...had pulled collectors into a big-business stranglehold, as all of the card companies began playing these games: You can't have this card unless you buy about twenty packs; You can't have that card unless you buy a case and say thank you; You can't have these cards unless you cash in your bonds and refinance your first-born... It got really bad.

They even have an all-those-extras-and-random-inserts encompassing name now—they call them "Chase Cards." Like this Mickey Mantle 1992 Score card #"2 of 4," which when new and just as small as it is now was selling for $50.00. I got lucky, found it in an off-the-counter pack of 17 cards for 79 cents, and I might argue that as an object of rich color and tone its value is certainly fifty dollars worth of beautiful, but I would never succumb to paying someone fifty dollars worth of dollars for it, unless I were both rich and mad.

I love beautiful things, and I also loved paying about four cents worth of cents for this one.

I'd like to...

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