‘I Make The First Set For Me’ – Words To Write By


Back in 2001, I wrote a children’s book entitled Collecting Baseball Cards.

I went to Washington state to speak with Mike Cramer, the founder of Pacific Trading Cards.

Although I focused on the baseball card sets Cramer had issued as early as the 1970s, I knew that his company created sets ranging from I Love Lucy and The Andy Griffith Show to cards featuring an indoor soccer league.

Cramer created a series of baseball greats. In it, he featured his own favorites, overlooked men like Cubs legendary announcer Jack “Hey Hey” Brickhouse.

As a reminder of his motivation, Cramer kept a hand-lettered frame on his desk. “My First Baseball Card” read the boyish printing, showing a 1960 Fleer Babe Ruth in slightly-battered, well-loved condition.

Cramer wasn’t bashful about his intent to please himself with anything his company created. No half-hearted products grasping for a bit of the market. As a result, all the Pacific cards were original and FUN!

Thinking back, I haven’t found many Mike Cramers. A plan in one sentence? Many people sink under the weight of page-long vision statements!

Forget the market. Ignore what seems to be selling right now. Write for yourself. See what happens.

Be like Mike.


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