Wednesday, December 24

A Cultural History of the Baseball Card

Baseball cards from 1910
"In a garage roughly 3,000 miles from where I’m writing this, there’s a long, white cardboard container filled with hundreds of cardboard rectangles—all the baseball cards I amassed as a child. I don’t think about that container very often these days, but somewhere in my mind lies the assumption—childish but still deeply held—that decades from now I’ll be able to sell the contents of that box for a modest fortune. Baseball cards, it strikes me now, were my first taste of capitalism. Sure, individual cards held sentimental value to me, but I also was conditioned to see my collection’s worth in monetary terms. It was a portfolio with training wheels. The series of historical events that led to the existence of this cardboard box—one of countless such boxes in countless garages—was catalyzed by a man named Sy Berger, who passed away last weekend."

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