The 1983 Kellogg’s baseball card set represented the end of an era in the hobby that was about to explode — maybe already *had* exploded to a certain degree.

And the 1983 Kellogg’s Eddie Murray card? Well, that baby represented the end of all sorts of eras … if you were me, at least, or if you shared my timeline.

See …

In 1983, Kellogg’s issued those funky, awesome, crackly, plasticky 3-D cards of theirs for the 14th year in a row. That’s a bunch of generations of card collectors if you consider you might sweep in boys and girls from five to ninety-five in any given year.

And 1983 would be the *last* time Kellogg’s issued their funky baseball cards, at least until the 1990s, when they did some all-time greats things that don’t really count.

But in 1983, the cereal maker pushed out 60 cards, slenderized to match their dimension from 1980 after a couple years of wide loads. And, get this — Kellogg’s also issued their 1983 card in actual cereal boxes.

Novel concept, right?

Right. But in 1981 and 1982, you could only get them by sending away for the with proofs of purchase. In 1983, you could get them both ways.


Ah, but 1983 was an intensely personal baseball season for me, too.

It was the *first* season I ever cared about baseball and the first year I collected baseball cards. I mean, really collected baseball cards — my mom had bought some here and there as “toys” in 1981 and 1982, and I hated them all.

In 1983, though, something clicked, and baseball has been my jam ever since.

My team was and is the Cincinnati Reds, which meant I had to find other rooting interests when my first postseason rolled around.

In the American League, I pulled for the Baltimore Orioles because I didn’t like the Chicago White Sox’s uniforms.

Find 1983 Kellogg’s cards on eBay (affiliate link)

Find 1983 Kellogg’s cards on Amazon (affiliate link)

And in the National League, I was all over the Philadelphia Phillies because the Los Angeles Dodgers were bitter enemies in Redsland, and because the Phils were like an older, wiser, broken-er version of The Big Red Machine, what with Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, and Tony Perez wheezing around the bases.

And Mike Schmidt.

So, the ALCS went well.

The NLCS went great.

And then, in the World Series, I turned my young dislike toward the O’s and rooted Phils all the way.

That’s where the wheels fell off my plans for a first October champagne bath, as Schmidt’s 1-for-20 performance just about summed up the Phillies’ efforts in that five-game tilt.

I’ll never forget how Cal Ripken, Jr., stabbed me through the heart when he jabbed the Veterans Stadium night to grab Garry Maddox’s liner to end Game 5. I’d have to wait until next year for anything resembling my team to win anything.

And that next year?

Well, that was 1984 … the year I left my little country grade school for the scary jungle of our combined junior/senior high school.

It would also be the first year of baseball without Johnny Bench, or Carl Yastrzemski, or Gaylord Perry.

And it would be the first year of baseball cards since before I was born without the magic-plastic Kellogg’s cards.

So, on that afternoon of October 16, 1983, everything was changing, whether I realuzed it or not.

When Eddie Murray homered in the fourth inning off Charles Hudson, his second dinger of the game, it would be the last home run anybody hit before the calendar turned on my last few months in elementary school.

And, when Morgan tripled in the eighth, he would be the last Phillies baserunner in the World Series until 1993. It was also his last appearance in a Phils uniform.

Rose, the next batter, flied out in his Philadelphia swan song before Schmidt grounded out to end the nothing of a rally.

(Perez bowed out of Philly with a fly out just before Maddox gave up the collective ghost in the ninth.)

And Murray capped the whole thing, picking up a single to lead off the O’s half of the eighth.

It was the last hit by an Orioles player in the World Series until … well, I’ll get back to you on that one.

It was also the last hit of anyone who appeared in a Kellogg’s set (of the non-contrived variety).

And, in many ways, it was the last hit of my childhood.

Looking back, I’m sorta glad my dying breed cereal box cards and I were oblivious to the future. Just reveling in the glories of fall baseball, living and dying with every hit, every out … that was enough for the moment.

Wow! Wax of the Day

In 1983, while Kellogg’s was pushing out its last set, Topps was cranking up its creativity machine. One manifestation of that was a nifty set of oversize “Basebal Foldouts” featuring current career leaders in five statistical categories, each showing 17 players. This eBay lot gives you an unopened box of 20 Foldouts, which *should* yield four complete sets:

Check out the full listing here (affiliate link).