MIDLAND PARK, N.J. — Midland Park business owners Mike Healy and Dave Lancaster had sports and each other as part of their lives long before starting at The Baseball Card Store in Prospect Street in 1989.
The store opened around five years prior to their purchase, but for nearly three decades Lancaster and Healy worked together while surrounded by reminders of baseball's storied history.
"Compared to other retail it really is amazing with the customers," Lancaster told Daily Voice.
Healy added that with almost no exception everyone who visits the store comes happy to work on their hobby.
Both owners graduated Midland Park High School and played baseball together in their younger days. Healy coached several sports at Northern Highlands High School and Lancaster worked with the Midland Park Recreation Department.
The two seldom work at the same time but usually do so on Saturdays.
"Dave's easy to get along with, I think I am," Healy said. "We have compelte trust in one another."
Customers come in with different missions. Some search for older cards while others seek rookies and minor-leaguers.
The store also sells other cards like Magic the Gathering and Pokémon.
When they took over in 1989 baseball cards were seen as a good investment. The hobby itself may have diminished over time because people actively collect them now, compared to the early days but there can still be value in newer cards.
"A [Mike] Trout autographed rookie is probably close to $2,000 already," Lancaster said of the Los Angeles Angels outfielder.
A loyal customer base keeps the Midland Park store active, Healy said.
"Collectors do collect," he said. "It's a forever hobby."
MORE INFO: Visit The Baseball Card Store's Facebook page.