7.14.2009

Drake's Cakes baseball cards: the sequel.

We've discussed the 1950 Drake's baseball cards. Now Dinged Corners must drive its bakery truck up to the 1980s. Here's why. Marie of A Cardboard Problem sent us a Chris Young GU card, which we will get to in another post. Along with that relic she threw in another sort of relic, two Darryl Strawberry cards from the 1980's Drake's Big Hitters sets.
(Rickey Henderson Collectibles once covered the topic well.) According to Baseball Almanac, there were eight Big Hitters baseball card sets released between 1981 and 1988. The 1987 set

consisted of 33 baseball cards:


1Darryl Strawberry

The 1986 set had 37 cards:


May we pause for a moment to consider the humble Drake's cake? If you grew up in the Northeast, you know about Yodels, Yankee Doodles and Ring Dings.

Sure, there were Funny Bones and Coffee Cakes and Pies from the Drake's Baker Duck too, but they were secondary to the glory of the Primary Three. Perhaps this prejudice toward Drake's is rooted in my city-kid mindset. To quote brandlandusa.com,

"Hostess products are different than Drake’s, and confusing the two is not helpful. Hostess is very middle America, with its Twinkies,

Ho Hos and Cupcakes.

Drake’s is urban. In fact, Drake’s products are less sweet than Hostess, and have a more European taste. For instance, a Devil Dog is perfect with coffee.Twinkies are not."

Yes, Drake's is in the same category as Entenmann's. You either know what that means or you don't. For one thing, Drake's were kosher; most bakers used lard or beef tallow. Not Drake's, baby. Drake's still exists, but trust me, it's not the same since Borden and then others (including ]]sob[[ Hostess) got involved. The loss to American pop culture is tragic,

for the real Drake's cakes will never be known again. They were already iffy by the late 1980s.


Now they are all modernicky. For one thing, they stopped quite a while ago individually wrapping Ring Dings and Yodels in foil. This changeover to plastic wrappers affected flavor much the same as the right shaped wine glass affects bouquet and nose. Here's a review of Drake's Cakes in their prime:


Devil Dogs: a devil's food creme sandwich that resembled a hot dog. TASTE AND TACTILE SENSATION.
Yankee Doodles: chocolate cupcakes baked and sold in paper baking cups. No icing, and the hole through which the creme filling was inserted is clearly visible in the center. HEAVEN ON EARF.
Sunny Doodles: yellow cake version of the Yankee Doodles. Sounds horrible. Never saw these in NYC, thanks be to the Junk Food Gods.
Ring Dings: Chocolate frosted hockey puck shaped chocolate cake with creme filling. SUBLIME.

This was the pretender.

Yodels: Chocolate frosted creme filled Swiss roll. Sold as one two small cakes in a single wrapper. Wrapped in foil when life was good. A PLATONIC SNACK.


Funny Bones: Similar to Yodels but with squared off edges and corners rather than being a cylindrical roll, and filled with peanut butter flavored creme. GACK.
Fruit Pies: No lard in Drake's pies (often used by other companies to make the crust more flaky), and in having two (half-sized) square shaped pies in a pack, instead of a single rectangular pie, presentation was unique and compelling. PRETTY GOOD.
Coffee Cake Junior: A large single round crumb cake. Eh.

We have never been fond of sweets, or even chocolate. Drake's was an exception. Remember, modern versions of these cakes are much more chemically processed and oilier-tasting yet dryer than the originals. Thus, modern taste tests, although noble and kind of sweet, do not count. If we could get in a time machine and do the test, now THAT would count. Sadly, we cannot share the wonder of Drake's Cakes with our kids because they now only exist in name only.

Do you remember cutting out the cards from the Drake's box? The crookedness of the cutout cards that Marie sent us make them absolutely perfect. They are not only dinged, but crooked and hacked and nonlinear. We love them. Thank you, Marie!


Twinkiehenge image from idolchadder. Twinkie postcard confession from ezoons. Next post, we return to our regularly scheduled program.

3 comments:

handcollated said...

I'm sure the Twinkie crushing postcard is actually from PostSecret, where people write confessions and other random thoughts on postcards and mail them off anonymously to the owner of the site. Some are sad, others funny, but before you go it's probably not safe for the kids. Unless you want to explain alot of things to them, that is.

dc said...

Yes. We found it via ezoons so credited that site, but the card originated on http://postsecret.blogspot.com.

JRJ said...

I'm really hungry after reading that and looking at the pictures. Thanks. :(