Mint Condition: How Baseball Cards Became an American Obsession (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Grove Press, Apr 1, 2010 - Sports & Recreation - 320 pages
20 Reviews
When award-winning journalist Dave Jamieson’s parents sold his childhood home a few years ago, he rediscovered a prized boyhood possession: his baseball card collection. Now was the time to cash in on the “investments” of his youth. But all the card shops had closed, and cards were selling for next to nothing online. What had happened? In Mint Condition, his fascinating, eye-opening, endlessly entertaining book, Jamieson finds the answer by tracing the complete story of this beloved piece of American childhood. Picture cards had long been used for advertising, but after the Civil War, tobacco companies started slipping them into cigarette packs as collector’s items. Before long, the cards were wagging the cigarettes. In the 1930s, cards helped gum and candy makers survive the Great Depression. In the 1960s, royalties from cards helped transform the baseball players association into one of the country’s most powerful unions, dramatically altering the game. In the ’80s and ’90s, cards went through a spectacular bubble, becoming a billion-dollar-a-year industry before all but disappearing, surviving today as the rarified preserve of adult collectors. Mint Condition is charming, original history brimming with colorful characters, sure to delight baseball fans and collectors.
  

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Review: Mint Condition: How Baseball Cards Became an American Obsession

User Review  - Scott Blumenthal - Goodreads

Really enjoyed this book. Fun read, well researched. Read full review

Review: Mint Condition: How Baseball Cards Became an American Obsession

User Review  - Paul Hilton - Goodreads

Great read if you wonder why that collection in your closet only held its sentimental value. Dave does a great job of detailing the rise and fall of card collecting while relating his own experiences. Spoiler Alert: Baseball got greedy, big surprise. Read full review

Contents

Please Mister Give Me the Picture
11
Anyone Can Get the Cards
31
People Chew Harder When They Are Sad
49
Cartophilia
69
The Great Changemaker
89
Down in the Subsubbasements
115
Nostalgia Futures
139
Cardboard Gold
159
Gem Mint Ten
177
The Ringmaster
193
A Visit to the Doctor
217
Its Just a Piece of Cardboard
237
Notes
249
Acknowledgments
271
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Dave Jamieson has written for Slate, The New Republic, and Washington City Paper, among others, and has won the prestigious Sidney Award and the Livingston Award for Young Journalists. He lives in Washington, D.C., with a closetful of worthless baseball cards, all of them in excellent condition.

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