Hockey cards out for an early skate

August 18, 1991|By Ruth Sadler p

The NHL's 75th season won't begin for another six weeks, and training camps aren't open yet, but 1991-92 hockey cards are here.

Pro Set's 345-card Series I is out, and for people with an interest in NHL history, the cards are a good way to take your mind off the summer heat. There are 13 historic cards focusing on the NHL's 75th anniversary. These have sepia-tone fronts and feature Hall of Famers. Pro Set continues its practice of borderless fronts on all cards.

In addition to the 75th anniversary cards, Series I includes 13 player cards per team (except the new San Jose Sharks, with five cards), 44 All-Star cards, nine Stanley Cup/trophy cards and the first of five public service cards.

Pro Set has paid for the privilege of being designated as the official card of the NHL's 75th anniversary (in addition to the normal NHL licensing fees). Besides the sepia cards, Pro Set will help the NHL celebrate with hockey clinics, fan balloting for the All-Star Game and opening-day activities.

Also on tap in October is a set in French for the Canadian market.

Pro Set hockey cards are sold in 15-card packs.

Score's hockey cards will be out in October, and big is the operative word. There will be a 440-card U.S. set and two 660-card sets for Canadian collectors, one in English and the other in French and English. Different photos are used for the U.S. and Canadian versions, and the border colors are different. Backs are essentially the same (same head shots and statistics), except that Canadian texts are shorter because they are carried in English and French. Also, backs contain either a U.S. or Canadian flag.

Hall of Fame defenseman Bobby Orr will be featured in a four-card subset. He autographed 2,400 cards that will be randomly inserted in U.S. and Canadian packs. Score's other subsets include top draft pick Eric Lindros, brothers, its first dream team (a staple in Score in baseball and football) and season highlights.

Score's cards will come in 15-card packs, 101-card blister packs and factory sets for U.S. and Canadian bilingual versions.

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Late next month, Leaf will issue the first major black-and-white baseball set in 30 years (Leaf did the last one in 1961). The 264-card Studio set features 10 players from each team, three checklists and a card describing the set. Fronts have maroon borders. Leaf's idea is to take a closer look at the players, so fronts have portrait-style head shots and backs include information on players' hobbies, heroes and favorite TV shows. Collectors can get four Studio preview cards in Donruss factory sets, available this month. Baltimore Orioles infielder Juan Bell is on card No. 1 of the samples but is not in the regular set. Studio cards will be sold in packs of 10 with no factory sets.

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Poor Joe DiMaggio. Three MVP awards, 13 All-Star appearances, 56-game hitting streak, but until this winter, no baseball card set to call his own. DiMaggio has signed a one-year exclusive agreement with Score, so Score will be the only company authorized to produce a set in the 50th anniversary year of the streak. DiMaggio will autograph 2,500 cards, of which all but five will be randomly inserted in Score's 1992 Series I baseball packs. The other five will be awarded in a sweepstakes. There will also be 150,000 unsigned DiMaggio cards randomly inserted. The five-card set features photographs from private collections. The cards will be available in December.

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Upcoming events:

Sunday, baseball card show, Security Holiday Inn (I-695 Exit 17), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 922-8366.

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