Card Corner- Kellogg’s 3D 1971 Frank Howard
This card set has always been one of my all-time favorites. I always felt as if 1971 baseball cards marked the cut-off between old school and the dawning of the modern era, and this card fit that mood perfectly. These cards were issued one per cereal box, 75 in the full set. It was a no-brainer to include ‘The Capital Punisher’, as he was one of the game’s most feared sluggers at this time. In this shot, Howard has the look of a stern uncle or a high school Principal who no one wanted to mess with.
The 6′ 7″ Howard had been the 1960 National League Rookie of the Year for the Dodgers and averaged 24 homers a year in his five full seasons with LA. Before the 1965 season Howard was traded to Washington, and became the Senators’ top player, hitting his peak from 1968-70, when he belted 136 home runs and drove in 343. He finished in the top ten in AL MVP voting and was an All-Star each of those years. In 1970 Howard topped the American League with 44 homers, 126 RBI, and 132 walks (29 were intentional, also tops in the league). This card, issued after that season, captures Frank at the height of his career and stardom.
In 1971, at 34 years of age, Frank was honored as an All-Star for the final time, and though he slipped to 26 home runs with 83 RBI, he still led the league with 20 intentional walks. The team moved to Texas the following season, and Howard was sold to the Tigers on August 31st. He retired a little more than a year later, after being released in October 1973.
Joe Gersbeck is a baseball historian and lifetime fan/student of the game who lives in New Jersey with his wife and two sons. His most recent book, 1970s All-Star Baseball: A History of the Decade’s All-Star Games can be found on Amazon:
His bestselling 1970s Baseball: A History and Analysis of the Decade’s Best Seasons, Teams, and Players is available on Amazon, B&N, and iBooks: