Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Joy of a Completed Set: 1987 Bohemian Hearth Padres

This one was very satisfying to finally put to bed. I've mentioned here in the past that the first baseball cards I ever remember obtaining as a kid were a few 1980 Topps cards and a yellow 1987 Steve Garvey oddball. I held onto them for the heck of it, but it wasn't until a few years later that I really entered the hobby (i.e., started giving a crap about trading cards). Well, last year I completed '80 Topps and now I've complemented that by finally finishing the oddball set too, effectively completing my pre-collecting collection.

For some background: In 1987, Bohemian Hearth bread company had the idea to include cards of Padres with their loafs of bread put out in the San Diego area. When I returned to the hobby a while back, I thought it'd be fun to try taking care of that unfinished business from my childhood. They were tricky to track down at times, but the setbuild many years in the making is now finished.

That's a lot of yellow! I know everybody thinks of 1991 Fleer when the topic of yellow baseball cards comes up, but you gotta tip your cap to the original all-yellow set. This set was too under the radar for the recent Night Owl post regarding yellow cards, but you can't fault a Dodgers fan for not rounding up anything from a Padres-only oddball release like this.

I tried to order the cards above roughly in order I received them, though I'm pretty much guessing on everything other than the first and last cards. The final need was Dravecky. I had tweeted out a call on Twitter a few weeks back, and while no one offered up the card available, one guy pointed me to a San Diego-based online card dealer who had the card listed for sale. I took a chance on the unfamiliar website and bought the card. Ended up overpaying a bit, especially thanks to S&H, but it was worth it to finally put this set to bed now rather than wait out hopefully finding a cheaper Dravecky someday.

Let's quickly run through these 22 guys:

Steve Garvey - 1974 NL MVP, 10-time All-Star (twice A.S. MVP), 2x NLCS MVP, '81 WS Champ.
Kevin Mitchell - 1989 NL MVP, '86 WS Champ.
James Steels - The only "who?" guy for me here. Just 111 games to his credit, least out of these guys.
Stan Jefferson - Former 1st rounder came to Padres with Kevin Mitchell in trade with Mets.
Tony Gwynn - Mr. Padre. 8 time batting champ. HOFer.
Benito Santiago - NL ROY that year, ended up playing for 20 years.
Ed Whitson - All-Star in 1980 and had some nice seasons in his 15-year career.
John Kruk - 3x All-Star. Hit .300 for his 10-year career.
Marvell Wynne - Stuck around for 8 seasons split with Padres, Pirates, and Cubs.
Craig Lefferts - Led NL in games pitched in '86. 1.15 ERA in 14 career postseason games.
Joey Cora - Scrappy middle infielder, played for 11 seasons. Youngest of these guys; 21 at the time.
Storm Davis - 2x WS Champ ('83 O's, '89 A's). Short-term stop; traded to A's in August.
Randy Ready - Utility guy for 13 seasons. Traded to Phillies with Kruk in '89.
Andy Hawkins - Winner of the only World Series victory in Padres history (1984 Game 2).
Lance McCullers - Pitched in 7 seasons. Son is pitcher on the Astros.
Eric Show - Had some good seasons in the mid 80s. Sadly died young at 37.
Rich Gossage - Goose of course is a Hall of Fame fireman, to use a dated term. '78 WS Champ.
Larry Bowa - 5x All-Star as a player. '80 WS Champ. NL Manager of the Year in '01 with Phillies.
Carmelo Martinez - Put in a respectable 9-year career.
Garry Templeton - 3x All-Star. Remembered most as the guy St. Louis traded for Ozzie Smith.
Tim Flannery - Valuable utility guy for 11 seasons. WS Champ as coach with SF ('10, '12, and '14)
Dave Dravecky - Solid pitcher for 8 years before cancer ended his career. Now motivational speaker.

I have no scientific evidence to support it, but what I'd like to believe is the discolored cards were included with darker breads-- pumpernickel and the like-- while the cards that are still bright were packaged with white bread. (I'm not positive how these were packaged, but I think the cards were just tossed in with the bread, not otherwise sealed in their own packaging. I could be mistaken, but I've never seen or heard of a sealed pack of these. Lord knows a loaf of bread from 1987 would be moldy dust by now. LOL)

Despite some browning and a few minor creases here and there, I don't plan to hunt down any upgrades for my set, though if any fell into my lap, that'd be great.

The backs are nice enough will full majors and minors stats (at least as many lines fit.. guys with long careers like Garvey might be missing some minor league years.)

Rookie manager Larry Bowa gets his MLB playing days stats listed, plus a little added part at the bottom about his minor league managing. While this '87 Padres squad had some solid players in the mix, they finished with the worst record in the NL. Bowa would be out as Padres manager midway into 1988, though he later went onto more success as a coach and manager, mostly with the Phillies.

Jose Cora (better known as Joey) also stands out while looking over the card backs. Only 2 lines of stats, and his is the only card without a facsimile autograph on the bottom. I suppose this is his rookie card, if you're not too picky about that label. He also got a card in the Donruss Opening Day set, but those are his only cards from '87, and he didn't get a true flagship card till '88. He had a respectable MLB career but didn't live up to his 1st round draft pick potential, and is nowadays known more as Alex Cora's older brother.

Oh, another thing about the backs to call attention to is they misspell Tony's last name as Gwynne. Ouch!

Closing out with a better look at the first and last cards I collected from this set. Again, feels great to close the book on this one.

Big thanks to everyone who's helped me out with the set over the past few years! Mr. Haverkamp, gcrl, and Rod all come to mind. Also shoutout to Slick Sweaty on Twitter for pointing me to the final card.

I tried figuring out if Bohemian Hearth was still in business, but my search was inconclusive. Here's hoping they're still around... and maybe they'll even put out a follow-up set of cards someday. :)


  1. If they are and they do, might not be the same without the logos. These you have here are great.

  2. Congrats! I've long been on the hunt for the Kevin Mitchell card from this set because of the rare sighting of him as a Padre.

  3. Oddball set, oddball commercial. Congratulations!

  4. Congratulations! I'm pretty sure you're the one who brought this set to my attention at some point. If I remember correctly... the Gwynn wasn't cheap. I'm a big fan of regional food issues. One of my favorite sets is the 1981 (1982 and 1983 too) Granny Goose A's set. As for the checklist... I recognize all of those guys except Steels and Martinez. Although after looking him up on COMC, I did recognize his 1986 Topps card.

  5. I can now rest that you snagged that Dravecky! Although I will still end up looking for BH cards at the 2 shops I visit on every trip to SD!

  6. I have some duplicates if anyone is interested? Congrats!but looking at the back pic you may need to upgrade some of the cards that have heavy staining?

    1. Ha, thanks for looking out, but nah, I don't really give a shit.. not like I'm gonna send 'em into PSA. I'm happy with them as they are.

  7. Ok, just in case anyone else is interested...


  8. I worked at the Fornaca Family Bakery at that time. You are right, the cards went in the bag of bread. 1 card in , 3 on the floor. Unwrapped at that time.