New ballpark opens new vistas for collectors

March 29, 1992|By Ruth Sadler | Ruth Sadler,Staff Writer

The opening of Oriole Park at Camden Yards presents new collecting opportunities.

The Orioles will supply some of them on Opening Day.

According to David Cope, the Orioles marketing and advertising director, all April 6 fans will receive an "Opening Day celebration kit," which features a limited-edition Upper Deck commemorative sheet, a special mini-pennant and a can of Coke Classic emblazoned with a picture of the new stadium. The special Coke cans will be available in stores the next day.

The Opening Day program will be unique because the cover will change for the second game, "reflecting Opening Day, if we can carry it off," said the Orioles' Bob Brown. That second-game cover will be used for the first third of the season. There will be two other editions of the program, which weighs in at 124 pages, including about 12 pages of historical and practical information about the stadium.

The Orioles expect the Opening Day programs to be popular, but, said Brown, "Whatever's left is for sale. . . . The only problem is that there might not be any left."

Cope says the stadium will probably be used in some promotions later in the season, but the Orioles are waiting for artwork from Opening Day, which they will adapt. One promotion that will feature the park will be Tankard Night July 24.

In addition, ARA, the stadium concessionaire, has a lineup of stadium-related items, with more planned.

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Orioles artistry: Sports artist Tony Capparelli has captured the Orioles' transition from old park to new by pairing Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson and shortstop Cal Ripken. Robinson is shown against a backdrop of Memorial Stadium, and Ripken's backdrop is Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The result is a stunning piece of sports art which will be available to collectors in a number of formats: 1,992 numbered 24-by-36 inch lithographs signed by the artist and the ballplayers at $495; 5,000 numbered 16-by-20 photographic prints signed by the players at $195; 9,000 numbered sets of two PM gold cards, one depicting Robinson and Memorial Stadium, the other Ripken and Oriole Park, at $250; 1,000 numbered sets of PM gold cards autographed by the players at $400; and an 18-by-24 poster of the lithograph at $10. All but the posters come with certificates of authenticity. A portion of the proceeds will go to charities chosen by Robinson and Ripken. For more information, call (800) 847-4150.

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Copter's-eye view: Michael Gustafson, who has photographed major-league ballparks from the air, will be at it again April 6. He captured Memorial Stadium's last baseball game from a helicopter and will be above the new park on Opening Day. His photos become lithographs and sell for $25 plus shipping. The latest will be available after April 21. For information, or to order, call (708) 647-7285 or write: Collectors Series, 7350 Croname Road, Niles, Ill. 60643.

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Heroes and rookies: Hall of Famer Jerry West, the first hero in Upper Deck's Basketball Heroes insert set, is featured in the 100-card high series, coming out in April. West will autograph 2,500 cards from the nine-card subset. The autographed cards will be randomly inserted in foil packs. The series also includes an all-star subset, award winner holograms, rookies who were not in the low series and players who were traded.

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Late-season hockey: Upper Deck's 200-card High Series hockey set has an all-star flavor. It includes a 20-card all-star subset, a four-card subset of the skills contest winner and a nine-card subset featuring players from the Heroes of Hockey game on All-Star weekend. The set also includes subsets on the world junior championships, 15 high-scoring rookies and five hockey families.

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Cheesy deal: For the second straight season, cheese lovers can get baseball cards with their MooTown Snackers. The 1992 Autograph Series contains 24 cards. Collectors can get them one per package or take advantage of a mail-in offer for a complete set. Look for American League MVP Cal Ripken, Cy Young Award winners Tom Glavine and Roger Clemens and National League Rookie of the Year Jeff Bagwell in your supermarket in April.

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Upcoming events:

Today, baseball card show, Eastpoint Mall, noon to 5 p.m., (410) 837-7632 or (410) 837-0870.

Today, baseball card show, Golden Ring Mall, noon to 5 p.m., (410) 653-0122.

April 4, baseball card show, Towson Sheraton (I-695, Exit 27A), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 922-8366.

April 5, baseball card show, Comfort Inn-Airport (I-695, Exit 6A), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 922-8366.

April 10-12, baseball card show, Cole Field House, College Park, April 10 -- 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., April 11 -- 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., April 12 -- 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., (703) 780-3091.

April 12, baseball card show to benefit Edgewood High baseball team and bleacher fund, Edgewood High School, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., (410) 676-3773.

April 18, baseball card show, Security Holiday Inn (I-695, Exit 17), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 922-8366.

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