From the looks of AW Sports' CFL set, it is getting its money's worth out of the exclusive agreement it signed with Raghib "Rocket" Ismail.
AW obtained an injunction last month in Ontario court against longtime CFL card-maker Jogo Novelty that prevents Jogo from including Ismail cards in its set.
Ismail appears on nine of the 110 cards in AW's set -- and on three sides of the box. The front of the box has a sunburst with the words "featuring 'Rocket' Ismail." Just so you get the hint.
Eight of Ismail's cards carry the legend "Rocket" on the front, and the backs tell his life story in installments. Pictures include CFL action, his contract signing and a painting of him in action. His "rookie" card is like that of six other rookies -- action photo on front and color picture on back with college statistics and personal information. Another rookie of note is Bart Hull, Ottawa fullback and brother of hockey star Bret Hull.
Other special cards depict seven of the CFL's eight coaches, one of its owners (Bruce McNall of Ismail's Toronto Argonauts), four all-stars and three CFL "legends," who just happen to be well-known to U.S. football fans (Dieter Brock, Joe Theismann and Tom Clements).
Blue is the operative color of the set. Fronts have bright blue borders with diagonal pinstripes framing the photos. Backs are blue, too.
AW's big fumble, if you overlook Ismail's overexposure, is on the back of second checklist. It spells the CFL's championship trophy, card No. 88, "Gray Cup" instead of Grey Cup.
Star Pics will issue its first hockey set next month. The 72-card Pro Prospects Hockey CardArt set features 57 top prospects, six "flashback" players and a special subset with commentary by former Detroit Red Wing Gary Bergman on Hall of Famers he knew. Fronts show action photos, and backs contain biographical information, plus a short scouting report by Hockey News writer Al Morganti. Star Pics says it will produce only 225,000 numbered sets and will randomly insert authenticated autographs as it does with its other products. . . . Field of Vision Productions, which issued popular holograms of Rickey Henderson and Nolan Ryan, will complete its four-card 1991 Silver Star Baseball Hologram set with Cal Ripken and David Justice. They are expected to be available by the end of the year.
Today, baseball card show, Security Holiday Inn (I-695, Exit 17), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 922-8366.
Saturday, baseball card show, White Marsh Mall, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., 879-4651.
Sunday, baseball card show, Freedom District Fire Hall, Sykesville (Route 32 between I-70 and Route 26), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 922-8366.
Oct. 27, baseball card show to benefit Jimmie Richards Cancer Fund, Dundalk American Legion Post 38 (3300 Dundalk Ave.), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $1 donation at the door. 477-6872
Nov. 3, baseball card show, Comfort Inn-Airport (I-695, Exit 6A), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 922-8366.
Nov. 3, baseball card show, Towson Quality Inn (I-695, Exit 26S), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.