(Check out our other player card posts here.)

If you grew up in the 1990s, you might be under the impression that Robin Yount and George Brett matched each other blow-for-blow during their 20-year careers.

And you wouldn’t be wrong, exactly.

After all, both men were rookies during the 1974 season, though Brett also got a cup of coffee in 1973.

Both suited up for only one Major League team — Milwaukee Brewers for Yount and Kansas City Royals for Brett.

Each man was considered the best player in his league at least once — Brett won the American League Most Valuable Player award in 1980, and Yount copped AL MVPs in both 1982 and 1989.

And, of course, both future Hall of Famers crashed the 3000-hit plateau in 1992 — Yount on September 9, and Brett three weeks later, on September 30.

Finally, both landed in Cooperstown in 1999.

By that time, these dudes were in lock-step, and so were their 1975 Topps rookie cards. The Yount (#223) and Brett (#228) were separated by just five slots on the checklist and by virtually nothing in the monthly Beckett. Up, up, up the duo climbed, past $50, then $100, then $200.

The sky was the limit.

The two superstars had been nearly the same guy, doing the same things for decades, and it might never end.

Except … everything ends, eventually.

And …

Yount and Brett weren’t really as similar as they might have seemed on the surface as they rounded third and headed for home.

 

1975 Hostess Robin Yount

 

In fact, most fans would have laughed you out of the ballpark if you had suggested that Yount was even in the same league as Brett before the early 1980s.

And, again, that wasn’t completely wrong thinking.

Consider …

Brett entered the 1982 season with 1366 hits and a .318 batting average. Yount stood at 1153 (surprisingly good!) and .274 (meh).

Brett was a threat to hit .400 some year and actually did hit .390 in 1980. Yount’s career-high BA to that point was .293.

Brett won the 1980 MVP and had two other top-3 finishes. Yount finished 17th in voting in 1980 and 1981.

Brett was a key part of the Kansas City Royals teams that seemed to find the postseason every year and might win the World Series someday. Yount’s Brewers didn’t post a winning record until 1978 and had never made the playoffs.

Brett had six All-Star appearances under his belt. Yount had but one — in 1980.

Brett was a super-duper star and Yount was merely … solid.

All of that would start to change in 1982, though, when the 26-year-old Yount helped the Harvey’s Wallbangers Brewers all the way to the World Series, where they lost a seven-game Classic against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Brett, who finished 20th in the MVP balloting, turned 29 in May and, though he hit .301, his already fragile body — judging by games played — was starting to age. From there until the end of his career, which spanned another 11 seasons, Brett appeared in 150 games just three times and topped 140 twice more.

Yount, more than two years younger, logged six more 150-game seasons and two more 140-gamers.

Those extra games may not sound like much, but they let Yount start piling up the stats that would eventually pull him closer to even with Brett before the two legends retired.

They also highlight just how much of a prodigy Yount really was.

Brett was a young 21 when he snared the Royals’ starting third base job in 1974, but Yount was a downright juvenile 18 when he took over at shortstop for the Brewers that same summer.

Those must have been sweet times for two guys not far removed from high school diamonds, one of whom — Yount — debuted in the Majors less than a year after his graduation.

And, while most of the world was ready to hop on the Brett train (departing Kansas City for diamonds all across the land), there was at least one national powerhouse who gave the early nod to Yount.

 

1975 Hostess Baseball Cards Box

 

See, in 1975, baseball card collectors received a great gift, a reason to indulge in the sweeter things in life, all in the name of our hobby.

That year, Hostess printed their first set of baseball cards, a 150-piece monster issued in three-card panels on family-sized snack cakes box bottoms. And, they issued 60 of those same cards as singles in packages of Twinkies, with distribution reportedly limited to the West Coast.

Whether your poison of choice was Cupcakes or Twinkies, though, for the first time in memory, your baseball cards had an even sweeter accompanist than Topps bubble gum.

That expansive checklist also mean the Hostess set(s) featured most of the game’s biggest stars with room left over to take a stab at a few more speculative names.

They didn’t come much more speculative than an 18-year-old shortstop for a perennial cellar-flirting team like the Milwaukee Brewers, but Hostess was all in on young Robin. Yount.

Not only did Hostess include Yount in their “base” set, they also slid him into the Twinkies parallel.

It’s a pretty good looking card, too, as these things go. While the design of the set is reminiscent of some cheap kids toy television set, the photo of Yount features a smiling future legend posed in a SS crouch, waiting for the ball with his golden locks flowing from beneath his block-letter “M” cap.

And, while some contend that Yount is among the handful of short prints in the main Hostess set, you can still buy his singles for well under $10 on  eBay (affiliate link) or graded specimens for $25+ on Amazon (affiliate link). Nice uncut, ungraded panels often run $20 or less.

Twinkies cards come up for sale less often but still won’t break the bank when you find them. (By the way, you can differentiate the Twinkies version by the lack of a dotted line — for cutting — around the card front and by the presence of a heavy black stripe on the card back. And, as cynicalbuddha over at The Yount Collector points out, really pristine Twinkie cardboard does command a premium since the cards were used as backing for the golden treats and tended to pick up *sigh* grease stains.)

 

1975 Hostess Twinkies Robin Yount back

 

But as great as it is to have an extra Robin Yount rookie card (or two) to pursue, maybe the most glaring aspect of the 1975 Hostess checklist more than 40 years on is the lack of a George Brett card.

So does that mean that Robin Yount has a sweeter disposition than George Brett?

Hmmm … um … well …

I do recall a lot of smiling Yount cards.

And no Preparation-H grimacing.

And no Pine Tar Incident.

So, maybe …

But no matter what the 1975 Hostess Robin Yount card says about his relative charms, there can be no doubt that he has the sweetest baseball cards among all Hall of Famers with 1975 Topps rookie cards who reached the 3000-hit plateau in 1992 and retired in 1993 and won at least one MVP award.

You can look it up.

(Check out our other player card posts here.)

 

 

 

2016 Topps Museum Collection Robin Yount Silver Framed Auto Autograph /10

$67.99
End Date: Saturday Mar-24-2018 17:03:02 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $67.99
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

1975 topps #223 robin yount

$20.00
End Date: Tuesday Mar-20-2018 11:07:53 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $20.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

2017 ROBIN YOUNT LEAF Q PRINTING PLATE 1/1 

$7.32 (1 Bid)
End Date: Wednesday Feb-28-2018 20:32:44 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

1975 Topps Set Break #223 Robin Yount RC EX-EXMINT

$1.25 (2 Bids)
End Date: Friday Mar-2-2018 19:28:29 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

Robin Yount 2016 Topps The Mint Golden engravings Brewers auto autograph /99

$18.00 (8 Bids)
End Date: Monday Feb-26-2018 20:09:35 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list