Welcome to our community

Be apart of something great, join today!

Seattle area sports card shops (1990's and beyond)

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
3,682
I thought this would be a fun topic, as I recently unburied a bunch of business cards I had grabbed and kept. This discussion welcomes other regions and contributions, but I think anyone collecting cards in the PNW in the 90s/00s will probably recognize some or many of these businesses. I think nearly all are gone physically, but a few definitely remain in business, some even in physical form! I know a lot of people have complained that they don't have a good card shop close or it closed. Well, travel back to a time when shops were all over the place, at least in some areas.

A little history on this. i got out of the Navy in 1993 and while going to college, I developed a habit of spending my free time seeking out shops and shows to advance my recently revived collecting passion. Most of those shops were located on the Kitsap Peninsula, where I lived and went to school. When i graduated and got a job, i moved over to the Seattle side of the water and my job initially had me roaming the greater King/Snohomish counties and cold calling. This had me on the road a lot and I scheduled my trips and used my lunch time to check out any card shop i could find close by!

Enjoy and feel free to share some memories of any of the shops you personally knew or visited. Maybe some of these people are still in the business online? Maybe some are even members here?

Card Shops 1.jpgCard Shops 2.jpg
Card Shops 4.jpgCard Shops 5.jpgCard Shops 6.jpg
 

Attachments

Austin

Active member
Aug 7, 2008
5,651
Oahu, Hawaii
Wow, I wish I kept business cards of all of the card shops I went to. That’s cool. I can’t even remember a lot of the names of the shops I liked back then.

I grew up in a North Dallas suburb as a kid/teenager in the golden era of baseball card shops in the ‘80s and early ‘90s. There were three card shops within a bike ride of my house, and at least a dozen that I knew of within several miles. I live in a different state now. I wonder if any of those shops are still around.

Baseball Card Exchange in Richardson was my favorite. I’d go every weekend for a few years until the owners retired around 1991.

In the ‘80s, bargain boxes were insane because they had lesser condition ‘50s and ‘60s superstars for a few bucks each. I got ‘56 Topps Ted Williams and Jackie Robinson in VG condition for $8 each in 1986 and they remain my favorite cards in my collection. I also got several T206 cards for $3 each. Vintage cards were so cheap in the early to mid ‘80s until prices exploded in ‘87 and ‘88.

Here’s a crazy realization. In 1985, a 30-year-old card was a 1955 Topps or Bowman, which seemed ancient to a 12-year-old kid in ‘85. But 30 years ago in 2020 is a 1990 card, which seems relatively recent to me.

There were also many regular dealers at indoor flea markets and a dozen card shows in the Dallas metroplex every weekend in the late ‘80s.

What I time to be a collector. I got so nostalgic going through my set binders and it’s such a great feeling.
 
Last edited:

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
3,682
It's funny how the names are recycled across different areas. Only so many names to choose from I guess. For example, Baseball Card Exchange.

One of the earliest card locations I recall was a book store in what is now the Belltown area of Seattle, near the Pike Place Market. it was called Paperback Exchange. I recall the area was a little creepy back in the 80s when I first went, but much different times. I remember going once with my little brother and keeping my firsts clenched as we walked in case i had to protect him. HA, I was probably 12 and him 10. If someone wanted to mess with us, we would have been screwed! I used to ride the ferry to Seattle and go to the market and baseball games with my friends as a pre-teen w/o parental supervision. Looking back, I would have NEVER let my kids do that now, which is a sad state of affairs for the human race I suppose.
 

Gwynn545

Active member
Aug 29, 2008
5,421
North Seattle
Wow... memories... some awesome names in there for sure! Saddest thing is watching them shut down one-by-one over time. A couple still around, I know, but when Pacific shut down, or Walts, big timers! Mill Creek Sportscards is still around after a couple relocations, Snohomish had All-Star Sportscards for a while, and a Who’s on First before Marysville. Smokey Point had Andy’s Sportscards. Yes, memories! Card shops everywhere and packed Card shows every weekend!

Edit to add: My first card shop was Pacific Trading cards, and I grew up in Oak Harbor (2 hours away). We would make weekend trips down there to spend any money we ever earned as kids. (Take I-5 to 196th, turn right, and then turn right at the 2nd KFC!) This was late 70’s. I remember saving to buy “old packs” like 72 Topps, but mostly picked up current Topps Packs, or they always had awesome posters From SI and Studio One, among others. My friend and I would trade 2’x3’ posters like others traded cards! Later in the 80’s I also remember buying those Star Company sets there For just a few bucks per set. When Pacific exploded and moved to their giant store, I did not go as much, plus all of those other shops you mentioned were thriving, so no need. I’ve been in Snohomish since late 80’s.
 
Last edited:

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
3,682
I had never seen a shop in Snohomish. I think the closest open shop is Who's On First in Marysville. I went in once and have never been back to that one. He clearly caters to gaming customers and sports is an afterthought at this point.

Was Walt's in the parking lot by Hooters off 196th in Lynnwood? I remember a shop there that was pretty good. I didn't get a business card from that one apparently.

I have been to Mill Creek Sports and remember getting the guys card, but I am not sure what happened to it. Maybe there are a few most stashed away somewhere else???
 

Pinbreaker

Well-known member
Aug 7, 2008
9,849
Laguna Niguel, CA
Great reminders of lots of shops I used to hit here and there on my way from bowling tournaments..
Staggs and DJ's I used to hit on my way home from work.

Some of the other card shops I would go to since I lived in the South End: West Coast (Federal Way), Knutsen's NW Sportcards (before he was arrested for tax evasion), B&I Coin and Cards (I lived within walking distance), The Baseball Card Shop (he has been in Longview, Bremerton, Tacoma by Pt Defiance, and recently in South Hill Puyallup)
There used to be a card shop in the drug store on 47th and South Tacoma way that was run by the grounds keeper of Cheney Stadium as well.. Great stories from him..

Brings back some great memories.
 

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
3,682
Great reminders of lots of shops I used to hit here and there on my way from bowling tournaments..
Staggs and DJ's I used to hit on my way home from work.

Some of the other card shops I would go to since I lived in the South End: West Coast (Federal Way), Knutsen's NW Sportcards (before he was arrested for tax evasion), B&I Coin and Cards (I lived within walking distance), The Baseball Card Shop (he has been in Longview, Bremerton, Tacoma by Pt Defiance, and recently in South Hill Puyallup)
There used to be a card shop in the drug store on 47th and South Tacoma way that was run by the grounds keeper of Cheney Stadium as well.. Great stories from him..

Brings back some great memories.
I missed an entire section of the area, simply because my territory didn't go south of Kent/Des Moines. The Kitsap shops were because I lived there at the time. Wish I would have ventured out further, but never did except one shop in Tacoma. It was a combo coin/card shop, as many were. I still see the complex where it was when I am heading south on I-5, but don't recall the name. It was a little south of the Tacoma Mall on the same side of I-5. In the last couple of years, I tried to hit some south end shops, but the only one that I could find that was open when I tried to go by was in Puyallup. Might be the Baseball Card Shop guy.
 

Members online

Latest posts

Top