Category Archives: Books

Book Review: 1975 Red Sox

When you’re a kid, you end up in places because that’s where your parents go. One of my favorites was the mall, where I’d plow through stuff at toy shops and play video games. Eventually, I’d end up at B. Dalton’s, a bookstore chain that existed before Amazon took over. There I’d chase down Choose Your Own Adventure books.

Grownup books weren’t on my agenda, but if I got bored I’d look at the handful of photos in their thick books. 1975 Red Sox: American League Champions flips the equation – this book has 218 photos within its 127 pages. If I saw this book as a kid, there’s no doubt I would’ve read the whole thing.

1975 Red Sox book

Overview

Ray Sinibaldi saw 1975’s World Series in person including games 6 and 7. Ray has a trove of photo negatives from 1975 and rather than hoard them, he’s generously shared them with the world. He’s a teacher, a writer, and a baseball fan who loves the Red Sox. This trifecta of a background is the secret ingredient that makes his book such an enjoyable read.

Hall of Famer Fred Lynn leads off with a reflective and heartfelt foreword about the experience and teamwork.

1976 sspc 402

Fred Lynn’s SSPC card (photo from the 1975 season)

“Freddy was my first choice, as in 1975 he was the MVP and the Rookie of the Year. It had never happened before and has happened only once since,” Ray recalled. “I contacted him and within an hour I received a response that he would do it… His foreword speaks for itself and he was perfect for the job.”

Chapter-by-Chapter

The book traces the Red Sox path to the 1975 World Series with photographs bursting forth from the first chapter, The Bridge Between Two Pennants (1967 and 1975). It’s the Ocean’s 11 equivalent of a baseball documentary where we meet the crew that aims to pull off the heist of the century.

You get to know the 1975 team as they’re built over the years through trades and rookies joining. This is what they looked like on baseball cards at the time…

1975 616  1975 4301975 1031975 0561975 0801975 3791975 2551975 128

1975 6221975 302

Jim Rice came up through the Red Sox farm system, Luis Tiant and Rick Miller joined in 1971, and Carlton Fisk arrived in 1972 (then dealt with injuries). Reggie Smith was traded away for Rick Wise and Bernie Carbo in 1973, Dwight Evans and Bill Lee arrived in 1973, and Jim Rice started in August of 1974 followed within 18 days by Fred Lynn and another rookie, Rick Burleson.

You’ll find candid shots – ones you won’t find on most baseball cards – like the brawl between the Red Sox and Yankees (with Carlton Fisk in a choke hold by Gene Michael).

Chapter 2 digs into the 1975 season. Denny Doyle joins in June through a trade. Manager Darrell Johnson shows up in this chapter along with action shots of Doug Griffin, Juan Beniquez, Bob Heise, Rogelio Moret, Tim Blackwell and Cecil Cooper. I didn’t find Tim McCarver mentioned but he played in 1975 so he’s included.

1975 441 1975 1871975 454 1975 489

1975 601 1975 008

1976 sspc 415 tim blackwell1975 586

Why are there Angels doing in my Red Sox card stash? The Angels traded Heise for Tommy Harper in Dec. 1974, and Doyle in 1975  for Chuck Ross and some cash.

Chapter 3 covers the Pennant games and the 1975 World Series (which many view as one of the best ever).  To this day, game 7 is still the most watched of any World Series TV broadcast.

The photos in this chapter alone are worth the price of admission. I also liked the stories like Fred Lynn’s insights into a rookie’s sleepless night walking the streets of Boston before a big game.

1975 032 1975 2321975 333 1975 5131975 5591976 sspc 4181976 sspc 419

Here’s a final set of Red Sox that played in the 1975 World Series: Reggie Cleveland, Diego Segui, Dick Drago, Dick Pole, Bob Montgomery, Jim Burton, and Jim Willoughby

I also learned some random history lessons like how Hurricane Eloise dumped 5 inches of rain on Fenway Park, which required some clever groundskeeper techniques to dry it out. I found a link to a Harvard Crimson new story about the hurricane’s impact. It’s a weird experience reading an actual 1975 news story online.

Chapter 4 ends with a focus on Luis Tiant and some poignant shots with his father. It’s a great finish to a book that perfectly blends my obsession of 1975 baseball with my interest in historical photographs.

1975 172

 

PostScript

I had a chance to ask Ray some questions…

Q: I read that many photos in the book were from discarded 35mm negatives. Can you share more about that and did you take any of the photos in the book yourself when you attended games?

