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8 Reviews
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Baseball Cards, Autographs and the Shrewd Marketing of Pop Culture
The back-stage temper tantrum of Mickey Mantle speaks volumes on what has become a multi-billion-dollar industry in baseball cards and sports memorabilia.

Author Pete Williams shows an angry and bitter Mantle after a 1993 appearance on a national home shopping program that was in conjunction with the MLB All-Star Game festivities put on by Upper Deck - railing...
Published on August 3, 2008 by Best Of All

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written book for the money
I feel any person who is in the hobby of collecting cards or thinking about getting in the hobby should read this book
I found it interesting some of the aligations of conterfiting ones own cards interesting. Some people would be shocked to know
why there cards have no value.
Published on May 30, 1996


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Baseball Cards, Autographs and the Shrewd Marketing of Pop Culture, August 3, 2008
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This review is from: Card Sharks: How Upper Deck Turned a Child's Hobby into a High-Stakes, Billion-Dollar Business (Hardcover)
The back-stage temper tantrum of Mickey Mantle speaks volumes on what has become a multi-billion-dollar industry in baseball cards and sports memorabilia.

Author Pete Williams shows an angry and bitter Mantle after a 1993 appearance on a national home shopping program that was in conjunction with the MLB All-Star Game festivities put on by Upper Deck - railing about the the host's questions, which may not have helped in pushing his autographed merchandise - and attempting to negotiate the following weekend's appearances for the company into being considered as two events, which will make the Yankee legend closer to accumulating enough dates in the year for his nearly $3 million salary to sign autographs on "exclusive" memorabilia.

From the days when baseball cards were used as inserts to secure the packaging of tobacco products to the bubble-gum wars waged by Topps on other companies and a landmark judicial decision in 1980 that opened the doors wide open for a competitive marketplace in baseball card sets, Williams ambitiously covers the bases as he delves into the creation of Upper Deck, an idea from a frustrated card dealer who was tired of buying bogus memorabilia and an inventor who could add a unique identification tag to thwart counterfeiters.

While the story is initially driven by an entrepreneurial spirit born in the 1980s, neither of the founders are in the picture a few years later as the company profits explode as it becomes the high-end retailer in sports cards and collectibles through aggressive marketing and the securing of legends with exclusive and lucrative promotional contracts, along with the baggage from any number of controversies and allegations of unsavory business practices and fraud.

This is an incredible tale on how a kid's summer pastime became an industry monster that seemed so solid on the outside, but could pop at any time like a bubble blown too large from one small stick of gum. With the shrewd marketing of pop culture and the creation of a unique sports boutique based on its alleged rarity, Williams forges a classic story driven by the dreams of youth....and greed of adults.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating look at the sports collectables industry, January 13, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Card Sharks: How Upper Deck Turned a Child's Hobby into a High-Stakes, Billion-Dollar Business (Hardcover)
The "Barbarians at the Gate" of the baseball card industry. Fascinating, yet creepy, to see from the inside how a child's hobby has been exploited by sleazy characters. Will definitely turn you off collecting new cards as an investment.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written book that is a must reading for card collectors, November 17, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Card Sharks: How Upper Deck Turned a Child's Hobby into a High-Stakes, Billion-Dollar Business (Hardcover)
I enjoyed this book very much. It has two themes: first, it shows how one company with the right idea and the right people behind it can revolutionize an entire industry, against all odds. Second, it tells us that to succeed in today's competitive markets you have to elbow your way in. While the allegations of wrongdoings by trading card companies seem like unsubstantiated hearsay, the book does make you feel that you are on the inside, witnessing how the real entrepreneurs do it. Very entertaining read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book of Baseball Card History, January 22, 2013
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This review is from: Card Sharks: How Upper Deck Turned a Child's Hobby into a High-Stakes, Billion-Dollar Business (Hardcover)
This book highlights the rise and fall of the Upper Deck corporation, but really could be broken into 3 parts:
1. A quick history of baseball cards and baseball card litigation
2. The idea and upstart of the Upper Deck corporation
3. The eventual take over of Upper Deck by Richard McWilliam and ensuing (questionable) business practices

The first part of the book is really fun for those who might have grown up collecting baseball cards. The next couple parts have a fun baseball card part to them, since anyone who collected in the early 90s remembers how awesome Upper Deck was when it came on the seen, but they also have some fun stories about business. Its interesting to see how the inner workings of a really small company are/were handled (albeit from second hand information).

I think that people who were active in baseball card collecting in the early 90s and have a little interest in business could find this a really interesting read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Book, August 19, 2014
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This review is from: Card Sharks: How Upper Deck Turned a Child's Hobby into a High-Stakes, Billion-Dollar Business (Hardcover)
If baseball cards are your hobby you'll find this book interesting. It describes the dark side of the industry, mainly the Upper Deck Company.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very creative, November 10, 2011
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This review is from: Card Sharks: How Upper Deck Turned a Child's Hobby into a High-Stakes, Billion-Dollar Business (Hardcover)
the book is very creative and goes into deptabout how the card market evolved.it also tells you how the card shows grew over time.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written book for the money, May 30, 1996
By A Customer
This review is from: Card Sharks: How Upper Deck Turned a Child's Hobby into a High-Stakes, Billion-Dollar Business (Hardcover)
I feel any person who is in the hobby of collecting cards or thinking about getting in the hobby should read this book
I found it interesting some of the aligations of conterfiting ones own cards interesting. Some people would be shocked to know
why there cards have no value.
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6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A lot of mud slinging., November 9, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Card Sharks: How Upper Deck Turned a Child's Hobby into a High-Stakes, Billion-Dollar Business (Hardcover)
I found the book to provide an interesting history on collecting from early times to present. After the history lesson is over, William's seems to spend an inordinate amount of time dwelling on the various misdeeds of Upper Deck President Richie McWilliam. McWilliam has a very strong (and negative) reputation that is well understood within the industry. Why spend half a book telling everyone that he is dishonest, a liar and a cheat when it is already well understood?
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Card Sharks: How Upper Deck Turned a Child's Hobby into a High-Stakes, Billion-Dollar Business
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