Oakland based Mother's Cookies went under last week after their corporate owners shut the doors. While the demise of the makers of beloved pink and white animal cookies doesn't sound like a normal topic for a baseball card blog, it really is. Mother's Cookies inserted baseball cards in their packages of cookies in 1952 and 1953 and gave them away as promotions at games from 1983 to 1998. The cards had a distinctive, clean design and were one of the better known and more popular oddball sets around. I've been looking for my lone Mother's Cookies card of Nolan Ryan all weekend, but I can't find the thing. Just like cookie fans can no longer find their iced oatmeal or taffy cookies on the shelf. Since I'm so disorganized, here's a scan from my February '89 Copy of Baseball Cards Magazine to give you an idea what they looked like.
The company released two sets of Pacific Coast League cards back in 1952 and 1953. The cards are bright, distinctive and pretty tough to find. A lot of former or future major league plaers can be found un the PCL uniforms and the most valuable card is of the Rifleman, Chuck Connors. Card production was revived in the '80s as a giveaway at baseball games on the west coast. a pack of 20 cards was given away at a game along with a coupon for another 8 cards to build a 28 card team set. However, you didn't necessarily get the exact 8 cards you needed for that set so finally building that set meant some searching and trading. Team sets of the A's, Giants, Mariners, Padres, Dodgers, Rangers and Astros were produced from 1984-1998. Mother's also gave away special star cards in packages of cookies, including Nolan Ryan, Mark McGwire, Ken Griffey Jr. and Jose Canseco. The cards have round corners, no borders at all until 1997 and photography by Barry Colla. The cards were high quality, looked good and created a bit of a stir back in the '80s by collectors looking for scarce regional items.
Apparently the imminent credit crunch prompted the owners to pack it in and file for bankruptcy. A sad end to a company who produced some classic oddball cards.