Cardboard Gods: An All-American Tale Told Through Baseball Cards

Cardboard Gods: An All-American Tale Told Through Baseball Cards

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by Josh Wilker
     
 

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Cardboard Gods is the memoir of Josh Wilker, a brilliant writer who has marked the stages of his life through the baseball cards he collected as a child. It also captures the experience of growing up obsessed with baseball cards and explores what it means to be a fan of the game. Along the way, as we get to know Josh, his family, and his friends, we also get

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Overview

Cardboard Gods is the memoir of Josh Wilker, a brilliant writer who has marked the stages of his life through the baseball cards he collected as a child. It also captures the experience of growing up obsessed with baseball cards and explores what it means to be a fan of the game. Along the way, as we get to know Josh, his family, and his friends, we also get Josh’s classic observations about the central artifacts from his life: the baseball cards themselves. Josh writes about an imagined correspondence with his favorite player, Carl Yastrzemski; he uses the magical bubble-blowing powers of journeyman Kurt Bevacqua to shed light on the weakening of the powerful childhood bond with his older brother; he considers the doomed utopian back-to-the-land dreams of his hippie parents against the backdrop of inimitable 1970s baseball figures such as “Designated Pinch Runner” Herb Washington and Mark “The Bird” Fidrych. Cardboard Gods is more than just the story of a man who can’t let go of his past, it’s proof that — to paraphrase Jim Bouton — as children we grow up holding baseball cards but in the end we realize that it’s really the other way around.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Children's nonfiction author Wilker (Everything You Need to Know About the Dangers of Sports Gambling, 2000, etc.) relates his life story through the lens of baseball-card collecting and his worship of his older brother. Because the author's mother wanted to live a simple, rural life, she left her husband to live with a free-spirited man in Vermont. Finding it difficult to make friends, Wilker created a fantasy life built around the baseball cards that he bought in bubble-gum packs. His more athletic, outgoing older brother sometimes participated in the baseball-card fantasy, but other times showed no interest. As Wilker's hobby grew, he began to relate less to the star players than to the fringe players-Kurt Bevacqua, Herb Washington, David Clyde, etc.-who bounced between the major and minor leagues or stayed in the majors through persistence and luck more than skill. A fan of the Boston Red Sox, Wilker became emotionally attached to one All-Star, Carl Yastrzemski, but never dared to hope that Yaz would ever notice. Even into adulthood, the author drifted and sometimes depended on illegal narcotics to get through the days. He looked to his brother, his mother, her boyfriend and, eventually, to his biological father for affirmation, but found it only sporadically. Nearing 40, Wilker finally began to pull his life together. His transformation was partly due to the long-time frustrated Red Sox finally capturing a championship, but mainly because he met the soul mate who became his wife, settled in Chicago, made a kind of peace with each of his biological parents and rebonded with his brother. A candid, clever account, though readers who have never collected baseball cards may find itdifficult to comprehend their psychological hold on the author.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781934734162
Publisher:
Seven Footer Entertainment LLC
Publication date:
04/20/2010
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
1,060,854
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.06(d)
Age Range:
15 Years

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