Cardboard Gods: An All-American Tale Told Through Baseball Cards

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Seven Footer Press, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 243 pages
24 Reviews
Cardboard Gods is the memoir of Josh Wilker, a brilliant writer who has marked the stages of his life through the baseball cards he collected as a child. It also captures the experience of growing up obsessed with baseball cards and explores what it means to be a fan of the game. Along the way, as we get to know Josh, his family, and his friends, we also get Josh’s classic observations about the central artifacts from his life: the baseball cards themselves. Josh writes about an imagined correspondence with his favorite player, Carl Yastrzemski; he uses the magical bubble-blowing powers of journeyman Kurt Bevacqua to shed light on the weakening of the powerful childhood bond with his older brother; he considers the doomed utopian back-to-the-land dreams of his hippie parents against the backdrop of inimitable 1970s baseball figures such as “Designated Pinch Runner” Herb Washington and Mark “The Bird” Fidrych. Cardboard Gods is more than just the story of a man who can’t let go of his past, it’s proof that — to paraphrase Jim Bouton — as children we grow up holding baseball cards but in the end we realize that it’s really the other way around.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - KarenRinn - LibraryThing

I wasn't sure what to expect when I first received this book but to my pleasure I learned Josh Wilker is a talented writer! Wilker portrays his life story in a poignant yet humorous way that enables the reader to reminisce at the same time. I highly recommend this book for all readers. Read full review

Review: Cardboard Gods: An All-American Tale Told Through Baseball Cards

User Review  - David - Goodreads

What started as a somewhat interesting exercise in memoir whereupon the author uses his collection of baseball cards from the mid-to-late-70s to relive his unconventional childhood quickly turned into ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Josh Wilker writes about his life and his childhood baseball cards at Since his first posting in 2006, his site has been featured in the "New York Times" and the "Chicago Sun-Times" and on He is a winner of the Howard Frank Mosher Prize for Short Fiction and has an MFA from Vermont College. He lives with his wife in Chicago.

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