CRESTVIEW — J.J. McDaniel, author of the book "Papyrophilia: The Story of a Baseball Card Collector," has part of his personal baseball memorabilia collection on display at the Crestview Public Library through October.
Two copies of the book are also available for checkout from the library's local authors shelf.
When it came to to picking the items featured in the exhibit, McDaniel chose them based on their historical signifigance.
"I included autographed items, game-used memorabilia, and a ticket stub from the 1960 World Series," he said.
"Papyrophilia" hit number 6 on Amazon's list of the Top 100 books in the sports category when it was released last year.
The book is a tribute to the 1956 Topps cards his father, Jerry McDaniel, collected. It's Jerry's favorite set of all the cards he has collected.
"My dad loved that year because he is a Yankees fan," J.J. said. It's also from the year Mickey Mantle won the Triple Crown for the Yankees, and the team won the World Series against their in-state rival, the Brooklyn Dodgers.
One thing that distinguishes those cards from later sets is that it was the last year the Topps Chewing Gum-designed cards used artists' paintings. The company began using photography afterwards.
"The collection was 45 years of thoughtful accumulation and careful conservation by a caretaker of baseball history. He bequeathed his life's work to me while he was still alive (so he could see his son enjoy them)," J.J. said.
After receiving that inheritance, J.J. began a quest to collect a museum-quality super set (every example known to exist, including all variations), from a 1-cent wrapper through two salesman sample cards. Sample cards were used to sell products in 1956 and discarded after use, which makes them rare.
His dad's Topps set is the subject of the third section of "Papryophilia." Over the past year, the book also became a guide for other collectors, some of whom have contacted J.J. online.
As a result, he said, "I have been invited to serve as the resident expert on topics like vintage Yankee baseball cards and 1956 Topps set-building. On Facebook, I advise more than 1,000 collectors in three different forums."
When asked if baseball is still America's national pastime, he said, "Football has surpassed baseball in popularity. With that said, in my opinion, baseball is a national treasure that should be celebrated above all other pastimes."
He said it is one of the most detailed, with game statistics being listed on cards as far back as the 1800s.