Sports Collectors

Abandoned Detroit Plant That Held Millions of Junk Era Cards Being Torn Down

If you’ve been a long time reader, you might remember the photos of that abandoned building in Detroit that held dozens of cases of 1990s era cards.  They were discovered about five years ago by some young men who were part of a group that makes a hobby of checking out what’s inside old structures. 

Daily Mail photo

The photos looked pretty intriguing, even with the cards scattered about on the floor and in pallets, exposed a bit to the elements because of broken windows. 

The building in question was the former Cadillac Stamping plant. 

Abandoned Detroit Plant That Held Millions of Junk Era Cards Being Torn Down

Daily Mail photo

It turned out the vast majority of the stash consisted of worthless junior league hockey cards from the junk wax era that had apparently been stored there in the 1990s by a wheeler-dealer type named Hub Hemmen, who had them hauled into in the building before it fell into deep disrepair. The cards were apparently forgotten as Hemmen aged and later passed away. Even a major dealer who’d been offered the cards years ago turned them down.

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Any collector, though, would have loved the chance to dig around and see if there was anything worthwhile hidden in there.  If nothing else, the sheer quantity of it all would have been worth something as scrap paper.

Abandoned Detroit Plant That Held Millions of Junk Era Cards Being Torn Down



The coverage the story received apparently led to much of the material being carted off not long afterward but at least some of the cards were still there as of a couple of years ago as the video below shows. It appears many of the cases were gone and someone had made an even bigger mess of it all. At some point, someone even lit a stack of uncut sheets on fire.

Unfortunately, we don’t know what happened to the remainder, but we do know that old building is about to be torn down.

The plant was a manufacturing facility on Detroit’s eastside that’s now being razed to make way for a new 684,000 sq.-ft. industrial building that is expected to employ 450 workers in automotive and manufacturing careers, according to Mayor Mike Duggan.

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The building is almost 100 years old. It was first used by the Hudson Motor Company, then by General Motors for about 30 years starting in the mid-1950s.  It’s been mostly unused since the 1980s.

Thus comes the end of one of the hobby’s weirdest abandoned cards stories, but if you never quite got around to rummaging through a dusty, dirty, damp old building in Detroit, the odds are you didn’t really miss much.

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