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Every Day I’m Hustlin’

Joe Markiewitz

Photo: Baynard Woods, License: N/A

Baynard Woods

“Cold sodas, $1! Baseball cards, $2 a box!” Joe Markiewitz yells from the corner where he has been selling water, soda, and baseball cards across from Camden Yards at Orioles games for six or seven years. Overall, he has been disappointed with O’s fans. “The fans generally just don’t come down,” the gruff-looking man with a big mustache and a purple Ravens jersey says. “They only come down for football. But you can’t sell anything because everybody’s tailgating.” As any baseball fan knows, this year has been a bit different. When the O’s played the Yankees recently, Markiewitz says that his business was about double what it ordinarily is. “There are a lot of kids into baseball cards right now, adults too.” It’s a good time to pick up baseball cards, he says, because of the recession. He gets them from private collectors who need the cash or from flea markets. But for the very same reasons, it’s tough to sell the more expensive ones. So he sells them by the box and, though he won’t reveal how much he makes, he says that he does all right. “But it’s tough,” he says before turning toward a group of approaching fans. “Cold sodas, $1! Baseball cards, $2 a box.”

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