Bowman cards that came out earlier this year. It sure as heck isn't Sportflics. It's not even Sports Illustrated for Kids, for goodness sake. But it doesn't matter. You just can't hide your excitement when you look at the guy on the front of the card.

You see, back in 1989, Gregg Jefferies was the big name to collectespecially for kids in New York. (How many of you readers, New Yorkers or not, can still see an image of the 1989 Topps "Future Stars" Gregg Jefferies card in your minds?) 
 
And the fact that your buddy just threw this card into the trade for free is icing on the cake.

You flip it over, hoping you'll find some more information printed on the card back.
 

 


It's a Junior Mets Club card, sponsored by Farmland Dairies! Your mom buys that brand of milk all the time. (You run to the fridge as soon as you get home to see if there are any Mets players on the milk carton itself, but no such luck.)

At the time, Farmland was doing pretty well as a regional brand, however. They'd been around since 1914 in New Jersey, back when the milkman delivered glass bottles of milk and cream by horse and wagon to local subscribers. By the 1970s Farmland was known to be on the cutting edge of producing milk without the use of artificial hormones, which is a rather nice feather in their cap.

These days, they're known as Farmland Fresh Dairies, and if you live in many areas of the US, you might recognize their distinctive branding:


 
Seems like they're still quite determined to produce fresh, clean, hormone-free dairy as well. Good for them.
 
Unfortunately, Farmland only teamed up with the Junior Mets Club for three years—1987 through 1989—so there really weren't too many cards to add to your collection. (It seems like a 9-card perforated panel was issued for Junior Mets members during those years, including other great names of the time like Darryl Strawberry, Gary Carter, and Keith Hernandez.) Junior Mets members also received a bunch of other stuff back then, like a binder, a season schedule, some discount coupons to upcoming Mets games, and even a Junior Mets/Farmland digital watch.

It sure was fun to be a young baseball fan back then!

But let's get back to Gregg Jefferies for a moment. A lot of folks nowadays consider him a one-time prospect who fizzled out, but that's not a fair assessment at all. Mr. Jefferies had an excellent Major League career. Across 14 seasons, he put up 1593 hits, 300 doubles, 27 triples, 126 home runs, 663 RBI, 196 stolen bases, and a slash line of .289/.344/.421. He was also a 2x all-star, and cracked the top-10 in National League batting average for three consecutive seasons (1993–1995).
 
Back in 1989, however? Yeah, us kids just knew that Jefferies would be even more than that.
 
Anyone remember some other big rookies who never quite filled the enormous shoes that the media and baseball world created for them?
 
What about your regional milk brand when you were growing up?

Share in the comment section, and thanks for reading!


  

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