Ray: I have been collecting photos since I was a kid in 1967. The idea for the book came from my first Arcadia book in 2012, Images of Fenway Park and then I came across the discarded negatives of both the 1967 and 1975 season. This led to my 1967 and 1975 books. I did not take any photos during the games in 1975. However a friend took a couple outside Fenway with Luis. My best guess about the negatives becoming available: when newspapers sent photographers to cover games they would send a couple and each would take probably hundreds of photos. Maybe four or five would go out over the wire and the rest would be archived. As we move to digitization negatives become obsolete and are sold off and thus resold. I have about 125 negative strips with four or five photos in each. Then I became a history detective…Great fun.

Q: Are any photos in color?

Some of my collection is in color but the Arcadia series calls for black and white. However, I am under contract to deliver a book in 2018 called “Modern Images of Fenway Park”… 90% of those will be in color and I have taken many of them.

Q: I understand you got a season ticket in 1975. Was that tough to get?

Not at all. In 1972 my brother and I bought a package that were for Sundays, Holidays and opening day. It included access to playoffs and World Series games.

Q: The Tiant ending was pleasant surprise. What made you end the book that way?

I have been a proponent for Luis election to the Hall of Fame since Catfish Hunter was elected in 1987. They were contemporaries and I saw both of them pitch, often. Catfish is a worthy inductee. As a baseball historian, I went to work and found that Luis career can be laid upon the careers of Catfish, Don Drysdale and Jim Bunning. They are nearly identical. Add in Luis post season performances and it adds to his credentials. Since the inception of sabermetrics into the discussion of Hall of Fame consideration and it elevates his career. I met Luis back in 2004 when he was inducted into the pitchers portion of the Ted Williams Hitters Hall of Fame in Hernando FL (now at Tropicana Field in Tampa). And a few years ago I reconnected with him at the Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice FL. (photo page 125). I learned on that day that he is as great a guy as he was a pitcher and I also came to realize what it would mean to him to take his rightful place in Cooperstown.

I have been going to Fenway Park since 1959, I have seen a lot in my day and I will unequivocally tell you that if I had to win ONE GAME and could choose a pitcher it would be Luis Tiant. If you want to watch what he is made of, youtube the fourth game of the 1975 World Series. The Sox were down two games to one and on the road. Watch this 169 pitch complete game effort and you will see the measure of the man, the competitor, the teammate. It is the best pitched game I’ve ever seen and after you watch it I would love to talk about it with you. The last chapter is my tribute to him and I hope it may wake up a few voters.

Q: Do you experience any connections between your day-job at the Youth Ranch and the writing you do?

Ray: I am fortunate enough to burn with a passion for both endeavors. American philosopher Joseph Campbell said “Pursue your bliss.” If you do, you will never work for a living. I am blessed as a result of being immersed in my bliss in both of these aspects of my life… I never work.

 

I’m grateful that Ray decided to write this fun and educational book. You can follow him at his blog fenwaypark100.

Book Review: Why the League of Outsider Baseball is Worth Reading

League of Outsider Baseball

While searching for new blogs to read, I stumbled upon a special book: The League of Outsider Baseball.

While in art school, Gary Cieradkowski traded baseball player trivia with his dad at least three or four times a week – the more oddball and obscure the player, the better. Then in 2009 his father unexpectedly passed away. Gary was inspired to draw tobacco-sized baseball cards like ones he shared with his dad. He posted them on the Infinite Card Set and discovered it was a way to reconnect with the exchanges he had with his dad.

The blog and the book stand out from the crowd with a focus on custom hand-drawn baseball cards and stories of players from the distant past. The reason these are executed so well is because of his passion for digging into baseball’s historic archives and his excellent graphic arts skills (see his process here and here).

There’s more to Gary’s stories than past history – they impact people’s lives today. After a blog post, he got e-mails from a player’s descendants. He connected them because they didn’t know of each other!

Like any good book, it flows and lets you quickly get immersed in baseball history. It’s also a fun read and there’s a chance it may impact your life in unexpected ways.

I think his father would be very proud of Gary’s book.

Overview

My first impression is that The League of Outsider Baseball feels more significant than what you see online. It’s thick, glossy, and colorful and feels plush. If you end up buying it, do yourself a favor and get the physical book instead of a digital version.

The short story format lets you decide if you’ve read enough about a player or if you want to dig in and learn more on your own.

