People that were just getting old enough to understand that trading cards were better stored in 9 pocket pages instead of making flapping sounds in there bicycle wheels were victims of over-production by the trading card manufacturers of the 1980s. That’s an old story heard many times. Here’s a further different story on how Diamond Distributors conspired with Donruss and in doing so created an inequitable position for themselves in trading card sales. Thank you Bleeding Cool for this article.
I grew up without baseball sports cards being a thing. In the UK we had football stickers from Panini, that was probably the closest thing, but you’d never have anywhere specialising in selling them. Probably why they still exist today. But I know how big they were in the USA. And how they formed the marketplace basis for comic book trading cards, which I do remember flooding into the comic book shops. Yesterday, former VP of Diamond Comic Distributors Bill Schanes continued his tales of distribution past looking at how Diamond entered the sports card business in the eighties. He writes,
The Topps Company had been producing baseball trading cards exclusively for several decades. In the early 80’s, 2 new trading card companies entered the baseball trading card marketplace- Fleer and Donruss.
Diamond Comic Distributors hadn’t offered any new trading card releases to our accounts in the past, and I decided to attend a my very first trading card show, which was being held just outside of Philadelphia, which is less than a 2-hour drive from Baltimore.