Thursday, September 28, 2006

In The Baseball Card Business

As a child I remember flipping through stacks of Baseball cards while sitting on the couch watching the afternoons game on the television. I would separate out the cards of each team and put together the days line-up in front of me. Then, as each player came up to bat I would study, intently, the statistics of the player and the brief biographical blurb provided on the back of the cards. I guess I was a pretty obsessive fan back then.

My favorite cards were Topps. They had detailed career statistics with a little cartoons on the back. They also had some of the most arcane or ridiculous things to say about the player. I would think to myself, "how do they know that?" They must be making some of this stuff up.

Anyway, I always wondered what it would be like to work at Topps, or any other card manufacturer. Truth be told I considered it a dream job. To wake up each morning knowing I would be spending the day researching sports or doing something sports related seemed like a home run. I figured that I could be a happy man if I worked in that industry.

Of course, these are just the dreams of a fanciful child wondering about the future. Reality is usually something different.

Yesterday, Slate's write David Roth (Van Halen Roth? Naw, can't be) wrote of his days at Topps.

"I was about to enter, as an adult, a place I'd always imagined as a gum-scented, Willy Wonkafied dream palace. Before my first day of work, I pictured packs piled in leaning towers, slides from long-ago Darryl Strawberry photo shoots, game-worn Mickey Tettleton jerseys. When I showed up, I found a standard corporate office: cubicles, recycled air, bad carpeting, worse lighting. "

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