Chasing Mike Cramer: UPDATE

In early 2018, after resurrecting this blog from a nearly five-year slumber, I set out on a mission to find the now-mythical, Mike Cramer. For those who don’t know or remember, Cramer was a lifelong collector and sports photographer who started from the bottom, producing non-sports trading card sets, until he managed to get his company, Pacific Trading Cards, an MLB license.

Unfortunately, like most of the manufacturers I write about on this blog, Pacific suffered a very nasty, public demise after a disastrous Manny Ramirez cork-relic and persistent rumors of purchasing fake, game-used memorabilia for their baseball products. Mike’s impressive empire came crashing down in the early-2000s and he’s not made a single, public appearance or granted an interview in nearly 20 years.

It’s hard to believe, in 2019, that Mike Cramer is still “missing” but that is the unfortunate truth. You can read about my first attempt at tracking down this respected hobby legend in ‘Chasing Mike Cramer‘ as well as part two with the first update, by clicking HERE. I came incredibly close to tracking down the trading card industry’s version of the Bigfoot but in the end still came up short.

*Update 2* 

Months after my article in 2018, I received an email from Mike Cramer’s son. He was kind enough to share with me that his father is now happily retired and is spending his golden years being a wonderful grandfather and an award-winning painter. Mike’s son approached his father about doing a quick interview with me but the reclusive Cramer graciously declined the offer.

One year later, approximately three months ago, I followed up with Mike’s son again to see if I could have a few words with the man behind Pacific Trading Cards. I was hoping a year-long wait would have changed his mind. I made sure to let Cramer’s son know that his father is a legend to a legion of collectors and that many of us grew up and even learned the history of the game of baseball thanks to his father.

Mike’s son, again, approached his Dad about an interview but he declined. This time, however, he had a little message for me (and all of you reading). Mike told his son to pass along his greetings and that he is thankful anyone still remembers the products his company produced so long ago. The Pacific head honcho also stated that he has moved on from that part of his life and is now focused on his family.

With that being said, I will try my luck again in 2020.

In today’s fast-paced world of social media, 30-second sound bytes, and on-going card scandals, it’s easy to forget or even dismiss Mike Cramer’s long history of work in #TheHobby. Mike worked his way up from a sports photographer, to producing trading card sets no one else would touch until finally earning his MLB stripes and joining the elite card manufacturers in the early-90s.

Everyone loves an underdog and Mike Cramer was the true definition of one. It doesn’t matter if you loved or hated his products, the man ran an operation from his home that kept pace with baseball card giants like Topps Company and Upper Deck. For a short while in the late-90s, Pacific was producing some of the finest parallels and inserts collectors have ever seen. Pacific was shinny, at times gaudy, but always REAL.

Today, Major League Baseball has given collectors no choice by making Topps Company the official baseball card manufacturer. For some, this may be a good thing but I truly believe that Cramer’s era of the late-80s into into the 2000s was the best time for this hobby thanks to fierce competition from 4-5 different manufacturers. I’ve said this 100 times and I’ll say it again, we need a second, licensed company.

…and collectors, especially those who loved his work, need an update from Mike Cramer.

2 thoughts on “Chasing Mike Cramer: UPDATE

  1. Pingback: Cramer’s Choice: The Finale – The Baseball Card Blog

  2. Good to know that he’s alive and well. He deserves to relax and spend quality time with his family after making such a big impact on our beloved hobby. Although I wasn’t exactly the biggest fan of Pacific products back when I was collecting in the 90’s… I do have a deep appreciation for them now.

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