Josh Wilker’s book ‘Cardboard Gods’ is the second well-received book about baseball cards to come out this spring.
The book was born out of a blog Wilker created by simply grabbing his box of old baseball cards off the shelf and writing. Of course, the book is more than which player is card #193 in the 1977 Topps set. He crafts stories that take readers in a number of directions.
The book serves as a sort of memoir as Wilker examines the stages of his life through the cards. 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 some insights into his family and his classic observations about the central artifacts from his life: the baseball cards themselves.
Wilker 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.
ESPN.com’s Rob Neyer offers a Q&A with the author.
You can buy the book here.