Conference basketball tournaments have given way to the NCAA final. The season ends tomorrow night, but some people can never get enough college basketball.
For Atlantic Coast Conference fans who glory in each year's tournament: You've seen the games; now you can collect the cards.
Spectator Sports Services Inc., of Charlotte, N.C., the ACC's officially licensed merchandise distributor, is producing a limited-edition set of 35 cards featuring the ACC tournament from 1954 through 1988. No later tournaments are covered because NCAA regulations prohibit the use of photos of current players.
Each card front has a formal picture of the tournament's winning team (black and white for older-vintage photos), with the year and team name across the bottom as well as the conference logo. The backs are more fun. Each has the game's box score, a summary and who's who in the team photo. The cards are top quality, with coated fronts. Sets come boxed and numbered and contain a certificate of authenticity. They are $14.95 each, plus shipping. Call (800) 462-2600 for information or to order.
Leaving them in shreds: Impel Marketing has admitted that its NBA Hoops cards were too much of a good thing. Frank O'Connell, Impel's president and chief executive officer, announced that it is shredding more than 50,000 cases of 1990-91 NBA Hoops Series I and II. Buoyed by the success of NBA Hoops debut in 1989-90, Impel increased production but was left with many unsold cards.
"Overproduction is the bane of our industry," said O'Connell. "We're going to be more realistic in our goals to bring supply closer in line with demand."
Collecting breakfast: Reader Ray Saunders of Alexandria, Va., has been having baseball cards with his breakfast. He writes that Kellogg's is offering a magic-motion card in its corn flakes and that Post puts one of a set of 30 cards in its cereals. Ten former All-Stars are represented in the corn flakes, including the Orioles' Jim Palmer, and the Orioles' Cal Ripken is in the Post set. Dan Quisenberry's submarine motion makes his Kellogg's card a winner. Collectors can get complete sets through offers on the boxes.
Buy me some: Cracker Jack is again putting miniature baseball cards in its boxes, but this season's cards are Donruss. Last year, Cracker Jack offered mini Topps cards. This year's first series has 36 players, including the Orioles' Cal Ripken. The pictures are exclusive to this set, and the backs include career and 1991 stats, as well as a short player biography. Look for a second series in July.
Special holder: Action Packed cards are thicker than most trading cards and present a problem for collectors who want to store them in holders, which are designed for a thinner card. Snap-It has teamed with Action Packed to design a holder that will fit Action Packed cards. It is made of clear Lucite, has an adjustable stand, is stackable and has the Action Packed logo.
Auction alert: Superior Galleries will be the official auctioneer of the National Sports Collectors Convention to be held in Atlanta ,, July 8-10. The catalog is $25 and can be ordered from Superior Galleries, 9478 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills, Calif. 90212-4299 or (800) 421-0754. Superior is also selling memorabilia (cards, bats, lithographs) through its mail-order department, which has long dealt in stamps and coins.
The write one: Pacific Trading Cards, responding to collector requests, has found a pen that won't smudge or run on its UV-coated cards. It's the Sanford Sharpie Ultra Fine Point permanent marker (No. 37001 in black).
Today, baseball card show, Comfort Inn-Airport (I-695, Exit 6A), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 922-8366.
Friday-Sunday, baseball card show, Cole Field House, College Park; Friday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 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.