1938 Lew Fonseca Kellogg’s Baseball School Box Panels Set

‘It’s In The Details’

Title Lew Fonseca Kellogg’s Baseball School Box Panels
Year 1938
Size 8″ x 10″
Images Two-Color
Type Food
Number in Set
12

1938 Lew Fonseca Kellogg’s Baseball School Box Panels Overview

1938 Lew Fonseca Kellogg's Baseball School Box PanelWheaties box panels are well known by sports collectors and the company is still known for its pictures of athletes on its cereal boxes. But while 1930s Wheaties box panels are more popular, Kellogg’s also printed its own sports-related boxes.

I give you, the Kellogg’s Baseball School box panels.

This series featured major league player Lew Fonseca. Now, by this time, Fonseca was no longer an active player having retired in 1933. His last two years in the majors, he served as a player/manager with the Chicago White Sox. He spent part of 1934 solely as the team’s manager before leaving the team. Fonseca would go on to a career in film and movies. The Number 5 Type Collection Blog also has some film examples featuring Fonseca.

Regarding the Kellogg’s Baseball School name, counter to what you might think, it was for a real school of sorts. Kellogg’s even filed for a copyright of that name a year earlier in 1937. The copyright also includes the phrase, “Calling all boys, come to Kellogg’s Baseball School.” The school was actually a free instructional clinic that was held in different cities with Fonseca and other major leaguers as the instructors. It lasted for at least two years and drew tens of thousands of kids. Here’s more information on the back story of how these panels were instrumental in the development of the program.

The box panels, as shown here, were printed on the backs of cereal boxes and featured a particular baseball skill with several tips included. The tips were to be written by Fonseca, who is referred to as a member of the advisory board on the panels. The bottoms of the panels also had a special promotion where kids could send away for Spalding baseballs and the sides of the boxes included other equipment that could be had. Backs of these were blank as they were merely the interior of the cardboard product box.

Overall, the panels are incredibly rare. Unlike Wheaties panels, which have survived many decades, these Kellogg’s box panels are nearly impossible to locate. Why are so few available compared to Wheaties boxes? To start, I’m guessing that fewer of these were printed. Second, the Wheaties boxes included pictures of various athletes. These, on the other hand, merely depicted tips and a cartoon picture of a generic player. It’s hard to believe they were considered to be very collectible.

Collectors should also note that there are two variations of these panels. One includes the title of the baseball topic in green ink while the other is red. It isn’t known which product included which variation, but it is likely that the different types were used on different Kellogg’s products.

A final, minor note is that Fonseca also appeared in one other Kellogg’s pre-war item. The previous year, he was in their 1937 F273 -27 Pep Cereal Sports Stamps set.

1938 Lew Fonseca Kellogg’s Baseball School Box Panels Checklist

Here is a full set checklist of the box panels I have seen to date. I have never seen a complete checklist for these and a few are still unknown.

Judging by the positions of first base and shortstop mentioned, second base and third base likely make up two of the missing numbers.

  1. Batting
  2. Pitching
  3. Catching
  4. Outfielding
  5. Infielding
  6. TBD
  7. TBD
  8. TBD
  9. Pitching
  10. TBD
  11. Shortstop
  12. First Base

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