- Nov 20, 2008
- Reaction score
If you go onto Twitter, there's a few really fun sites, I can't access them right now (the Great Firewall of China), but they have names likes Sport Card Backs or Baseball Card Backs, they certainly fire up the nostalgia for the early '80s when I lived and breathed baseball cards.
I've been developing a theory as of late, that one of the reasons that MLB has faded into relative obscurity (compared to the NFL and NBA) is not only due to the explosion of fantasy football since the '90s, but also due to the demise of affordable baseball cards. About the time I got out of the "game", was when Upper Deck joined the likes of Topps, Donruss, and Fleer and the price of a pack got jacked up from 50 cents to $1 (ah, I recall the days of quarter packs). After Upper Deck came along, I recall things going bonkers with prices and easy, cheap access was gone. Much of my knowledge about baseball players came from the backs of those cards and when I would turn on the Saturday or Monday night games of the week (back in those halcyon days), I had a familiarity with the players that I don't today. I'm sure it's quite simplistic, but baseball wasn't exactly a fast game back in the 80s and there were other distractions (albeit not as many as today), but those cheap baseball cards provided a familiarity and accessibility to the game that seems to be missing nowadays.
I share almost the same experience. I, too, quit collecting as baseball card prices skyrocketed with the advent of Score and Upper Deck, and how the others followed suit. If it had just stayed at, say, Upper Deck as an uber-quality card maker, and the others stayed as they were, I think the card industry would have been just fine. They outpriced the market for the average consumer. Some of my fondest memories as a child were riding my bike to the store to buy a pack of baseball or football cards for about a quarter; or heading down to the card shop and plopping down a few bucks for a whole bunch of cards. It's a shame.