Collecting Tips: MSA Holsum Football Trading Cards

In the 1980-81 football season, a baking company issued small cardboard football trading cards with it's loaves of bread. The MSA Holsum trading cards are elusive to football card collectors.

One of the most rare football trading card issues ever is the 1980-81 Holsum disc set.

MSA company, a printer of oddball type sets during the 1970s and 80s, produced this set. It was distributed in bread and other products issued by the Holsum Baking company in the Upper Midwest.

Holsum and Gardner brand bread carried one disc card per product, but the discs were available only in that region of the country, possibly only in Northeastern Wisconsin. There is no sponsor identification on the front or back and even the team logos are airbrushed off the helmets of the players in the set.

The round discs are approximately 2 3/4" in diameter and have blank backs. A poster was issued to hold the 32 discs in the set.

The most valuable card in the set is Joe Montana, then in his rookie season. Montana is actually pictured with a mustache he had for only one season! The Montana card is valued at $100. Terry Bradshaw ($15), Dan Fouts ($8) and Phil Simms ($8) are the other valuable discs in the set. A complete set is valued at $175.

There are some notable players "missing" from the issue for some reason. No disc was issued for NFL greats Walter Payton, Franco Harris or Jack Lambert while such lesser lights as Lynn Dickey, Vagas Ferguson, Ted McKnight and Tim Wilson were included.

The Holsum company did produce other card sets that were a challenge to complete. In 1977, the company produced a set of Packers and Vikings cards for distribution in the Upper Midwest. The following year, another set was produced. This one contained players from most of the NFL teams but the distribution was again very limited.

However, the disc set remains one of the toughest issues ever, in large part because of the thin size of the cards, the Montana card and the general disdain for cards that are not of standard rectangular size.

© High Speed Ventures 2011