Texas Rangers superfan and “cookie lady” Shirley Kost passed away Thursday and will be remembered by the team with a moment of silence during an upcoming game, the team says. She was 82.
Shirley, affectionately known to many as “The Cookie Lady,” and her husband Cal have been part of the Rangers family for nearly three decades.
They started attending games when they moved to Pantego in 1979, but with the opening of The Ballpark in Arlington (later renamed Globe Life Park) in 1994, the team said the couple’s fandom hit a fever pitch.
“The first time I saw it (the ballpark) I thought it was beautiful,” Shirley Kost told NBC 5 in 2019. “We loved it. It’s magnificent. The outside is just a big showpiece.”
The team said Shirley and her husband Cal, who went to work at the ballpark as an usher, were also annual visitors to Rangers spring training camps in Florida and Arizona.
It was there she first earned her moniker as “The Cookie Lady.” In the late 1990s, Cal suggested she send Rangers pitcher John Wetteland a batch of cookies to thank him for letting her ride on the back of his motorcycle.
They were a hit and it wasn’t long before word started getting out about her cookies — not just among the team, but fans she encountered as well. And it got to the point where she couldn’t show her face at the ballpark without bringing some cookies to share.
“I don’t know that I’m good,” Shirley said with a laugh in 2019. “But I’m persistent. I do like to bake.”
Shirley told NBC 5 she estimated that she baked 7,000 to 8,000 cookies each season and that she not only share them with players, but with fans, broadcasters, and anyone else who needed a cookie.
“It’s a lot of cookies,” Shirley Kost said. “A lot of cookies makes a lot of friends.
Over the years more and more memorabilia has been added to the couple’s home, which some say looks like a Rangers museum with autographed baseballs, framed pictures with players, and even an old seat from the original Arlington Stadium.
The Texas Rangers said they will greatly miss Shirley’s support and it will be a noticeable difference without her in the stands and at spring training.
“It has always been a welcome sight for players and coaches to see the Kosts each year on the backfields in spring training, and it was just not the same without them being there in 2021,” the team said Thursday.
“We won’t soon forget Shirley’s unwavering support and enthusiasm for the team and its players and coaches over so many seasons. This is a very sad day. The Rangers send their thoughts and prayers to Cal and the entire Kost family at this very difficult time,” the team said.
A moment of silence in Shirley’s memory will be observed prior to Monday night’s game with the New York Yankees at Globe Life Field.