Before Beckett, A Look at The Trader Speaks

The Trader Speaks Front Covers

The Trader Speaks Front Covers

 

The Trader Speaks was a hobby publication that ran from November 1968 until March 1984. Founded by Dan Dischley in Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y., The Trader Speaks was the main card collecting periodical in the 1970s. Dischley was a police officer at the time and began the magazine in his free time. He later founded (along with 15 others) SABR in 1971. Dischley sold the magazine to Sonny and Eric Jackson on August 18, 1983, who then sold it to Krause Publications (the one who publishes The Standard Catalog of Vintage Baseball Cards among other guides for hobbyists).

The contents were a treasure trove for collectors who wanted to fill lists without actually knowing the details of the sets they are collecting. Advertising of sports card conventions, dealer mail order sales, and others made up much of the magazine with articles being few. TTS main purpose was to bring collectors and dealers together, a paper version of Ebay so to speak. They also emphasized the checklist covering the names and numbering (if it existed) of many of the older sets that collectors didn’t have lists for. Another service they printed was error and variations to sets. Here is an example from the August 1975 magazine listing the variations to the Topps sets of the 50s,60s,and 70s.

The Trader Speaks Example Page

The Trader Speaks Example Page

Before Beckett took over, The Trader Speaks was the periodical most collectors used a a source of information. Looking through the magazine is trip through a history. You might want to pick up a few of them just to see what Pre Beckett, Pre Internet, collecting looked like.