90’s oddball information needed

To say I went to the Dania Card Show with a limited budget would be a huge understatement. I walked in the door with a measly $14.75 hoping to find a couple of cheap Jose Canseco cards, if any. As it turns out, there was not much to choose from until I hit a table full of late 80’s, early 90’s oddballs.

The card you see scanned below is my 29th different Ozzie Canseco card and perhaps one of the most rare ones. In order to take it home with me I was forced to pay $8 dollars for the entire set, which also features Ben McDonald & Kevin Maas. Go figure.

I love oddball cards and while this particular brand is not the most appealing, I still have many questions about it. Who made them? How long were they around? I have some featuring Jose Canseco dated 1989 & 1990 and then no more. Although the cards look more like pictures you’d keep in your wallet instead of baseball cards, I am intrigued that they blatantly used MLB logos on their cards.

Speaking to the dealer who had these, all the information he could give me is that they were produced in California. With my remaining balance I was able to pick up one more set which featured Jose, Don Mattingly, Ken Griffey Jr., and Frank Thomas, among others.

Any and all help would be appreciated!

18 thoughts on “90’s oddball information needed

  1. owlatnight

    I’ve come across a couple of these, both from 1989 and 1990. A couple of Jim Abbott and Ramon Martinez. Someone left a comment on my blog and said they were unlicensed cards, but used major league logos anyway.

    A couple of mine say Pacific Cards and Comics, Los Angeles, CA on the back. The others don’t have any credit, much like the back of your Canseco card. But they all have the same look to them. I’m told this isn’t the same Pacific that we all know and love.

  2. MikeyB

    I doubt you find those in any Price Guides. That is from one of the sets known as “Broder’s”. These were unlicensed issues that came out every few months on the late ’80’s into the very early ’90’s. They were supposedly initially produced by a Rob Broder I think out of Hawaii. These sets filled a void as once collectors filled the basic Topps-Donruss-Fleer sets they were hungry for more. Although they were put down as worthless by the Hobby establishment, they filled the void in a timely for cards of new rookies and hot players. The card fronts were often very attractive and some of the sets used the “full bleed” borderless design evident on your set. Some sets were of HORRIBLE design with gaudy borders, etc. There were TONS of these produced but alot were broken for singles of the hot players. They can be neat cards to add to the collection, just don’t spend much for ’em.

  3. I”m pretty sure this is an unauthorized set. I can find no mention of it in my SCD phonebook. I’ve seen a few of these cards before for different players though. If I find any more info I’ll let you know but it’s tough finding anything about these unlicensed sets.

  4. I have a card that is very similar to that but it is from 1989.

    The back says Baseball’s Best Four and the copyright says Pacific Cards & Comics, Los Angeles, CA.

    I will post a scan of it tomorrow.

  5. I have seen these before Mario. I want to say Mothers Cookies, but the corners are not rounded. I know that Safeway ( which is a California based grocery chain) had something similar as well. I hope your back is doing better, get some rest man!

    The Mojo Hand

  6. Would I be wrong in saying it looks like a Mother’s Cookies set. The ones I had were rounded at the corners though, if I remember correctly.

  7. Mario,

    These are caller Broder cards, presumably named after the photographer who took these shots and produced these non-licensed card sets. That is why they don’t show up in any pricing guides – they are a collector created set, and not really considered “legitmate” since there would be nothing to prevent the person who originally created them from going back and producing more.

    Here is a link to a current ebay auction for a similar set featuring stars of the time:


    The Broder cards are very attractive and a nice oddball item to pickup when you can find them.

  8. This is, indeed, an unlicensed Broder-type card. There were a handful of companies that produced similar sets, and they can be quite difficult to identify. Some player collectors hate and ignore them, others chase them just like other official releases. I fall into the latter category, and find some of these Broder cards to be quite difficult to locate.

    If you check out my site above, you’ll see that I have dozens of Broder-type cards. The first I have is from 1986 and they spread into the early 1990s. If you look at my site, the Broder cards are always at the very bottom of each year’s page.

    Mario, I’m guessing there are hundreds of Canseco broder cards, as they were most popular when he was at his absolute peak. I’m sure you can find sellers on eBay that have lots avaiable, if you’re interested.

    One other note on these cards: they were ahead of the curve in promoting non-baseball sports. I picked up a bunch of Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky Broder cards, as I couldn’t afford the few Fleer/Topps/OPC cards out there. While baseball was the most common, the major stars from other sports also got their share of love.

    In my book, these are really, really interesting cards, and I’d *love* to read an in-depth interview with one or more of the manufacturers behind them…


  9. Mario,

    The “Broder” cards were kind of neat in their day. I have a few of the Olerud versions (that I know of) on my site. I remember the card shop I went to when I was in high school used to have a big “board” of different Broder issues including that same Canseco you posted. At that shop they ran a buck or two and were basically a neat way to add some variety to a player collection.


  10. justin


    The guys who said these are Broders issues are 100% correct. They are not Mother’s Cookies.

    Broder’s were unlicensed junk sets that dealers back in the day used to make a buck or two off the kids. They were and are basically worthless. However, I have quite a few of these left over from my childhood.

    I remember that the local card shop would have them on a wall behind the register tacked up in sheets for the kids. They ran a buck a piece and they stocked the big players of the time. Mostly Bo Jackson and Canseco. As I remember there were quite a few, so you could easily find more than 10 different versions per year. I think Broder survived during a time when the MLB did not come down on the unlicensed printers as hard, but they only had about a 5 year run before they got noticed and shut down.

  11. Brian Chidester

    I have a TON of Jose’s Broder cards from 1986-1990. I have three Ozzie Broder cards. But I’ll trade some of my Jose cards for any Ozzie cards I don’t have.

  12. I have about 100,000 of these cards that I’m selling on my eBay. I bought a storage unit in Indiana and they were in there. eBay pages are dwanew63 & betmil7025 check ‘em out. Very cool ones!!

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