I've always been a big fan of oddball releases, and because of this I own, have owned in the past, or have at least laid my eyes on most of the widely released oddball cards from the '80s. One brand that always escaped me was the Drake's Cakes line of baseball cards, which were apparently available only by exchanging proofs of purchase and a small amount of cash in the mail. Since Drake's seems to have been popular only in a very limited amount of the country back in the '80s, I suppose it's easy to see why I missed out on these cards.
Thanks to a guy who has been at the monthly card show a lot in recent days (and his bounty of 5 cent cards) I now own a handful of these cards from the 1985 set. These are all up for trade if anyone is interested. I mostly just grabbed them due to the price and curiosity. That said, if anyone has the Bruce Sutter from this set, I do need it at least.
I especially like the backs of the cards, which mirror the regular issue 1985 Topps set, only in a much more attractive color. Seriously, the malnourished green-on-cardboard backs of the regular set might be my least favorite card backs of the entire decade. You also get a little Drake's logo and a Drakes Bakeries copyright line.
They even threw in a classic Topps "NOW WITH" line on Gary Carter's card. I'm not sure if they did this for other cards or ones from past sets, but it's a nice touch.
I had heard of these "Drake's Big Hitters" cards when I was a kid but never got near one, so I was a bit confused when I noticed Tom Seaver thrown into the mix. Apparently new to this particular year's set were cards of some pitchers, dubbed the "Drake's Super Pitchers". It doesn't quite have the same ring to it.
National League cards seem to have a green bar at the top of each card with green player name, team and position lettering on a yellow background.
American League cards replace the green with red.
Perhaps the best thing about these tiny little oddball sets is the player selection. I can be grumpy about Ozzie Smith being excluded, but every card that I picked up shows off a classic '80s star player. If you need any of these in your collection, let me know.