Pacific Trading Cards' fifth edition of Major Soccer League Cards is out. The set has 170 cards, down from last season's record 220, and is available in packs of 12 and factory sets.
This is a sharp-looking set and makes a quantum leap past its predecessors. Card stock is better, and card style is more sophisticated.
Card fronts have Pacific's customary glossy coating (don't sort your cards lying on the sofa -- they're likely to slip-slide all over the place). Angles are in, with the left border widening to a near-triangle to accommodate a vertical nameline, as another triangle runs along the bottom, giving team affiliation and position. Colors for the triangles and names are bright, and the action pictures are generally good.
Backs continue the color scheme from the front, with the usual statistics and biographical information in alternating color blocks. For the first time, backs have color photographs. Some are head shots, and others are action shots.
Like baseball cards, these are more of a review of last season than a preview of this season. Everything seems frozen in early summer. The Kansas City Comets folded in July, but their players are here. Summer player transactions, such as Branko ++ Segota's trade to St. Louis, are ignored (his card shows him as a San Diego Socker). However, Pacific did note the Baltimore Blast's Mike Reynolds' death last July by putting "in memoriam" on the front of his card where his position would have been. It was not indicated on the back. The biggest error is putting Dominic Feltham's picture on the back of Joe Barger's card.
There are some special cards -- 12 related to the All-Star Game, three of MSL Select Team members, commissioner Earl Foreman, MVP Victor Nogueira, scoring leader Tatu and the Sockers' seventh championship.
Olympic things: Coca-Cola is giving away Olympic Hall of Fame cards with specially marked multi-packs of its products. The cards, from Impel's set of 50, come three to a pack along with a game piece for Coca-Cola's "Medals & Millions" promotion. Look for the cards this month. . . . Letter writers will have a choice of Olympic stamps for their mail. Winter Olympic stamps depicting skiing, ice hockey, bobsledding, figure skating and speedskating on sale Saturday. The Olympic baseball stamp will be available in April, and in early summer, stamps showing Summer Games sports of soccer, volleyball, women's gymnastics, boxing and swimming will be released.
More DiMaggio: Score is putting its Joe DiMaggio cards in its Series I blister packs, too. Originally the card maker announced that the DiMaggio cards would only be available in Series I packs and through a mail-in offer. The blister packs, available in April, will contain 50 Series I cards, 50 Series II cards and a "hot rookie" card. Of the 10 hot rookies for 1991, one is Anthony Telford of the Baltimore Orioles.
Big winner in Topps' 40th anniversary sweepstakes. He won a baseball card set valued at $37,500. The drawing for the grand prize, all 40 complete sets estimated to be worth $l $125,000, will be held this month.
Today, baseball card show, Towson Quality Inn (I-695, Exit 26 S), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., (410) 239-7446.
Saturday-Sunday, baseball card show, Montgomery County Fairgrounds, Gaithersburg (I-270, Exit 11), Jan. 11, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Jan. 12 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 329-2188.
Sunday, baseball card show, Security Holiday Inn (I-695, Exit 17), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 922-8366.
Jan. 18-19, Bird Expo '92, baseball card and memorabilia show, some proceeds to benefit Johns Hopkins Children's Fund, Pikesville Armory, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., (410) 796-1905 or (410) 574-7059.
Jan. 19, baseball card show, Martin's Ballroom North Point (I-695, Exit 40S), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 922-8366.