Take Walter Johnson, the Nolan Ryan or Bob Gibson of his day and even today. I hadn’t heard of him so I checked Wikipedia and found that 88 years after his final MLB appearance, he’s still the all-time career shutout leader. More importantly, he’s still thought of as a highlight of good sportsmanship and friendly competition.

LO Johnson
I like reading about inspirational role models like Johnson

The book’s portioned into seven chapters. Bush Leaguers is full of familiar names: Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Babe Ruth.

It shifts to lesser known players – the Could’ve Beens like Steve Dalkowski, who finally made it to the majors after years of trials. He even had a rookie card produced (Topps 1963 #496), but injured his shoulder during his first game, which ended his career in the majors. Those are the kind of stories that get me started on the hunt for new cards to collect. It’s also a good reminder of how amazing it is for anyone to get to play in MLB.

Bad Guys is about what you’d expect. People’s Game digs into baseball as a common theme among people who are known for things other than baseball (like George Bush, Fidel Castro, and Frank Sinatra).

Baseball isn’t limited to America (or Canada’s remaining MLB team). So International Game shares stories from other countries like Japan, Mexico, Russia and beyond.

Chinese- and African-Americans, as well as other races are covered in Race Game. It includes Gary’s brush with greatness with Leon Day, a pitcher in the Negro Leagues. During Gary’s senior year in art school, he worked on the Camden Yards graphics including the Oriole Park logo. He met Day through a mutual connection from that project. They became friends but Day was pretty humble. It wasn’t until Gary researched Day that he understood why Day was eventually inducted into the Hall of Fame.

LO Johnson

The larger illustrations that capture the time period are my favorite

The final chapter wraps it up with Odd Balls – those players outside the norm, like the only female to have played in an MLB game.

Gary told me, “I chose players thinking I would have fun talking to my dad about them or they’d be someone he would have told me about. That’s still my criteria: would my dad be interested or would we have a phone conversation. If my dad’s interested chances are other people would too.”

The formula works and the result is a book that lets us experience a bit of the discovery and magic that Gary and his dad shared.

LO Gary Cieradkowski

Questions and Answers with Gary Cieradkowski

Q: Amazon Reviews has a comment from Paul Gillespie’s daughter (July 28, 2015). Have you heard from other relatives or players you’ve written about (beyond George Bush)?

A: Yes I get many letters from relatives. That’s one of the great side-effects of the website and book, the interaction with the families of the players. Kenso Nushida’s family have been very nice to me and I’ve met quite a few of them and corresponded with many others. They even sent me a photograph of his sister posing with my portrait of him. That was a very nice gesture and it meant an awful lot to me. One of my early stories on my blog was about a little-known guy named Overton Tremper. He played very briefly with Brooklyn in the early 1920’s and then played semi-pro baseball around NYC up until the late ’30’s. As soon as I posted it I received 3 emails from his descendants, none of whom knew of the others existence and lived in 3 different parts of the country. Now the 3 groups of relatives are reunited, all because of a story of an obscure ballplayer from the 1920’s. Kitty Burke’s family was very helpful and with their assistance I was able to write the most comprehensive story on her life out there. She is no longer a 2-line footnote in baseball history – I’m very proud of that.

Q: Some people think your card and book art is based on the Works Progress Administration style. How would you describe the art style?

A: I think people say WPA style because of the bold colors. Personally I am more inspired by turn-of-the-century poster artists Edward Penfield, Will Bradley and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. If you look at their work you can see where my dark line style with bold color comes from. Some people have likened the style to the Japanese menko cards of the 1950’s-60’s. Those are more cartoon-y than my work but the line and solid color is there. So if I had to describe it I’d say it was cross between the turn-of-the-century poster art with some 1950’s Japanese menko baseball card style sprinkled in. [See this link for some examples of posters Gary’s: posters]

Q: What was your criteria for choosing the players in the book?

A: When I originally turned in the manuscript it was 100 pages OVER the 240 pages it was supposed to be. I began editing players out, first keeping the most popular players because they would be familiar to most people. But I was very unhappy with it because it cut out the players I personally liked: the unknowns whose stories are rarely told. My wife had the greatest piece of advice I received while writing the book – she said “Don’t worry about what you think people want – make the book YOU always wanted to find on a bookshelf”. And that’s how I settled on the players in the book. I think it is a nice mix of well-known and un-known. When I finally received the printed book I read it cover to cover and said to my wife “This IS the book I always wanted to find on a bookshelf”.

Q: What year did you start writing the book?

