If you've collected baseball cards for any amount of time, chances are you've run across one or more small baseball "discs" featuring colorful borders and black and white photos of star players. This style of disc was issued countless times by a company called Michael Schechter Associates (MSA) between the years of 1975 and 1985, and while the design itself was largely unchanged during this time, the variety of sponsors found on the backs of these discs are what keep hardcore collectors searching on their never-ending hunts. MSA produced sets for baseball, football and even basketball during this eleven-year period. Some MSA disc issues are about as common as dirt (1976 Isaly's Baseball Discs), while others are notably scarce (1976 Coca-Cola Chicago Bears Discs).
Featured here is a 32-disc effort released by MSA and a company called "On Deck Cookies" in 1982. Sold primarily on the East Coast, one card was randomly packaged with a large cookie and typically sold in the 25 to 29 cent range. Nearly a dozen Hall of Famers can be found within the set, as well as Pete Rose and many other fan favorites of the early 1980s. The discs are not numbered, and the backs do not feature any information regarding the player pictured on the front.
The set was endorsed by the MLB Players Association, but not Major League Baseball; accordingly, no team logos are found on the player ball caps. This worked well for MSA, as many players were photographed wearing the uniforms of their former teams. Many of the photos were used on multiple MSA issues and were several years old by the time they were recycled for use in the 1982 On Deck set. "Vintage" player pictures include George Brett, Johnny Bench and Reggie Jackson, who is pictured wearing his Baltimore Orioles uniform from 1976!
Regarding the scarcity of the various MSA baseball disc sets produced during this time, the 1982 On Deck set is one of the tougher ones to find. An Ebay seller auctioned off several uncirculated sets a few years ago (we grabbed three of them), but the hobby apparently absorbed them without decreasing the long-term value. While complete sets do appear on Ebay from time to time, it is much more common to find random singles. We'd estimate the current value of the set at $35 to $50.
Click here to find On Deck Cookie Discs on eBay