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RETAIL/TOURISM : Sports Card Business Such a Hit Company Outgrows Its Quarters

Compiled by Chris Woodyard / Times staff writer

Like the movie star who finds fame and leaves for the big city, the Orange County company that has made a meteoric rise on the strength of high-quality baseball cards is packing up its collections and moving. Only there’s no big city here, just the North San Diego County community of Carlsbad.

The Upper Deck Co., which first started shipping sports cards in March, 1989, has outgrown its present quarters and will move to a 250,000-square-foot office and manufacturing center in October. The company is now spread among four buildings totaling about 75,000 square feet in Yorba Linda, near Orange County’s northern border.

The company’s phenomenal growth--it now produces cards for professional baseball, basketball, football and hockey in addition to other sports and special events, such as special promotions for Disneyland and Denny’s restaurants--has caused growing pains.

Overcrowding of the company’s 600 workers has grown so bad that in one office, four workers are crammed in the same space where only one worked eight months ago. The conference room was eliminated to make way for more offices.

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“The major problem we have now is we are spread between all the buildings,” Senior Vice President Don Bodow said. “This will permit us to bring everyone together.”


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