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Publisher's Summary

When award-winning journalist Dave Jamieson's parents sold his childhood home a few years ago, he rediscovered a prized boyhood possession: his baseball card collection. Now was the time to cash in on the investments of his youth. But all the card shops had closed, and cards were selling for next to nothing online. What had happened?

In Mint Condition, his fascinating, eye-opening, endlessly entertaining book, Jamieson finds the answer by tracing the complete story of this beloved piece of American childhood. Picture cards had long been used for advertising, but after the Civil War, tobacco companies started slipping them into cigarette packs as collector's items. Before long the cards were wagging the cigarettes. In the 1930s cards helped gum and candy makers survive the Great Depression. In the 1960s royalties from cards helped transform the baseball players' association into one of the country's most powerful unions, dramatically altering the game. In the '80s and '90s, cards went through a spectacular bubble, becoming a billion-dollar-a-year industry before all but disappearing, surviving today as the rarified preserve of adult collectors. Mint Condition is charming original history brimming with colorful characters, sure to delight baseball fans and collectors.

©2010 Dave Jamieson. The author would like to thank The Topps Company, Inc., and The Upper Deck Company, LLC for permission to reproduce their card images. Recorded by arrangement with Grove Atlantic, Inc. (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What listeners say about Mint Condition

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One for those who “were there “

Oh boy! This brought back so many memories. Highly recommended for readers who used to collect, trade, and flip cards. It chronicles the 150 year rise of cads. And the startlingly quick collapse. In lots of “fan-boy” detail. Warning : people who weren’t card owners may find the detail dreary and excessive.

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  • Peter Lutz
  • 17-07-2016

Great Book

I am almost finished with this book, and so far it has been great. Gives an accurate account of the history of Baseball cards, and as a new collector it is very interesting. I would definitely recommend it to a baseball fan or even just a regular sports fan.

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  • dominic escajeda
  • 21-05-2019

Really informative

Great story about baseball cards and their beginngs till what the hobby has become today.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-11-2020

Enjoyable book for the nostalgic card collector

During pandemic time I have enjoyed going back and revisiting some of the old hobbies. Like many kids in the 90s sports cards were one of the big ones. I stumbled onto this book and instantly enjoyed the story being told by the narrator. After chapter 1 though, the books hit a dry spell in my opinion (possibly more to do with my age and interests). I found as it turned to more modern times, that my internet level picked up again. A niche book worth listening to, but not quite all that I had hoped for.

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  • David J. Ham
  • 05-09-2020

Great memories

This brings back some great memories of my youth. Maybe a little too much depth on the fraud side though.

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  • BT
  • 06-05-2020

great memories

awesome book. so glad I stumbled upon it. highly recommend to anyone that grew I with cards

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  • S. O.
  • 21-01-2020

Perfect in every way!

This book absolutely caught my imagination. I highly tout this book every chance I get. From the history, the stories and the performer this couldn't be any better.

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