I’m not alone! Any paperboy of the late 80’s probably doesn’t even realize that they too missed out on their first million before they even showed up in high school. The culprit? Baseball Cards and Bubble Gum!
A good paperboy in the late 80’s with a solid route earned about $25 bucks a week ($1300 per year) including tips. Most of that was spent on Big League Chew, Clearly Canadian, Crystal Clear Pepsi and lots and lots of baseball cards.
The collecting boom was upon us! The big three: Topps, Fleer, and Donruss were joined by Score, Leaf, O-Pee-Chee, Pinnacle, Bowman, and the 1989 launch of Upper Deck. With its premium foil packs, hologram, and $1 price point the baseball card business was H-O-T. If you didn’t have at least one Upper Deck Griffey Jr #1 card you weren’t a paperboy in 1989.
Production skyrocketed, Beckett began publishing monthly guides to value cards and kids stopped sticking cards in their bike spokes and packed them in plastic cases and binders.
They said, “Save these cards for 30-50 years and you’ll be millionaires.” Guess what folks? It ain’t happening. It’s been 28 years and that cardboard box full of binders and box sets that your parents recently dropped off on your front step is worth less now than in 1989. Why? Cause every paperboy has that same box. We were all suckers to mass production.
Oh yeah, and that missed million… the same $1300 investment in Apple back in 1986 would be worth $333,333 today. Maintain a paper route for 3 years and there is your million.
But then again, these types of misses are what make us regular guys.
It’s True, It’s True