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The Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading and Bubble Gum Book Paperback – April 8, 1991

36 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (April 8, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395586682
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395586686
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 7.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #276,996 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Odysseus on December 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
Each of us occasionally has experiences that are so vivid that they make immediate and permanent imprints upon the memory. For example, I can still remember my excited first day of kindergarten, as well as my first glimpse of Three Rivers stadium, as our family car approached it along the jumbled, congested streets of the North Side.

Believe it or not, I can similarly remember my first experiences reading this book, as though they were yesterday. I was in grad school in California, and a friend was visiting me with this book in tow. As he spread out a sleeping bag and nodded off to sleep, I curled up with his magnificent book. I can still picture that entire scene, my old apartment as it was then, and even one particular page on which I lingered in fascination (the Joe Fornieles profile.) The feeling of reading it was that electric, that hyper-engaging.

A book has got to be good if reading it is remembered as a formative experience.

Let me try another way to explain how much I loved this book. When I couldn't find this book anywhere (it being out of print), I directed a nationwide book search to try to find it for me. They did, a flawless hardback edition that I still treasure, and still maintain in carefully guarded, pristine condition. Mind you, I was a starving grad student when I did this, and could hardly afford such luxuries.

As you can see from the other reviews below, this book takes that type of hold on those who love it.

There are three major sections in this book; one covering the sensory atmosphere of a 1950s suburban childhood, one on the baseball card industry as it existed in 1973, and one a series of profiles of players as depicted on samples from the authors' baseball card collection.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By W. C HALL VINE VOICE on December 30, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is a treasure. I think if I had to pack one bag of books for a long stay on a desert island, this would be one of the first ones included. Like one of the other reviewers, I have worn out more than one copy and find myself puzzled why it's been allowed to go out of print.
"The Great American Flipping, Trading and Bubble Gum Card Book" has three principal sections. The first, "Where Have You Gone VINCE DiMaggio" is a warm and very witty recollection of the co-author's childhoods in the 1950s and the central role that baseball cards played in them. Part two, "This Kid Is Going To Make It," is a look at how the baseball card business operated circa 1973, the date of the book's original publication.
As entertaining as these openers are, the best (and largest) part of the book is the one simply called "Profiles." Reproduced in full color are hundreds of cards from the early 1950s to the late 1960s, accompanied by the author's observations about the players immortalized on them. You'll find greats on these pages, like Richie Ashburn, Stan Musial and Ted Williams...but the real joy is the rediscovery of the men on the fringes of the game's glory...."immortals" like Chris Cannizzaro, Frank Leja, Foster Castleman, Clyde Kluttz and Coot Veal. It's tempting to quote from the book at length, but that would spoil the fun. Just to give you a sense of the flavor though, I opened at random to the page featuring Hector Lopez, poor-fielding third baseman for the Yankees and Kansas City A's. After judging Lopez not to be just a bad fielding third baseman for a baseball player, but for a human being, they declare, he did not "simply field a ground ball, he attacked it. Like a farmer trying to kill a snake with a stick.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By William J. Eichelberger on April 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
I received this as a Christmas gift one year and was initially disappointed. I had only heard of a few of the guys that were showed on the cards and I set it aside, figuring on sticking it up on my bookshelf with the other boring books that I had and never bothered with. Several days after Christmas we went on the annual family gift return, a day I truly hated. In desperation I grabbed this book off of my pile and took my accustomed place in the back of the station wagon. For the rest of that day and night the only time I put the book down was to eat, and then only briefly. This is a completely irreverent look at baseball as a whole, and the thing that really sealed the deal for me was the card of Whammy Douglas and the comments made by the author. I tried to get my dad to read it because I figured he would get more out of it than I did, (I'm 41 and consider myself to be on the trailing edge of those who might "get it",) but he wasn't interested. Maybe I'll try again. This book might have a limited range of interest, but if you have fond memories of baseball in the 50's and 60's, I think you'll fall right into that range.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bubba Beerbreath on May 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic book! It took me back 40 years! What's actually great about this book is the interview with Sy Berger, the head of the Topps Sports Chewing Gum Department. It gives a brief history of Topps and reveals some information that can not be found today. What's even more precious about this book is that it helped me prove that one of the hobby's self-proclaimed experts doesn't know what he's talking about. A must have book!
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