DAILY DIRT: Have you looked through some of those old boxes in the basement lately?

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Daily Dirt for Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022

By the time you read this, I will have gone through every box, drawer, closet and cupboard in our house … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 406 of The Daily Dirt.

1. The story is an old, familiar one.

Those old toys or collectibles many of us once had as kids are now worth their weight in gold bullion. The most common chapter from this book usually concerns those old baseball cards pitched years ago that would be worth millions today. 

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’ve all been there, and rehashing those tales is not going to bring back the that 1952 Mickey Mantle or 1965 Willie Mays example of cardboard gold.

But I would guess in some attics or basements there are still some valuables that would permit the finders to experience a nice payday. When you’re done reading today, go check those boxes in the attic or basement that contain some of your kids’ old toys and memorabilia. Maybe you can find a:

Original 1959 Barbie doll

Maker: Mattel.

Original price: $3.

Worth today: $27,450.

Barbie revolutionized the doll market and went on to revolutionize the toy industry as a whole. The small, unrealistically proportioned Barbie evolved every decade with new shoes, new careers, and finally today, new shapes and colors. Just like with any collectible, the unboxed, untouched Barbies will fetch the highest price at auction. “Barbies missing limbs definitely don’t appeal to the market,” writes Audrey Kyanova for invtesing.com, which provided additional information for other items mentioned in this thought. 

First Edition G.I. Joe action figure

Maker: Hasbro.

Original price: $4.

Worth today: $200,000

In 1964, the first G.I Joe action figure was created. It was a giant toy and saw a lot of success, though the production cost was too high because of its size and soon afterward Hasbro stopped making the original action figures. 

Princess Diana beanie baby

Maker: Ty.

Original price: $5 to $7.

Worth today: $22,222

The purple Princess Diana beanie baby was created shortly after her death to raise money for the Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. As with everything that has the lady’s name attached to it, it caused a massive frenzy

Honus Wagner baseball card

Maker: Factory 25.

Original price: Unknown, but not much. 

Worth today: $6.6 million. 

The granddaddy of all baseball cards. Arguably the best-known U.S. collectible.

2. Here are five snacks/fast-food items that have been discontinued over the past 15 to 25 years ago that I’d like to see reintroduced:

  • PB Max candy bar:Interestingly enough, these were actually a pretty successful adventure by the Mars Company. In a single year, the candy grossed about $50 million in sales. Yet, they were stilled pulled off of store shelves shortly after their release because one of the company’s officials didn’t like peanut better. Go figure.
  • Jell-O Pudding Pops: I loved these things. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Jell-O Pudding Pops were everywhere. They were also profitable for Jell-O, but eventually discontinued — reportedly due to a rising health consciousness among consumers, according to Veronica Pannell of thedaddest.com.
  • McDonald’s Arch Deluxe:There have been plenty of items that have been taken off the menu at McDonald’s over the years. The Arch Deluxe might be the one that (at least some) people miss the most. This hamburger was an initial hit at the iconic fast-food restaurant, but was eventually discontinued and considered one of the biggest long-term flops in McDonald’s history.
  • Banana Nut Cheerios: General Mills has introduced a plethora of Cheerios flavor over the years. One that was surprisingly discontinued in 2016 was this item, much to the chagrin of those who enjoyed it — like me.
  • Philadelphia Cheesecake Snack Bars: These specialty snacks appeared in multiple flavors, with strawberry cheesecake striking a particular chord with fans. Almost as fast as they appeared, however, the snack bars were pulled from the market, although fans of the treats have been begging for years for their return.

3. The days of the MLB season are down to a precious few … but my thoughts are plentiful.

This week we look at the top overall achievements so far this season:

Gold medal: Aaron Judge’s magnificent season, not only all the home runs but the Yankee outfielder’s bid for just the second triple crown in the American League since 1967. And remember, Judge is a free agent after this season.

Silver medal: The managerial job Tito Francona has done in Cleveland. The Guardians have the youngest roster in all of MLB, not to mention the third-lowest payroll. Granted, the Guardians have a sensational starting staff and a lockdown closer, but no one — and I mean no one — saw this kind of season coming.

Bronze medal: Justin Verlander’s campaign in Houston has been remarkable. He’s 39 (he’ll be 40 before the 2023 season begins) and just a little more than a year removed from Tommy John surgery. Verlander has been one of the two most dominant starters (Max Scherzer, when healthy, being the other) in the majors. If not for that recent stint on the IL, Verlander would have likely already reached 20 victories.

Steve Thought O’ The Day — I hope baseball fans in general appreciate what Aaron Judge is doing this season. His is one of the greatest seasons ever, especially when you consider his average and RBIs.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. He keeps all of his old baseball stats in the basement as well.

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