Another deathblow to my childhood

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The WSJ yesterday had a depressing story about the baseball card industry. In order to reverse a decline in sales, card companies are including ever creepier relics as "chase cards" -- big ticket prizes that entice collectors to keep buying packs.

I blogged once a long time ago about how bizaare relic cards are (money quote: "Yes kids, for months worth of your hard-earned lawn-mowing money you can purchase a shred of lycra which caressed the rear end of your favorite second baseman/left fielder."), and it seems it's gotten even creepier. It seems some card companies have upped the ante, moving from second class to first class relics:

Ms. Artusa, a baseball-card collector since the 1970s, found something unusual in one pack -- a scratch-off code that pointed her to a Web site. The site told her she had won something too delicate to include in a regular pack: a single strand of hair from the head of Abraham Lincoln.

Click through and you'll see the article is not dated April 1st.

For a long time now, the baseball card industry hasn't been about baseball and this is further proof:

The industry has since streamlined, but "the good old days of building a set, one 15-card pack at a time, are pretty much over," Mr. Kelnhofer says. While cheaper packs today go for around $2, he says, "the card makers' survival is predicated on attracting and keeping the collectors who make the big-ticket purchases."


Those are people like Ms. Artusa, who got the Lincoln hair. The night she and her husband came across their prize, they were going through a case priced at $1,800 and containing 192 packs of baseball cards.

What is this but legalized gambling?

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This page contains a single entry by Papa-Lu published on November 19, 2008 8:53 PM.

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