Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mint Condition- How Baseball Cards Became an American Obsession

I had the pleasure of being contacted by Dave Jamieson, author of the new book, Mint Condition- How Baseball Cards Became an American Obsession, asking me if I would be interested in receiving a copy of the book to review. I gladly accepted and today received a package from Atlantic Monthly Press. Quite fittingly the book was accompanied by an unopened wax pack of 1987 Topps which made me chuckle.

Currently available on
Amazon for $16.50 which is a 34% savings off the list price of $25.00.

I am really looking forward to reading this book and I will provide my take and review in a few weeks but for now, this is what others are saying.

"It's a form of megalomania, of course, one famous card collector once said of his hobby—and, as Jamieson explains, there are plenty of people willing to cash in on collectors' obsessions; the secondary market for baseball cards may be as much as a half-billion dollars annually. It used to be even stronger: Jamieson got interested in the history of baseball cards when he rediscovered his own adolescent stash only to find that its value had plummeted in the mid-1990s. His loss is our gain as he tracks the evolution of the card from its first appearance in cigarette packs in the late 19th century through the introduction of bubble gum and up to the present. The historical narrative is livened by several interviews, including conversations with the two men who launched Topps (for decades the first name in cards) and a collector who's dealt in million-dollar cards. Jamieson also digresses neatly into curiosities like the Horrors of War card set, the legendary Mars Attacks, and a profanity-laced card featuring Cal Ripken's little brother. It's a fun read, but it also shows just how much serious work went into sustaining this one corner of pop culture ephemera."

- Publisher's Weekly April 2010

"This very satisfying account of the development of baseball cards and our attitudes toward them is highly recommended even for those casually interested in sports or collectibles."
- Library Journal

"This is a fascinating history that encompasses not only the nuances of serious collecting but also the business machinations of card marketing strategies that contributed significantly to the rise of the cigarette and gum industries. Superbly informative and entertaining."
- Booklist


Anonymous said...

Very cool of him! I might check it out myself.

James said...

I'm slow on my RSS from last week and I missed this one! Great score I look forward to the review, or maybe it's on here now and I just haven't caught up!

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