Searchin’ for Toothpick Sam

A Baseball Card Odyssey


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SKU: 9781476692494 Categories: , Tag:

About the Book

Anyone who has collected baseball cards understands the thrill of completing a set. And part of the fun is filling in the gaps along the way, one wax pack at a time, over months or even years. Or sometimes, as in Jamie Selko’s case, decades. This memoir recounts the author’s love affair with Topps’ 1961 baseball card set and his quest to acquire a complete autographed collection—an effort that took almost 40 years and still is one card short, #555 Sam “Toothpick” Jones. The author describes growing up in the early 1960s and details the backstory behind his mission, from the first autograph he got—Joe DiMaggio’s, in an officer’s club in Mannheim, Germany—to how he decided, 15 years later, to get signatures on each of the ’61s. He also comments on each card in the set and on each player’s finest game in the season.

About the Author(s)

A member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), Jamie Selko lives in Eugene, Oregon.

Bibliographic Details

Jamie Selko
Foreword by Mark Armour
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 216
Bibliographic Info: 24 photos, appendices, notes, index
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9249-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4965-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Foreword by Mark Armour 1
Preface 3
Introduction: How a Whim Became a Quest
Which Became an Obsession 5
1. The Back Story 13
2. The Quest for Fire 24
3. Bringing It All Back Home 169
4. Just the Facts, Ma’am: Or the Devil
Is in the Details 172
A Final Point: A Note on ­­
Pre-Investigatory Prejudice 179
Appendices 183
Chapter Notes 187
Index 197