Cricket's Grand Slam founder Walter Lemaster in the original Wayne Street store circa 1996
Grandma "Cricket" with grandson & current owner Jon Upchurch, circa 1994
Our first location, located at 4059 Wayne Street in Hilliard
Our second location, located at 3700 Parkway Lane in Hilliard
Our current location, located at 110 N. High Street in Gahanna
Cricket’s Treasure Chest was originally founded in the summer of 1992 by Walter Lemaster at 4059 Wayne Street in Hilliard Ohio. The name Cricket comes from the nickname that Walter's wife Gladys wore proudly. During this time, Walter specialized in toys, dolls, and other collectibles.
In 1994, Walter acquired a baseball card shop that was located in the same building that Cricket's Treasure Chest was in. He then auctioned off the inventory of Cricket's Treasure Chest and moved into the space formerly occupied by the baseball card shop. It was also at this time that Cricket's Treasure Chest was renamed Cricket's Grand Slam Sports Cards.
Cricket's Grand Slam Sports Cards was the perfect investment for both Walter and his family as well as the community that welcomed the more popular card shop. It made a perfect little addition to Old Hilliard in the 1990's.
It was only in the late-1990’s that Cricket’s Grand Slam started selling a new type of card that would change the world of cards entirely. Pokémon was brand new to the United States and Walter was incredibly nervous to sell the game. Using his great-grandson as a guinea pig to the new series, he began gaining confidence in the game and the sales reps that supplied his store.
All the while, sports cards were still Walter's main purpose of the shop.
Walter later sold Cricket’s Grand Slam in the early 2000s due to personal reasons. The store remained in the Wayne Street location under the new owner until early 2007 when it was moved to 3700 Parkway Lane in Hilliard. A few months after the move, the original Wayne Street building caught fire. Sadly, a few years later, the card shop officially closed its doors for good.
Or so everyone thought, Fast-forward to 2020, Cricket’s Grand Slam has been reorganized and opened under the ownership of Walter’s great-grandson, Jon Upchurch. An avid collector and player of many trading card games, a passion that stemmed from years of seeing and helping his great-grandfather in the original Cricket's Grand Slam store. Along with selling and enjoying the card's themselves, he is also an official Konami judge for the Yu-Gi-Oh TCG.
While Jon still sells the classic sports cards that his grandfather loved, he has begun to shift focus away from a sole sports cards store and primarily deal in trading cards and board games, but sports cards will always be available within the shop.
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