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History of Post Cereal Football Scarcity

In 1979, Dr. James Beckett and Dennis W. Eckes compiled the first football card price guide, titled "The Sport Americana Football & Basketball Card Price Guide." In the acknowledgments, Gavin Riley was credited with having "provided extensive input on Post Cereal football cards." Compiling a price guide of any kind in that time was no small feat as marketing of personal computers was just beginning and the internet was about 14 years in the future. No e-mail, no eBay, no databases—this was all accomplished with hand and typewritten notes. Collectors somehow found each other via hobby publications, US mail and phone calls. Imagine the time networking would have taken! Yet through diligence, the first Post cereal football card price list was compiled.

From the beginning, collectors knew that some cards were in shorter supply than others. The Post cereal introduction states that "Certain cards printed only on unpopular types of cereal are relatively difficult to obtain. Twenty such cards are known..." Here is the original list of what we now call short prints with their "mint" price:

1979 Sport Americana Post Cereal Short Prints
Number Player Mint price
10 Tom Moore 3.00
24 Joe Morrison 2.50
29 Y. A. Tittle 3.00
46 Howard Cassady 2.50
54 Darris McCord 2.50
74 Sam Baker 2.50
82 Lenny Moore 3.00
92 John Brodie 3.00
97 Jim Johnson 2.50
117 Larry Morris 2.50
126 Bobby Layne 3.00
135 Frank Clarke 2.50
139 Allen Green 2.50
145 Jerry Tubbs 2.50
150 Frank Fuller 2.50
153 Bill Koman 2.50
158 Ralph Guglielmi 2.50
176 Don Joyce 2.50
186 Frank Youso 2.50
193 Joe Krakoski 2.50

 

Long-time Post cereal football collector Kirk Robinson conducted a mail survey of 40 known Post cereal football collectors of the set in 1984. One of the questions addressed the toughest cards for collectors to find. The top ten short prints from that survey are:

Kirk Robinson 1984 Survey
Rank Card Number Player
1 93 Dave Baker
2 74 Sam Baker
3 110 Angelo Coia
4 93 Joe Krakoski
5 117 Larry Morris
6 28 Del Shofner
7 10 Tom Moore
8 29 Y. A. Tittle
9 139 Allen Green
10 24 Joe Morrison


Sports Collector's Digest ran a story by Don Niemi in 1990 and included a price list that denoted 32 short prints:

Sports Collectors Digest 1990 Short Prints
Card Number Player Price (NM)
8 Jerry Kramer 30.00
10 Tom Moore 175.00
24 Joe Morrison 75.00
25 Dick Nolan 50.00
28 Del Shofner 100.00
29 Y. A. Tittle 125.00
36 Ted Dean 7.50
41 Jess Richardson 90.00
43 Bobby Walston 30.00
48 Jim Gibbons 50.00
54 Darris McCord 90.00
59 Joe Schmidt 125.00
62 Galen Fiss 30.00
74 Sam Baker 375.00 (red), 250.00 (black)
93 Dave Baker 90.00
97 Jim Johnson 30.00
103 Bob St. Clair 100.00
110 Angelo Coia 250.00
111 Mike Ditka 40.00
117 Larry Morris 40.00
133 Tom Tracy 90.00
135 Frank Clarke 75.00
136 Mike Connelly 50.00
139 Allen Green 125.00
145 Jerry Tubbs 100.00
153 Bill Koman 50.00
158 Ralph Guglielmi 50.00
169 Jack Pardee 100.00
176 Don Joyce 125.00
186 Frank Youso 90.00
188 Bill Anderson 90.00
193 Joe Krakoski 175.00


Fast forward to recent times and the Standard Catalog of Vintage Football Cards handles the issue of short print cards in this manner: "Players who were pictured on boxes of the less-popular cereals are scarcer and more valuable, explaining the higher prices on about two dozen of the cards listed below." From the SCD guide in 1990, Jerry Kramer has dropped to $12 and Jim Gibbons to $3.50, rendering them no longer "short print." The rest of the cards on the list have fluctuated in price but are still listed at enough that it is evident they are still considered short prints.

The short print list has evolved as more information has become available over the years. If you use eBay, you are probably wondering why some players are not included on the list. In the pages that follow, there will be a closer look at the scarcity of Post cereal football cards and data presented in an effort to identify the rarest cards in the set.