By Dorri Partain, Contributor
Whether they’re square or round, baseball cards have always been a popular business giveaway item.
Featuring players from our hometown team, the Kansas City Royals, two long-time and now long-gone brands distributed these novelty cards inside their product packaging.
Taystee Bread, which was “baked while you sleep” at their facility at 25th Street and Burlington in North Kansas City, offered a series of 12 cards in 1989 inside loaves of bread.
Outfielder Willie Wilson was featured on card No. 5, with the reverse side showing his stats from 1988. Wilson played for the Royals from 1976 to 1990 and finished his career with the Chicago Cubs in 1994.
Taystee Bread and Mickey Cakes were baked by American Baking Co., which became Earthgrains in 1999. The North Kansas City baking plant closed in 1997 and has since been demolished.
Kitty Clover potato chips offered a series of 20 cards inside bags of chips in 1986, featuring the players that had just won the World Series pennant in 1985.
Infielder Frank White played his entire major league career with the Royals, from 1973 to 1990; his stats from 1985 include 22 home runs.
The Kitty Clover brand started as a home-based business in Omaha, Neb. In 1932, Harold Lippold, then 18 years old, made and packaged potato chips to sell to theaters, restaurants and grocers. The brand grew to include other products including cheese kurls, corn chips, nuts, pickles and salad dressings. A Kansas City factory location opened at 817 Westport Rd. in 1956. After a series of company mergers, buyouts, and a bankruptcy, the Kitty Clover brand was discontinued and eventually disappeared from store shelves in 1989.
After retiring from professional baseball, Frank White turned to local politics and currently serves as the County Executive for Jackson County.