Years in Production
Wheaton was established in 1958 specifically to produce baseball and other trading cards by founder Donald Schaal, a well-known baseball card collector and personal friend of Jefferson Burdick – the universally acknowledged “father” of the card collecting community.
Working out of (and named after) Wheaton, Illinois, Schaal believed that baseball cards were not only for kids but for adults as well, and he used unique marketing efforts and channels to “appeal to the kid in all of us” when promoting Wheaton cards.
Wheaton used a unique production dynamic, whereby all cards were expected to be as up to date as possible. This meant that mid-stream card changes such as team changes due to trades and releases were the norm, creating some outrageously scarce variations for many years of production.
The Wheaton factory included not only production facilities and offices, but three purpose-built baseball fields, a running track, and a football field all used publicly and by the local high school.