Mill Creek Sports

Posted on 07/17/2018
An image inside Mill Creek SportsIf you think baseball cards when you think sports memorabilia, then you need to visit Mill Creek Sports and see what’s new.

Mill Creek Sports specializes in autographed memorabilia for all sports including baseball, football, hockey, golf, boxing and MMA featuring items such as photos, jerseys, balls, helmets – and yes, cards. They are the exclusive signing partner for Russell Wilson and Ichiro Suzuki, meaning those athletes only sign merchandise for Mill Creek Sports.

Founder Scott Mahlum began his business in 1991 as Mill Creek Sports Cards, at a time when sports cards were at peak popularity. As an Everett High School alum, he was familiar with the area and chose Mill Creek because it was a great city to raise a family. “I’ve never had more than a five-minute commute,” says Mahlum. “That’s hard to beat.”

After changing locations in Mill Creek a few times, Mahlum had the opportunity to build his own store, which opened on its current site in August 2017.

Mahlum met business partner Brent Holcomb, who was working at another card shop at the time, and they began to expand the business beyond just cards and brick and mortar retail. Holcomb was able to create a more robust online presence for the business and today about 75% of their business is done online.

Holcomb, a Snohomish High School alumnus, began collecting Topps baseball packs as a South Everett Little Leaguer and so the baseball card business became an extension of his personal passion. The biggest evolution in the sports memorabilia business he has seen has been in the area of authentication.

“When we started in this business, Scott and I would go to Ken Griffey Jr’s house with a carload of bats and balls and sit with him while he signed them, providing a certificate of authenticity with each one because we had witnessed it and knew it was real,” said Holcomb. “Now when Russell Wilson signs items for us, they have to be witnessed by two people, and then be stamped with his tamper-proof hologram.”

Because eBay only allows retail memorabilia to be sold that is authenticated by one of three accepted companies, Mill Creek Sports partners with Beckett Authentication Services. They visit the store several times a year to authenticate items that Mill Creek Sports has purchased from customers or estate sales. They also provide authentication for customers who want to bring in their items to be evaluated.

While their online business is robust, shipping over 600 packages during the holidays, the retail location has become a destination due to the celebrity signings offered at the store. Barry Sanders, Shawn Kemp and Marshawn Lynch have all visited, with more planned. Signings are typically announced to the store’s email list first and tickets sell out quickly.

Mill Creek Sports is located at 13616 Bothell-Everett Highway in Mill Creek. Store hours are Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Visit the website for information on upcoming events and available memorabilia items.