The NFL's annual college draft was last week. Star Pics made its selections during the winter so its 1992 Pro Prospects Football CardArt set would be ready for collectors next month.
It gets help from Pro Football Weekly, which compiles the information on the card backs and evaluates the players. But Star Pics, unlike most prognosticators, can't pick everyone eligible. It can only select players who are not tied to other card companies by exclusive deals.
"Overall, it looks pretty strong," says Star Pics' Julie Yolles. "We do have some gaps, and that's unfortunate."
Star Pics lost No. 4 Desmond Howard and No. 6 David Klingler to Classic, and No. 8 Bob Whitfield declined all card offers.
Its 100-card set is headed by top picks Steve Emtman and Quentin Coryatt. Emtman is a Star Pics exclusive, but he will also be in a set by Courtside, which bought a subcontract.
"We prefer to go on the non-exclusive basis to give the athlete the opportunity to go with sets," says Yolles. But she says Star Pics has signed athletes to exclusive contracts on occasion (Emtman and Vaughn Dunbar are the big names in this set) because "it's what's happening with the market."
Of its 92 prospects, 59 were among the first 100 players selected in the draft. Star Pics had 18 of the 28 first-round picks and 12 of the 15 defensive first-rounders.
Cards, like last year's inaugural set, feature crisp action shots on the front, head shots and evaluations on the back. There is a five-card flashback subset and a randomly inserted bonus miniset comparing prospects to NFL greats.
Something new for Star Pics is foil. Its 1991 basketball set was the first to be available in six-card foil packs. Star Pics, which pioneered draft-card sets, also produces a hockey prospects set.
And the winner is: Topps really gave away a grand prize of complete sets of Topps baseball cards for the company's first 40 years. The lucky collector was Jack Glenn of New York. Topps estimates the value of the prize at $125,000.
New in autos: Auto-racing fans have a lot to choose from -- a card Maxx fifth-anniversary NASCAR set, which comes with black borders (in specialty stores only) and red borders (more common), a 200-card NHRA set from Pro Set, a 280-card Winston Cup set from Pro Set, a Joe Gibbs Racing set (nine cards plus hologram) and new cars in the Racing Collectables Club of America Legends Series of 1/43 scale autos.
Today, baseball card show, Freedom District Fire Hall (Route 32 between I-70 and Route 26, Sykesville), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 922-8366.
Saturday, baseball card show, Reese Volunteer Fire Hall (Reese Road and Route 140, Westminster), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., (410) 876-7993.
Saturday, baseball card show, Towson Sheraton (I-695, Exit 27A), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410)922-8366.
May 15, baseball card show, Security Holiday Inn (I-695, Exit 17), 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., (410) 922-8366.
May 17, baseball card show, Comfort Inn-Airport (I-695, Exit 6A), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 922-8366.