Culture: November 2008 Archives

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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Let's talk about something else

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For all you ladies who grew up watching The Sound of Music and wanting to find your very own Captain Von Trapp, you probably don't want to read this review of Christopher Plummer's memoir. I did learn, however, that his daughter is "Honey-Bunny" from Pulp Fiction and the axe murderer in So I Married and Axe Murderer.

Also, this one's for Brandon: "A 65th Birthday Tribute to Joni Mitchell."

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Culture category from November 2008.

Culture: May 2008 is the previous archive.

Culture: December 2008 is the next archive.

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