A: I started May 2014 and submitted the final manuscript beginning of August 2014.

Q: I’ve read you’ve received many awards. Which are some that you’re proudest of?

A: This year The Baseball Reiquary awarded me the 2015 Tony Salin Memorial Award for commitment to the preservation of baseball history. I am particularly proud of this because of three reasons: 1) I had no clue I was even nominated 2) I was awarded it BEFORE my book was out so it was for my previous work, not just because I had a book on the shelves and 3) There is no more prestigious award a baseball researcher/writer/artist can receive. The Salin is not political, or given out to popular celebrities to make headlines. It is awarded purely on merit and accomplishments. I am proudest of this award. As an artist/designer I’m supposed to win awards because I am good at what I do. It’s expected. But to win the Salin, which is awarded for writing and research, that’s something else entirely. Many of my favorite writers/researchers are past recipients of this award and man, that’s a great feeling!

I’ve received many other awards for my design work, the most important to me are the “Best Sign Design 1992” which was for the Clock at Camden Yards and was my first award. I am most known for my posters and my work won Gold medals from Graphis, the most prestigious of annual poster competitions, in 2007 and 2010.

Q: You have your own design company – how did you start that?

A: I went out on my own in 2009. Mostly because I like to do a variety of different types of work: posters, print, branding, illustration, props for movies and TV, package design, environmental graphics – and no place I worked at let me exercise my design skills in such a diverse range of projects. Tough part is that I am not a relentless salesman, I find it very hard to sell myself because I tend to be modest and don’t like pushing my work on people. I really need an agent but so far have not met anyone that was compatible. It’s been a challenge, but very, very rewarding.

 

What’s next for Gary? He’s planning to continue the blog. And he’s thinking of a volume two focused on the same era: pre-1955. “I stop in the 50’s. After that there’s newspapers, TV, and radio that take the mystery out of it for me. When you research in the 1930s, it’s funner there’s some imagination left in it and it seems more interesting.”

He’s also considering writing a children’s version of the book for young adults (10 or 11 to high school). “No brothel stories or suicides,” Gary said. “I’ve been getting letters from fathers and moms wanting to get their kids interested in baseball. I found parents like the book. With kids into video games, they try to get them into sports. And the history of baseball is interesting. Once kids catch an interest there are a few characters they gravitate towards.”

Thank you Gary for the book and for sharing more about yourself.

LO Cartwright

 

Book Review: Mint Condition

Misc Mint Condition.png

Introduction

I was surprised by Dave Jamieson’s Mint Condition: How Baseball Cards Became an American Obsession.

A historical book about card collecting could easily be dull, but it turned out to be a page turner that I couldn’t put down. Dave focuses on stories about people from all walks of life and weaves them together with a card collecting thread.

I mostly read non-fiction and Mint Condition joins my other favorites: Band of Brothers, A Curious Mind, The Power of Habit, and several Malcom Gladwell books. Below is a review followed by what happened after the book’s publication and an interview with Dave.

 

Overview

Mint Condition starts at a personal level with Dave’s own card story. It mirrors my experience and a lot of collectors: childhood collecting eventually fades away, rediscovering cards leads to finding out most of our cards aren’t that valuable monetarily, and eventually some of us find the underlying adventure of cards again. It sounds a bit mythological.

The narrative at times felt more like the Da Vinci Code. Dave visited the National Archives to dig through the FTC’s Topps vs. Fleer litigation case file (someone nabbed the baseball cards that were included in the archive). And he ends up in Harbor City, California learning some tricks of the trade from a white-hat card doctor. The writing is excellent – I felt like I was right there with Dave.

Early Card Collectors. Jefferson Burdick was one of the earliest card collectors. He railed against another collector advertising offers to pay 10 times the going rates for cards. Burdick felt that would ruin the hobby and cause card inflation. I’m guessing he’d feel the same about graded cards.

He kept in touch with a network of other collectors through mail. It’s an interesting parallel to bloggers meeting via the internet and trading through mail today.

One of the Burdick quotes from the book (and originally published in the 1955 Syracuse Herald-American) resonated with me: “Some ask how anyone becomes interested in cards. You don’t become interested – collectors are born that way. Card collecting is primarily an inherited love of pictures.”

My Precious. The Michael Gidwitz chapter is a cautionary tale for collectors. Gidwitz starts collecting cards as a kid and over time is has the rarest cards like the Gretzky T206 Honus Wagner. But eventually even those aren’t rare enough. He feels “anyone can get the cards” so he transitions to creating collectibles by commissioning one-of-a-kind art from artists that previously drew baseball card artwork.

