Levin’s essay makes some very good arguments and offers a mini-history lesson on the industry, full of links to examples of other sites’ posts of similarly hideous but not-quite-as-awful cards.
This reminds me of a gross oversight in 501 Baseball Books Fans Must Read before They Die: the omission of The Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading and Bubble Gum Book by Fred Harris and Brendan Boyd. (Boyd is also author of Blue Ruin: A Novel of the 1919 World Series.) The GABBCFTBGB is full of great nostalgia not just for bad cards — most, if not all, produced by Topps, if memory serves — but for the bad players without which the cards wouldn’t be necessary, to weirdly paraphrase Yogi Berra.
I would love to see a second volume, but I don’t know if the explosion of additional companies (Fleer, Upper Deck, Score, etc.) and sets would yield the same fun feeling.
If I ever do a sequel to 501, you can be sure GABBCFTBGB will be in there.