October 03, 2006

Appreciation: Lousy Team Cards

I complain a lot about new cards, and one of the big things that really gets to me is that when you buy packs of new cards you don’t get very many and the packs themselves are really very expensive. That’s why it’s great then that you can still buy a box of 1981 Fleer for under $40 in some places. That’s much less than some cards put out this year, and the 1981 set’s 25 years old this year. So if we do a little math, $40 a box, with 36 packs, you’re paying $1.11 per pack, and if we say there’s 12 cards per pack, that’s just over 9 cents a card. Granted, commons from ’81 Fleer are worth about 5 cents each. Still, it beats paying $80 for a box where you’re lucky if you get 24 packs with—at most—8 cards per pack. Doing the math on that one (as an average) and you’re paying 42 cents per card. Yikes. Anyway, the cost of cards isn’t what I wanted to talk about, though it is an important, illustrative point.

I wanted to say that it stinks to buy a pack of Topps Heritage for something like $5, then be treated to 3 of the 8 cards ending up team cards. And true to the Topps mystique, I somehow express the same emotion felt by the little kids in the Fifties who opened up their nickel packs and got the Cubs team card: Goddamn lousy Cubs!

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