It felt so isolationist. His portrayal reminded me of Lord of the Rings’ Gollum. It’s the opposite of what I think is the soul of card collecting and trading. I don’t need a 1975 PSA 10 set to feel good. Finding a nickel card that completes a set can be just as rewarding. But it’s a good reminder to check your ego and avoid turning into something you don’t want to be.

2002 T206 179

All I can afford is a T206 Honus Wagner reprint

Behind the Scenes at Topps & PSA. Dave spent time with Topps executive Sy Berger, so we get an inside look into Topps the company. This helps explain many dynamics of baseball cards – like why there weren’t any true Topps competitors until the 1980s or what lead to the mass overproduction of the 1990s.

Dave also takes us on a visit to the grading labs of PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator) to experience how cards are graded. This was one topic that raised more questions than answers about card authenticity (especially when combined with the chapters related to card doctoring0.

Card Sharks. Scams and card doctoring are risks card collectors live with. Dave sheds light on these topics with stories from 3 people. Bill Mastro auctioned a T206 Honus Wagner (that eventually Wayne Gretzky and Gidwtiz would own for a while). Robert Lifson, who was once Mastro’s partner, discusses the dangers of auction houses. And one of the most interesting chapters is about Kevin Saucier, a collector (not the Phillie’s baseball player).

Kevin educated himself in the ways of card doctoring to avoid getting scammed. In the book he teaches us about card doctoring so everyone’s informed of the risks. It reinforced my belief that “investing” in cards doesn’t makes sense. The more incentive there is to beat the system, the harder people will try. I can’t afford a Gem Mint graded Yount card, and even if I could, I wouldn’t feel comfortable buying one.

1975 223

The Yount is one of several rookie cards in the 1975 set that may
be susceptible to card doctoring due to it’s high graded value

It’s Just a Piece of Cardboard.  A collector describes a dire outlook about the long term card market: when the current generation of card collecting adults get older and start disposing their cards, nobody will be there to buy them. Maybe that happens with more valuable cards. I don’t really know. But the final chapter helped remind me not to plunk down a bunch of retirement money into cards that possibility won’t concern me.

What I do know is that as long as we enjoy the experience and the people we meet, it’ll be worthwhile. And even if I don’t breakeven in the end on what I’ve paid for cards, that’s ok. It’s the price of admission.

Epilogue

It’s been over 4 years since Mint Condition was published. This is what happened to some of the people featured in the book since then…

  • In June 2012, CBS Sunday Morning ran a story about the demise of baseball cards (news flash!) – it includes Dave Jamieson
  • Bill Mastro, the card auctioneer, was indicted in 2012, plead guilty in 2013 and will receive his sentence on August 20, 2015. This was for charges that included selling “…the most expensive baseball card in the world, a Honus Wagner T-206 card… MASTRO knowingly omitted the material fact that defendant MASTRO had altered the baseball card by cutting the sides of the card in a manner that, if disclosed, would have significantly reduced the value of the card….”
  • In 2013, Upper Deck’s Richard McWilliam aka the “well-connected accountant” as referred to in the book died at age 59
  • Major League Baseball extended an exclusive baseball card license with Topps through 2020 with a goal of making cards increasingly relevant to children…
  • In 2014, Sy Berger, the Topps exec that played a huge role in card collecting died at age 91.

Kevin Saucier Update

Kevin Saucier quit baseball card collecting after becoming disillusioned with the hobby. Referring to the Mastro scandal, he wrote, “When the most iconic card has been admittedly altered and graded without apologies from the authenticator it’s time to move on to something else.”

Kevin added that sellers will pay to have cards “improved” which adds to the deception in the hobby. He didn’t share all alternations that can be done to cards in the book. Intense weeks-long doctoring can lead to unbelievable results. According to Kevin, “There are some card docs who try to improve common modern cards. They work in volume and try for big grade bumps. They are few and far between though. Once graded and slabbed it’s harder to tell if anything has been done.”

I’m a 1975 Topps fan and I’ve thought of 1975 Topps cards as a safer set to collect. I asked about the risk with those cards. Kevin notes that the ones to be concerned about are the top dollar cards like a Yount or Brett, which can cost over $15,000 in PSA 10 condition. “Those cards are typically sanded to get the sharp edges if they are doctored. Thankfully they have colored borders which make it tougher to color match.” He thinks people are safer with lower grade ’75 cards. That reaffirms what I thought and fits my approach.

