30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Grease Stains and Baseball Games

Potato chips and sports cards are two of my biggest addictions.  Combine the two with childhood memories involving my favorite baseball team and you have something very, very, special.

When I was a kid there was a local snack company called Granny Goose based out of Oakland, California.  My parents would always buy their plain potato chips.   In fact, I can still close my eyes and picture their yellow bags and light blue lettering with the Granny Goose logo.

Back in the early 80's, they partnered up with the Oakland Athletics to produce three baseball card sets.  I've written about them before, but honestly Tony over at Collecting the 1980s did a much better writeup back in 2017.  If you're a fan of oddball food issues, I highly encourage you to check out the post.  Go ahead and click the link.  This post isn't going anywhere.

Interesting, right?  Hard to imagine a regional issue once commanding triple digits, but I vaguely remember those stories.

Anyways... I've owned all three sets for quite some time now.  However my 1983 set wasn't technically complete.

That year the Granny Goose included a silver scratch-off stripe at the bottom of the card as part of a instant winner giveaway with the grand prize being a trip for two to the World Series.

The set I purchased at a 2012 card show had the bottom tabs cut off:

It honestly didn't even bother me until I stumbled across a cheap set that contained the instant winner tabs on eBay a while back.

Today I figured I'd take a closer look at the most affordable of the 80's Granny Goose A's sets:

The set contains a total of 15 cards with Rickey Henderson being the lone hall of famer.  There are a few other notable names like Davey Lopes, Carney Lansford, and Mike Norris.

Honestly all of these guys stand out to me, because my brother would take me to a lot of games during this era.  I grew up watching Norris, Matt Keough, Steve McCatty, and Rick Langford take the mound, while Rickey, Dwayne Murphy, and Tony Armas (traded in the offseason to Boston for Lansford) patrolled the outfield.

In addition to being inserted individually into bags of chips, complete sets were handed out at one of the Oakland A's home games.  According to Beckett, these didn't come with the giveaway tabs.  Although I'm not exactly sure if they were specially printed without tabs or if the Oakland A's and/or Granny Goose sat around and used a paper cutter to chop off the tabs.

Beckett also states that over a million cards were produced.  I wonder if they mean Granny Goose printed one million of each card or one million cards in total.

Can't imagine 15,000,000 (or even 1,000,000) singles floating around the hobby.  I'll go out on a limb and say that a lot of these were damaged with grease stains and thrown away thirty-five years ago when the promotion was going on.  Then again... maybe there are a few collectors who are hoarding these sets in their garages.

Whatever the case... these sets are by no means scarce.  You can find plenty of sets sitting on eBay and if you're patient, you should be able to pick one up for under $10.

Personally the $4.40 (shipped) I spent on my copy was well worth the money, because it's an oddball set that has a direct connection to my childhoodGranny Goose might have packed up and left the Bay Area two decades ago, but their memory will live on forever in my collection.

Here is today's question of the day:

Outside of the super popular Kellogg's and Hostess trading cards...

What are your favorite food issue oddballs?

Hope y'all have a great week.  Happy Tuesday and sayonara!


  1. Those are so cool - simple design and great job using the A's team colors.

    I've always been a fan of the Mother's Cookies sets, even though we didn't have those growing up.

    I remember collecting Coca-Cola Monsters of the Gridiron and Tombstone Pizza cards growing up, those were fun.

  2. I like the Coco Puffs Harlem Globetrotters cards.

  3. Huh. I bought a few exemplars of these when Tony posted about them and screwed up and bought two 1982s since they look the same. Finding them for under $10 on the bay though is awfully tempting. I miss Granny Goose Chips and they remind me of when I was a kid.

    Favorite non-Kellogg's, non-Hostess food issues? Mother's Cookies, King-B Jerky discs, and Denny's Grand Slam holograms are the ones I remember most fondly from my youth. I've got a ton of other ones I can list as well (those lenticular Pepsi discs for example) but I'll stick to the ones I remember most fondly from when I was a kid.

  4. I don’t have a favorite but I certainly miss food releases

  5. Burger King team-issue sets from the late '70s and early '80s are my favorites after Kellogg's and Hostess.

  6. The Bazooka sets for baseball and football circa '59 are just great but far too costly for my budget.

    The 1970 Rold Gold All-Time Baseball Greats are fun and fairly reasonable.

    My favorite, though, is the '63 Pepsi Colt 45s. When I moved here to Houston I made a friend whose father had the set except for the really scarce Bateman. Years later I saw him and his dad at a card show and they said they were still trying to find that one. I never re-connected with him after that. I need to pick up the Rusty Staub Pepsi.

  7. Have you seen any with the tab still attached, but the silver part scratched off? Neat oddball set. My favorite sets are the sunflower seed inserts from the early 1990s.

