from The Atlantic
One night not long ago, with my 3-year-old son finally asleep and my wife wisely heading to bed, I settled onto the couch, beer in hand, to catch some baseball. Well, not really baseball. I opened my laptop, navigated to breakers.tv, and prepared to watch a pair of rubber-gloved hands in East Wenatchee, Washington, open an entire case of baseball cards—more than 4,000 cards in all.
If that sounds like the only activity more tedious than sitting through four hours of pitching changes and batters calling time, I shared some of your skepticism. Though I was once a middle schooler with a pack-a-day habit, whose heart raced whenever I crossed the threshold of Gilbert’s Sports Nostalgia in suburban Boston, the last time I tended to my card collection, Bill Clinton was president and Barry Bonds was a speedster with some pop. I’d been under the impression that the card industry had all but died out around the time I went off to college, eclipsed in the adolescent imagination by Nintendo 64, Pokémon, AOL.