If you can get baseball cards for Christmas, should you b surprised that you can get football cards for Father's Day? (Sorry, collector moms, but shipping won't be in time for Mother's Day.)
Just when it seemed safe to believe that baseball -- and spring -- had arrived, football is here, too.
Score's Series I football cards, 345 strong, will be shipped in late May. Series II, with 341 cards, will be shipped in August. The 690-card factory set, which has four cards not available in packs, will arrive with the National Football League season in September. It's Score's largest football offering and its third NFL set. Last year's had 660 cards, and the inaugural 1988 set had 330.
Card fronts have color action photographs, team logos in gold diamonds and colored borders (blue, red and green in Series I; black, purple and orange in Series II). The backs are horizontal, bordered in gold, with color head shots, player profiles and 1990 and career statistics.
The rookie subset will contain "more than 60 top draft picks" photographed in their college uniforms. Nine will be in Series I, including Notre Dame's Raghib "Rocket" Ismail.
There will be a "dream team" of 27 top players, with defensive and special-teams players in Series I and offensive players in Series II. These cards feature photographic portraits with a small action photo superimposed. One of the 27 is New York Giants punter Sean Landeta.
MVP cards, the top player from each team, are illustrated by Christopher Greco, who is the artist of Score's 1991 baseball All-Star subset. Greco also illustrated the "Leaders" subset, which honors the top performers from last season. There are 10 cards, with each player shown in three action poses.
The nine players who gained at least 90 yards on one play last season form the "90+ Club" Series I subset. The cards show action photos on a gridiron background. Eric Metcalf and Randall Cunningham are here.
Defense stars are in two subsets. The "Crunch Crew" is back as a seven-card Series II subset featuring the NFL's hardest hitters. These cards have a comic-book-style appearance and include Joey Browner and Ronnie Lott. Also in Series II is the seven-card "Sack Attack" subset, the top pass rushers shown superimposed over a computer-generated background that looks like a radar screen. Look for Derrick Thomas and Bruce Smith.
The final subset honors the five 1991 inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame -- Earl Campbell, John Hannah, Stan Jones, Tex Schramm and Jan Stenerud.
Cards will be sold in 16-card packs, sets and blister packs. Blister packs will have 101 cards, 50 from each series and one "hot card," which is not part of the regular set. Ten players, including Ismail, are on "hot cards." Blister packs will be shipped in August.
* In a related development, the first World League of American Football cards will be produced by Pro Set as a 32-card subset of its 1991 NFL Series I issue. All 10 WLAF teams will be represented, and there will be cards for each head coach and quarterback. Also rating a card is league president and former Minnesota Vikings executive Mike Lynn. Pro Set says collectors can expect the 1991 NFL Series I cards to be in retail stores in May.
* For collectors whose tastes run to metal, Chicagoland Processing Corp. of Elk Grove Village, Ill., produces limited-edition commemorative silver coins. Available are coins commemorating: the New York Giants' Super Bowl XXV victory; Nolan Ryan's 300th victory; Ferguson Jenkins' Hall of Fame induction; one for each 1991 men's Final Four team and one for Duke's championship; the Chicago Bulls' 25th anniversary; the National Hockey League divisional titles of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks, and the 1951 New York baseball Giants. Super Bowl, Ryan, Bulls and Final Four coins are $29.95 plus $3 postage, and the baseball Giants coins are $34.95 plus $3 postage. All are available by calling 800-765-0123. Some coins will also be available at selected coin dealers and retailers.
* Upcoming events:
Today, baseball card show, Glen Burnie Elks Hall, Severn, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 922-8366.
Sunday, baseball card show, Martin's Ballroom-North Point, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 922-8366.
Sunday, baseball card show, Towson Quality Inn, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
April 27, baseball card show, Airport Comfort Inn, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 922-8892.
April 28, baseball card show, Security Holiday Inn, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 922-8366.
May 5, baseball card show, Martin's Ballroom Westminster, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 922-8366.