  8. Of course around here there were no baseball cards or oddballs to get =\
    But Ruffles used to bring funny stuff and Bollycao too.

  9. I like the Kraft sets in the 90s. They had a pull tab to read statistics.

  10. I don't really know if I have a favorite food set, but one thing that struck me is how kind of un-athletic (by modern standards) these baseball players look and yet, they were arguably more athletic by virtue of the fact that they played the game better in some ways.

  11. Cool looking cards! I gotta go with the Denny's holograms.

  12. At the time that they came out during the late 80's until the mid-90's I didn't appreciate the hockey oddball food issues that came out. There's such a variety of formats, sizes and what food product they came with. Now I am picking up Kraft, Post and Highliner hockey 'cards' from that period where I can that are reasonably priced as I put together sets. It's more of a challenge compared to the baseball food issues which are obtainable in complete sets.

  13. Gotta be Wonder Bread football. I remember picking through the loaves and seeing the cards at the end.
    Would have liked to have been around for Kahn's weiners (insert Beavis chuckle here), and Red Heart dog foods back in the day.
    I'm also having luck recently with full panels from Squirt soda on my PC guys from the 70's and 80's.

  14. If you can call them oddballs, I've always been partial to the scores of TCMA sets from the '70s and '80s. (Also I just bought my first Granny Goose cards on COMC, so thanks for the push!)

  15. 7-Eleven discs were cool (I think they came with the purchase of a Slurpee?). The Jiffy Pop baseball discs were also interesting.

  16. Kraft had some really ugly cards featuring two players ,side by side in action.So,you said outside of Kellogg's but you never mentioned Post cereal ;)I loved those Post cereal cards ,and the cereal!Then they did the whole bobblehead thing and I had my mom buying boxes of Honeycombs like a re seller lol.But yeah,Post baseball cards were my faves.

  17. Brian - Excellent call on the Mother's Cookies sets. I grew up chasing the Giants and A's SGA sets as well as the ones issued in bags of cookies.

    Hackenbush - Had to look this set up. Very cool. Don't collect basketball anymore, but I'd pick up singles of these if they were cheap.

    Nick Vossbrink - Hope you grabbed a 1981 set when you were picking up your two 1982 sets. The 1981 Rickey is starting to rise in value. Not sure why... but I was going to write about it one of these days.

    Sport Card Collectors - Me too. Right now Post has soccer cards on some of their cereal boxes.

    night owl - Excellent choice. I lump the BK issues with the early 80's Coca Cola sets. Both are fantastic.

    Commishbob - The 1959 Bazooka set is one of my favorite sets that I'll never be able to afford. I hope to one day pick up a single for my collection.

    SumoMenkoMan - I haven't. I think most people would rather have the set tabless than having a set with the tab scratched off. The set is cheap enough where you can buy a set with a tab and have yourself a little silver scratchoff party.

    Ana Lu - Ruffles had trading cards? Nice. Had to look up Bollycao. Some of their treats look delicious.

    Baltmoss68 - I've seen those. Hmm. Might even have a single or two. Those are really cool... and creative.

    Peter K. Steinberg - Well put. Totally agree.

    The Lost Collector - Excellent choice. I collected a ton of them while conducting late night study sessions back in college.

    Anonymous - Growing up in the Bay Area I didn't have a lot of access to hockey food issues. However... I bet I have some sitting inside of my Owen Nolan binder. Back in the 90's, I was trying to be a Nolan supercollector.

    GCA - I was just a kid in 1976, but don't recall seeing these in their loaves. That being said... I'm blown away at how affordable the 1976 Wonder Bread set is. I picked one up a while back... just because it was cheap.

    Nick - Love the TCMA sets. Interested in seeing which GG cards you picked up.

    gregory - Big fan of the 7-11 discs. I'd grab a Slurpee after baseball practice and sometimes after games... and couldn't wait to see which disc at the bottom of my cup.

    Big Tone - I enjoy the 60's Post baseball/football cards too. Don't have a lot in my collection... but I pick them up when they're affordable.

    1. Hahaha. No I have two 1982 cards not sets. :p

    2. Oh I see. Let me guess... Billy Martin & Rickey Henderson?

    3. Those would be the two to buy right (I have an 83 Dave Lopes). I tried to get an 81 Billy Martin but totally didn't recognize the difference.

  18. Cool set and the story makes it all that much better . Thanks for sharing a bit of card and personal history.

    1. No problem. That's what my blog is all about. One day when I no longer remember my childhood, I'll look back at these posts to help me out.

  19. I'll throw in a vote for Mother's Cookies as well. Circa 1993, there was a Tim Salmon and Mike Piazza set (ROYs that year), as well as one of Nolan Ryan.

    1. Yeah. Pretty sure Mother's Cookies continued having cards until the late 90's. I believe the A's have SGA set up until 1998.