Baseball's minor leagues have closed up shop for the year, but cards of their teams still are available.
Pro Cards of Pottstown, Pa., specializes in minor-league cards. Its 1991 lineup is 149 teams strong and features five or six affiliates of each major-league team and six independent/co-op teams.
Each team is sold in a pack wrapped in clear plastic that carries out the cards' design of a yellow steno pad. The checklist card announces the year, team, league and affiliation in a "window" of the pack. A player card can be seen, sort of, when the pack is turned over.
Each card front displays a miniature yellow steno pad, spiral-bound on top, and the "page" is dominated by the player's color picture and a color block underneath with his name, position and team. Backs continue the yellow pad motif and give standard biographical information, including draft position, up to five lines of statistics and the team logo. For former major-leaguers and minor-leaguers with longer records, the most recent years are given.
Since the bottom third of the card back is set aside for paid advertisements (the space was sold on the Rochester and Kane County sets), cards without ads look as though someone forgot to finish them.
The Orioles' minor-league sets (Rochester, Hagerstown, Frederick, Kane County and Bluefield) are nice looking. However, the quality of the photographs used varies widely. The most consistently good photos are in the Rochester, Frederick and Kane County sets. Faces are close-up and cropping is uniform. In the other sets, some shots are tight and others show more background than ballplayer. The Bluefield pictures were all taken in front of a cinder-block wall, giving them a police-lineup look.
Who's in these sets? Among the Rochester players are Francisco de la Rosa, Mike Mussina, Anthony Telford, Todd Frohwirth, Chito Martinez, David Segui, Luis Mercedes and Jeff Tackett. From Hagerstown: Bob Milacki, Jeff Bumgarner and Arthur Rhodes.
Fleer Ultra baseball update sets will be shipped to dealers in October. Each set contains 120 cards and 20 team logo stickers. According to Fleer, "production quantities will be very limited." Baltimore Orioles in the set are Dwight Evans, Chito Martinez, Bob Melvin and Mike Mussina. Dave Parker, just signed by the Toronto Blue Jays, is a California Angel in this set. Another notable is Wilson Alvarez, who no-hit the Orioles. . . . Fleer is bringing the Ultra line to football later this month with a 300-card set of 280 veterans and 20 top draft picks. The design is similar to that of Ultra baseball except that statistics cover four seasons and career totals. The cards will be sold in packs of 14. According to Fleer, the 10-card "Ultra All-Stars" subset will be available only to hobby dealers.
Action Packed is again making team sets available. Each set includes 10 player cards packed in a plastic sheet. They are scheduled for shipping in mid-October. . . . Pro Set, which included a 32-card World League of American Football subset in its 1991 NFL set, has given the WLAF its own set. The 150-card WLAF set provides an overview of the inaugural season, with 121 player cards, 10 statistical leaders cards, 10 helmet cards (with game results on back) and nine cards reviewing the regular season and World Bowl. They will be sold in sets only.
Chicago White Sox fans can get a bird's-eye view of Opening Day at the new Comiskey Park. Photographer Michael Gustafson hired a helicopter to capture the view that is now a lithograph. It is available by calling (708) 647-7285 or by mail for $25 from The JohnsByrne Co., c/o Collectors Series -- New Comiskey Park, 7350 Croname Road, Niles, Ill. 60648-7285. . . . The latest Bill Goff Inc. ballpark lithograph is called "Tiger Stadium Panorama," and there are 600 signed and numbered copies available for $160 apiece (price guaranteed until Oct. 11). Other prints available include "Baltimore Memorial Matinee," "Baltimore Memorial Stadium," "New Comiskey Park" and "Shibe Park Forever." For information, call (800) 321-GOFF or write: Bill Goff Inc., P.O. Box 508, New York, N.Y. 10028-0005.
Today, baseball card show, Martin's Ballroom-Westminster (Routes 140 and 97), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 922-8366.Today, baseball card show, York (Pa.) Mall, noon to 5 p.m., (717) 845-2941.Tomorrow, memorabilia auction, Turf Valley CC (must purchase ticket to 6:30 p.m. dinner to attend auction afterward), 771-9000.
Saturday, sports card and memorabilia festival, Baltimore Arena upper and lower concourse (admission by ticket to Baltimore Skipjacks-Washington Capitals doubleheader), 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., 727-0703 or 391-1355.
Saturday, baseball card show, Ramada Inn, I-695 and Security Boulevard, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday, baseball card show, Glen Burnie Elks Hall, Severn (Stevenson and Quarterfield roads), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 922-8366.
Oct. 6, baseball card show, Towson Quality Inn (I-695, Exit 26S), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.