The Baltimore Orioles' final season in Memorial Stadium presents many opportunities for baseball memorabilia collectors.
Some collectibles are Orioles promotions. Others are souvenirs that can be purchased at the stadium.
From Aase to Zuverink, the Orioles are putting all their players on cards. The cards will be in four sets, with the first three given to fans of all ages on May 17, June 28 and Aug. 11. The fourth set will be available only at Crown gas stations. Each of the other sets also will be available at Crown, but only after it is given away at the stadium. The cards are arranged alphabetically.
The cards originally had been planned as an adults-only item, and is listed that way on many calendars, but that was changed last week, said David Cope of the Orioles. The team is expecting a lot of interest in this promotion, with a planned giveaway of 35,000 to 45,000.
Two pins honor the Orioles' home since 1954. One, to be given away May 24, is a replica of the team's 1991 logo. The other, to be given away July 24, is of Memorial Stadium.
Then there are three posters (July 27, Aug. 23 and Sept. 13): a 360-degree view of the last Opening Day, a collage of Orioles memories and the 20th anniversary of Frank Robinson's 500th home run.
The Orioles are borrowing an idea from the Chicago White Sox, who said farewell to Comiskey Park last season with, among other things, a "turn back the clock day" when the White Sox wore old-style uniforms. On June 19, the Orioles will wear 1966-style uniforms and give fans replica 1966 caps to remember their first world championship.
There is also Memorial Stadium memorabilia for sale. At the stadium, fans can purchase lapel pins, caps, T-shirts, limited-edition silver coins, T-shirts (with commemorative logo and a series of three "Memorial Stadium Memories" shirts), baseballs stamped with the new and old parks, pennants, buttons and crystal paperweights. Art-oriented collectibles include painted stone-cast renderings of the stadium, lithographs by Eastern Shore artist George Wright (the sale of this item benefits the Dorchester YMCA and selected charities of the Orioles and ARA) and pen-and-ink sketches by Martin Barry. One item not yet in is a Matchbox moving van with Memorial Stadium on one side and the new park on the other. "It's not a Mayflower van," says Ray Moran of ARA, referring to the company that packed up the Baltimore Colts for their move to Indianapolis. A brochure detailing these commemoratives is
available by calling (800) STADIUM.
Fleer is entering the premium card market, joining Upper Deck and Donruss' Leaf issue. The set will be called "Fleer Ultra" and will be printed on better quality paper than the regular Fleer cards.
A promotional flyer from Fleer shows action photos on the borderless card fronts. Backs have two additional action photos and a head shot.
There will be 400 cards in the set (including 13 Orioles) . Fleer promises that production will be limited to 15 percent of its 1991 baseball production and expects to ship to dealers beginning May 22. Cards will be come in foil packs of 14 plus a team logo sticker.
Today, baseball card show, Earleigh Heights Fire Hall, 161 Ritchie Highway, Severna Park, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 437-5654.
Today, baseball card show, Martin's Ballroom Westminster, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 922-8366.
Today, baseball card show, Towson Quality Inn, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday, baseball card show, Maryland National Guard Armory, Parkville, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 494-9590.