Call it the Storm Before the Calm. Call it Overproduction Era Eve. It was 1986. Upper Deck wasn't even a gleam in anyone's eye and baseball cards were hot.
Grown ups who once had to keep their love of a 'kids hobby' in the closet, were unafraid to show it.
But the dark clouds were starting to form on the horizon.
Speculators were getting involved as word spread about the nice chunks of change being made on boxes and cases of supposedly short-printed 1984 Donruss and Fleer cards and an ever growing market for vintage cards. Anything the card companies put out was hot. Card shops were starting to pop up everywhere.
The mainstream media was paying attention, too.
This article in the Los Angeles Times from the summer of '86 portends the problems to come. Things would peak in just a few years--and then the hobby would be forced into a long stretch of market corrections.