Years in Production
Donohue was founded in 1950 by Christopher Martling, a Toronto-based entrepreneur and magazine publisher.
When asked why he was expanding his interests into the trading card field, he said, “I’m just now realizing that not only do people in the Toronto area enjoy and appreciate baseball nearly as much as I do, it’s an excellent peripheral product to send to the U.S. using my existing distribution channels.”
While Donohue baseball cards were issued conventionally in wax, cello, and rack packs, Martling’s magazine business allowed him to publish cards via that medium as well, letting him get the jump on the industry prior to spring each year with “preview” cards. That dynamic has created some of the most sought after variations and rarities for collectors today.
Martling believed that minor league baseball should be more widespread in popularity (having the highly successful long-time AAA Toronto Maple Leafs franchise in his backyard), and he created multiple AAA sets which he retailed at games in Toronto and other local ballparks under the Donohue brand.
Because Martling was a savvy marketer, Donohue cards were retailed in a wide variety of ways, some still being discovered today.