25 February 2012

Winfield in the Round (Part 1) - [Insert Brand] Discs


     While you don't see them so often anymore, in the past 40 years, there have been a great many sets of the rounded persuasion issued by a multitide of companies.  Rather than stretch these out over a dozen posts, I thought I'd just tackle all of the circular cards currently collated in my collection, from oldest to most recent.  Since there are so many, this will be a multi-part post.

1974 McDonalds Discs


     Given that the Padres were owned by Ray Kroc,  it should come as no surprise that he should use his newly acquired baseball team as a way to cross promote with McDonalds.  What is more surprising is how little actual McDonalds/Padres branded merchandise was actually produced.  I suppose Kroc was more interested in having others pay him for sponsorships than effectively paying himself between the Padres and McDonalds.  In any case, in the year Kroc purchased the San Diego Padres, local McDonalds released a set set of 13 player discs, along with this nifty baseball-shaped holder to store them in. 

1977 Burger Chef

     Burger Chef, which according to Wikipedia, by the early 1980s was second only to McDonalds in the number of franchises across the United States, issued a set of 216 baseball player discs attached to the packaging of their Fun Meals (an idea McDonalds later stole for the Happy Meal...lawsuits soon followed).  The Fun Meal boxes were organized by team, so I ended up picking up a whole set of the Padres complete with original boxes to snag this Winfield.  The discs are standard Michael Schechter & Associates fare, with MLBPA, but without MLB licensing.  AS a result, they looked exactly like a dozen other disc issues from 1975-1980.  The backs of the discs all feature characters of the Burger Chef franchise (Burgerini, Count Fangburger, Burgerilla, etc).  For a franchise that was so large, I honestly don't remember ever seeing one in my life.  The chain was eventually bought by Hardees and most of the locations were either converted, or sans new franchise deal, converted into local restaurants or just shuttered.

1981-1982 FBI Discs
      The 1982 set of discs, issued on the bottoms of bottles of Fanta's Bantam flavored fizzy drinks, are fairly well documented and nearly impossible to find for anything less than $50 each.


     In recent years, an even more rare, and thus hugely more expensive, 1981 set has been uncovered and slowly documented.  The 1981 will likely be forever on my Dave Winfield Want List.

1983 Roy Rogers Discs/Lids

     In 1983, the Roy Rogers chain of fast food restaurants in New York issued a set of 12 Yankees discs as drink cup lids.  Measuring about 3.5" in diameter, they can be found either with the red plastic rim attached, or like this one, with the rim removed.  The lids all had perforations just about where the player signature starts for inserting a drinking straw.  Finding lids with both intact rims and unpunched straw holes can be a challenge.  I finally picked this one up in a lot of discs (Griffey, Nettles and Randolph) on eBay for about $7.  This was a long search that I am glad to have finally concluded.


    For the definitive guide to these next items, have a look at Eric Swartz's 7-11 Slurpee Coin Web Site


1984 7-Eleven Super Star Sports Coins

     After a limited test release in 1983, 7-Eleven issued three regional 24-player sets of these lenticular 1.75" diameter discs, free with purchase of a large Slurpee.  The numbering on these sets never made any sense to me, but Winfield was in the Eastern region's set.

1985 7-Eleven Super Star Sports Coins

      With the apparently great success of the 1984 discs, as a follow up, 7-Eleven issued a whopping six sets in 1985, five regional and one for the World Champion Detroit Tigers.  While no players appeared in all six sets, Dave Winfield was in five of them.  Again, the only way to tell them apart is by the color on the reverse.

Southeast was blue with the letters "DT" at the bottom.










 East was black with the letters "JH" on the bottom.












Southwest was purple with the letters "PJ" on the bottom.

I actually found this one in the middle of the street in Texas back in 1985 before I even collected cards.  Not really sure why I kept it.

West was green with the letters "DH" at the bottom.










The Great Lakes region was an auburn color with the letters "AC" on the bottom.










     In 1985, there were also promos issued.  Dave Winfield had two.  One that was 2.25" in diameter with a black border on the reverse and the letters "DH" at the bottom.  The other is much larger, approximately 5" in diameter, featuring the same photo as the other 1985 coins, but with nothing on the reverse.

1986 7-Eleven Triple Stars

      7-Eleven went a slightly different direction in 1986, picking groups of three players for each coin.  Again there were multiple regional issues, but Winfield only appeared in the East set, pictured above.

1987 7-Eleven Super Star Sports Coins

     In 1987 7-Eleven returned to the original formula of regional sets of individual players for each coin.  Dave Winfield appeared only in the East set, which had a greenish back and the letters "CM" at the bottom on.

...to be continued...