They're back. Score's premium Pinnacle line makes a timely debut in baseball -- during the season.
It's in fashionable black as were Pinnacle football and hockey, but it presents a contrast to Score's pastel regular baseball line.
Unlike the football and hockey cards, the baseball Pinnacles have only an action picture on the front instead of the action shot sharing space with a head shot. It presents a more powerful image and is similar to Score baseball in having bats, balls and arms moving out of the picture block into the border. Cecil Fielder is coiled and waiting for a pitch; Mike Mussina is ready to release the ball at the top of the card.
Backs, for a change in Pinnacle, are horizontal and have a head shot as well as the usual statistics, team logo and a blurb on the player -- all on black.
The 310-card Series I, since it is from Score, is subset heaven. Encore subsets are Rookie Prospects (including the Orioles' Luis Mercedes), Technicians (baseball skills reduced to blueprints), Sidelines (see Kirby Puckett play pool and Jack McDowell play the guitar) and Idols (David Cone's is Jackie Gleason). Unique to baseball are Grips (how does Charlie Hough throw that knuckleball?), Shades (players wearing sunglasses computer enhanced while their photographs appear in the lenses of the glasses) and Draft Picks.
There will also be two randomly inserted and separately numbered subsets: Team Pinnacle, a 12-card set with Series I featuring an all-star team with the National League player on one side and his American League counterpart on the other, drawn by Chris Greco; and Rookie Idols, an 18-card set for Series II similar to Idols but featuring rookies and their heroes.
Pinnacle will come in 16-card foil packs and 27-card cello packs. Cello packs only will have the 80-card Team 2000 subset, featuring players projected to be stars at the turn of the century. Series II is expected to be out in August.
Whole new Ball Game: Joe Bosley has moved The Old Ball Game from Main Street in Reisterstown to larger quarters at 100 Westminster Pike. Hours and phone number remain the same. The reopening will be this week. Call (410) 526-4898 for details.
Camden Yards covers: The Oriole Advocates will be selling commemorative cachets of Opening Day at Oriole Park at Camden Yards Sunday at Section 17 from the time the gates open until 4 p.m. All proceedes benefit the Oriole Advocates Foundation.
Camden Yards for your wall: Photographer Mike Smith, who specializes in aerial views, was on hand for the first game at Oriole Park (the April 3 exhibition) as well as the first night game. Poster versions of these photographs are available in 22 x 28 and 8 x 10 sizes for $10 and $4, respectively. Shipping is $6 per order, and all orders are sent COD via UPS. Smith was at Memorial Stadium last season for the first and last games and has photographed Triple Crown and NASCAR races as well as local scenes. Call (410) 442-1275 for information.
Reading material: Collectors of variations will like the spring issue of Topps Magazine -- twice. Although its two covers are labeled NL (Howard Johnson) and AL (Frank Thomas), both will be sold in most places. The exceptions are the two cities with teams in both leagues: New York will get just Johnson covers, and Chicago will get just Thomas covers. Inside are team and rookie previews, a feature on Honus Wagner, a look at Topps' numbering system and profiles of four ballparks, starting with Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Wednesday, baseball card show, Comfort Inn-Airport (I-695, Exit 6A), 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., (410) 922-8366.
Saturday, baseball card show to benefit Hickory Baseball/Softball Program, C. Milton Wright High School, Bel Air, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 879-7529.
Saturday-Sunday, Baltimore Colt Reunion and Autograph Card Show, includes silent auction, Pikesville Armory, Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., (410) 529-1624 or (410) 243-1705. Expected autograph signers include Raymond Berry, Bert Jones, Gino Marchetti and Art Donovan.
June 13, baseball card show, Arbutus Fire Hall, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 788-8378.
June 13, baseball card show, Security Holiday Inn (I-695, Exit 17), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 922-8366.