Today Kevin runs a Titanic collectors web site and I wish him all the best.

1995 003 UD

Upper Deck George Brett running away from card doctors

 

Interview with Dave Jamieson

Dave Jamieson currently works at The Huffington Post. He still owns an ‘84 Topps Mattingly rookie card that holds sentimental value. Below is a brief interview with Dave.

Question: If you knew what you know now, would you do anything differently when writing the book?

Dave: The biggest development since I published my book is probably the guilty plea of card auctioneer Bill Mastro. I interviewed Mastro at length for the book; he gave me a lot of time at his office outside Chicago. We spoke for a while about the card-doctoring and shill-bidding allegations, as well as the reputation he bore for being aggressive, even bullying. Obviously, had I known all that would unfold in the years to come, I would have had many more questions for him.

Q: In a 2010 interview, I read you would’ve written about Larry Fritsch if possible. Now that some years have passed, is there anyone else?

Dave: Well, I’ll always regret not meeting longtime Topps art director Woody Gelman, though I can’t blame him or myself for that; he passed away years before I wrote the book. But he remains my favorite character and chapter in it, and I’m grateful for all the time I got with those who knew him. One chapter I didn’t write but should have is one about Cuban baseball cards featuring African-American players. I wish I’d taken the time to do that because it’s such a fascinating subject and a largely unknown corner of the card world.

Q: You said you understand the attraction of cards and that they animate people’s lives in amazing ways. Do you remember what you meant by that?

Dave: Everybody had their own motivations behind collecting, whether it was Jefferson Burdick or Woody Gelman, or Mike Gidwitz or Bill Mastro. That’s why it never got boring reporting the book. Each collector was driven by something very different (and it was rarely money, in my opinion).

Q: After 5 years, if you reflect on what you enjoyed most writing the book, what would that be?

Dave: Years later, it’s the people I remember far more than the cards. People like Mike Gidwitz and Kevin Saucier were incredibly interesting collectors who opened up their collections and their stories to me.

Q: You’ve mentioned you haven’t bought any cards since you were 14. Has that changed since publishing the book?

Dave: I’m a lapsed collector – I haven’t regularly bought cards since I was a kid – but I found the characters in the card world to be fascinating. Though I don’t collect cards myself and doubt I ever will, I find that since writing the book I really enjoy giving cards to other people. When I threw my book party I bought several boxes of ’87 Topps and gave packs out to whoever showed up. It was a blast. Last week I was visiting family in New Jersey and picked up a couple packs at the pharmacy to give to my nephew. It’s such a small thing but it brings me back to my own childhood. Who didn’t love getting a random pack of cards that you weren’t expecting? I could see the excitement on my nephew’s face, even if this generation doesn’t collect the way ours did.

Q: Do you still have all your childhood cards?

Dave: I had to get rid of the 80’s commons I had. I just couldn’t cart them around whenever I moved; I had boxes upon boxes of them. And they weren’t easy to unload. I called some charities but they wouldn’t take them. I think I ended up putting them at the curb for whoever passed by and wanted them. What I saved were the 80’s rookie cards and handful of vintage cards I had that were special to me, as well as some old Yankees team sets. They fit into a single shoebox. Every once in a while I’ll pull them out and leaf through them. I suspect I’ll have those cards for years to come.

Q: Are you working on any other books (or updating Mint Condition)?

Dave: I’m not working on any books at the moment. I’m a reporter at the Huffington Post, covering labor and workplace issues out of our D.C. bureau. I’d like to write another book someday, but for the moment I suppose I’m just happy to be on a beat and getting a regular paycheck.

Q: We hear anecdotal evidence and concerns about a decline in card collecting and card values, but the truth seems more complex. What did you encounter along these lines?

Dave: There was a reason I closed out the book by writing about Bill Henderson, the so-called King of Commons, who helps people fill out their sets on the cheap. There are a lot of collectors for whom value is very much beside the point, and I found that to be an encouraging ray of hope for the industry. Baseball cards in general have gone through booms and busts, stretching all the way back to the 1800’s, yet they’ve always found a way to endure. Even with all the competition today for kids’ attention, be it video games or the web, I see no reason why they shouldn’t last as long as baseball.

 

Thanks to Kevin for sharing additional insights, and thank you Dave for writing the book and answering my questions!

To buy the book click here.