When I was a kid, every now and then some adult would tell me "Back when I was your age, [fill in the blank] only cost a nickel" or some variation on that.
I thought of that today when I went to a local card and gift shop. When I was paying for the greeting cards at the counter, I noticed one of those cartons filled with packs of baseball cards, specifically Upper Deck 2008. Out of curiosity, I grabbed a pack to see how much it cost. I was astonished to see that a pack of about 25 baseball cards was $3.99. Heck, I can get a gallon of gasoline (but not for much longer!) for the price of a pack of baseball cards.
My son is around the age I was when I first started collecting baseball cards, and I remember back then a similar wax pack of baseball cards cost a quarter. In the box there was also a wax pack of Topps 2008 cards containing 48 cards, which cost a whopping $9.99! I'm sorry, but that is totally absurd.
I used to be a baseball fan and card collector until my late teens. For some reason, I just stopped caring about sports in general and I sold my entire baseball card collection to an acquaintance of mine. The baseball card business was starting to get out of control by then anyway. When I was a kid, there was just Topps. Then in the 1980's, Fleer and Donruss came along, and one had three brands of baseball cards to choose from. But by the early 90's, it got even worse, with even more brands such as Upper Deck and Pinnacle. The basball card market had become saturated.
Recently, I had been considering buying baseball cards again partly because I wanted to reignite my interest in baseball, and I figured having a set of cards would be an easy way to familiarize myself with the players. But $3.99 for a pack of 25 cards is way too cost prohibitive. Maybe if I could find a way to make my car run on baseball cards, it might be worth it.