A baseball card memoir

Thursday, July 29, 2010

From the Department of Beating Me to My Own Ideas, Chicagoan Josh Wilker's new-ish book, Baseball Gods, is a memoir told through his childhood baseball card collection. Each chapter of the book starts with a particular card or player, which leads to a new rumination on Wilker's own life. It's a great way to structure a memoir about an ordinary guy when it seems like you have to be either famous or suffer a trauma like being abandoned and raised by drug-addicted chinchillas to publish a memoir these days (better yet, both!)

I feel like my life story can be told through a 1990 Fleer Ken Howell card that I obsessed over for weeks as a 13-year-old because I needed it to finish my set. A friend who realized how badly I wanted the card had one and sold it to me for a dollar, roughly 99 cents more than it was worth. Was I happy then? Of course not. The grass is always greener where Ken Howell stands.