Working through the 2nd giant box of my 20,000 cards purchase, I came across this card...well, actually there were four of them together.
The card features Sosa, Ichiro, Randy Johnson, Piazza, Jeter, and Pedro, and instructs us to call 1 (877) CARD MLB to find a card shop near us. This is from 2002, and has MLBPA and MLB licenses. It might have come from 2002 MLB Showdown? There were quite a few Showdown cards around it.
2002 was the year I graduated college. This card was a vestige of the era where the internet was rapidly becoming well-developed, but there were still many people (like my parents) who were on dial-up connections who still used the phone for most things. Only 20% of Americans had broadband at that point. This is pre-iPhone by five years.
Anyway, this morning, I wondered....IS THIS LINE STILL WORKING? Does MLB have some bored intern manning a phone line waiting for people to ask where the nearest card shop is? Or is it just a recorded message telling everyone that card shops don't exist anymore and you can only get cards at Target?
So, I called it. I was hoping for a live person. Otherwise, a recording telling me where I could buy cards. Mostly I expected a "this line has been disconnected" error message. What I got was even worse.
MLB has abandoned this line. It has been taken over by a scam company offering "free" cruises (you just pay them some "small" FEES, of course) and "free" medical alert systems to prey on the elderly. Because the elderly are the only people who call 800 numbers anymore. (Sorry if I offended anyone out there.)
Does anyone remember calling this line? I hope you aren't relying on this anymore. If you are ever out-and-about and urgently need to find a card shop, just give me a call. I'll be happy to point you in the right direction. :-)