ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Shirley Kost has three great loves in her life.
Her husband Cal, the Texas Rangers, and baking cookies.
Kost, the famous ‘Cookie Lady’ of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, has been baking cookies for players, announcers and her ever-growing ‘cookie monsters’ for a baker’s-dozen worth of seasons.
The Pantego resident has been a fixture at the Ballpark for over 18 seasons. Her husband started working as an usher in the mid-90’s. The cookies came a little later.
In 2000 she was at Rangers spring training in Florida when a conversation with John Wetteland led to her getting a ride on his Harley. Back in Arlington she wanted to send him a thank-you gift. Cal suggested some cookies, and the legend was born.
What started as a gift to one player spread to making batches of them for the entire team, then for the TV announcers, then for almost anyone who walks by her seat on gamedays.
During each homestand she bakes 70 cookies for the team, another 25 for the press box and an additional 60 for the stands. In 2011 she baked nearly 7,000 cookies, giving her a .850 baking average per game if you break it down into baseball terms.
Every year she swears it will be her last, but she’s shown no signs of stopping, even with an early season injury this year.
In spite of a stress fracture, she’s refused to go on injured reserve. She could though, because there have been plenty of up-and-coming bakers vyying for their chance in the baking big leagues.
She doesn’t seem to mind the competition, “I’m glad others are doing it,” she said, “it takes the pressure off me.”
But she does like the notoriety of being the first. Her seat in the Lower Box even has ‘Cookie Lady’ engraved on the number plaque. “The Rangers did that for me a few years ago,” she beamed.
As for her cookies, the players and staff seek her out for their favorites. “Tom Grieve and Chuck Morgan both like the ‘Cat’s Meow’ cookie I first made for (former utility player) Frank Catalanotto.”
The players are always sending requests, and even former players will stop by and see what she has in stock. One night during the Yankees series, John Wetteland stopped by to get a cookie and check up on her. “He wanted an oatmeal cookie.”
She says most players request chocolate chip, and is currently trying to work on something for Yu Darvish. “I already have a name for it, ‘Darvi-licious,'” she laughed.
And while she doesn’t bake every day, she’s always looking for new recipes. “I’m going to try something with chocolate and Rolos,” she said.
That sounds Darvi-licious indeed.