Friday, April 22, 2011

Mint Condition

mint condition

Just finished “Mint Condition – How baseball cards became an American obsession” by Dave Jamieson.  Very good book.  Loved it.  If you collect or have collected baseball cards, then you need to read this book.  It’s a history of baseball cards and it’s sordid, if not dark, past.  It starts with the genesis of baseball cards in the late 1800’s all the way to the present.  This isn’t a picture book, with lots of pictures of cards.  I assume most are like me, you know where cards came from and how they started.  In tobacco packs.  But there is so much more to the story.  The underhanded tricks early companies used to get people to keep buying.  Why Topps was the only one around for all those years, and why Fleer and Donruss waited until 1981 to start putting cards out.  Which also explains why Donruss had so many errors that year.  It explains why a child’s hobby went from just that, to a multi-million dollar business and how the child is no longer a factor and with that, a slow death of the baseball card is inevitable.  It bring back memories of collecting when I was kid, all the trading that went on in the neighborhood’s.  I still get the itch to open packs but can’t get into collecting in general.  The companies and big business side of cards has ruined collecting for fun anymore.  Reading this book reminded me of trying to collect whole sets or team sets and I’m thinking of doing it again.  Shhh!  Don’t tell my wife.  I highly recommend this book.

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