At a recent card show, I purchased three Mother’s Cookies team sets from the ‘80s. As far as “give-away” cards go, Mother’s Cookies are near the top of the quality list. The sharp photos on glossy stock combined with a simple design, featuring rounded corners, produces a very attractive card.
The company produced team sets for the West Coast and Texas clubs during the ’80s and ’90s. The 28-card team sets were primarily composed of players from the year of issue. Sets, packed in envelopes, were given away at the stadium as promotions. Fans received approximately 90% of a set. Each envelope contained several duplicates to trade with other fans to secure the missing two or three cards. Additionally, an individual card from the local team was inserted into retail bags of cookies.
Mother’s Cookies used a different criterion for two of the sets I picked up at the show. Both the ’86 Astros and the ’87 Athletics are All-Time, All-Star sets. One card was produced for the All-Star representatives over the years. In Houston’s case, it starts in ’62 with Dick “Turk” Farrell of the expansion Colt .45’s. Oakland kicks off with Bert Campaneris in 1968-the year they moved from Kansas City.
The Astros cards are unique and quite striking in appearance. Each card is a colorfully painted portrait with stylized depictions. However, the artist* does an excellent job of making the players recognizable. This is a great choice, since “photo realism” would have made the whole exercise superfluous.
(*Richard-with a last name beginning with W-is the artist signature. I was unable to identify him.)
Houston’s colorful uniform history adds to the visual appeal. Starting with the wonderful Colt .45’s uniform, you see a progression to the “starburst” Astros, the primary color switch to orange, and finally the famous “Tequila Sunrise.”
Although the A’s didn’t use painted portraits, their colorful uniform history is on full display. Plus, the set has most of the principal players from the ’71-’75 dynasty era. The vest style uniforms give way to the polyester pullover jerseys and beltless pants in bold Kelly Green, California Gold and Wedding Gown White combinations.
The A’s set is from just before the “Bash Brothers” era, but Jose Canseco shows up twice. Also, there are cards from the lean years of the late ‘70s and the resurrection during the “Billy Ball” era.
At five dollars per set, I couldn’t go wrong even if the cards were less than stellar. So, I am very pleased with this purchase. By the way, the third set I bought is the ’84 Padres. This set is very colorful as well with the NL champion Padres sporting the “chili dog” accent colors on the home whites.
I am sufficiently inspired to collect more of these relatively inexpensive gems. Of course, I have the complete Mariners run.