A number of NBA stars once belonged to Boys & Girls Clubs, and SkyBox International is making the connection through its SkyBox and NBA Hoops cards.
The company is sponsoring NBA Hoops/SkyBox Player of the Week awards at 1,500 clubs nationwide between November and February. Members will be recognized for academic achievement, service and athletic participation.
Clubs have also received cards and posters plus certificates for honorees. The company will donate $5 for each steal by John Stockton and block by Patrick Ewing.
Non-member collectors can take part with SkyBox card No. 321. The public service card features Magic Johnson and his son Andre. Johnson belonged to a club in Lansing, Mich., and now is a major supporter of a club in South Central Los Angeles.
Of the Boys & Girls Clubs alumni listed on the card, only Dominique Wilkins has a Baltimore connection. Wilkins lived in Baltimore until he was in junior high school, when he moved to North Carolina. But he didn't belong to the Boys & Girls Clubs here.
"If he keeps claiming us, we'll claim him," says Johnnie Jowers, executive director of the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs of Baltimore. "We have people who've been here 20 or 30 years and don't remember him being a member."
However, Jowers says, the local clubs count among their alumni former Dallas Cowboys star Calvin Hill, former Orioles pitchers Dick Hall and Dave Johnson and Atlanta Braves pitcher Mike Bilecki. For information on the Boys & Girls Clubs, call (410) 366-4997, extension 231.
Trading for Shaq
Shaquille O'Neal was No. 1 in the NBA draft, and Upper Deck has made him No. 1 in its NBA low series -- sort of. Because of an agreement reached with Classic, no other company can issue an O'Neal card until Jan. 1. What Upper Deck collectors might find in foil packs is No. 1a, the "Trade Upper Deck" card, which has instructions on the back on how to redeem it for an O'Neal card.
From the majors to the minors, merchandise catalogs abound. In the Chicago Cubs' holiday catalog, there's everything from limited-edition Cooperstown Collection bears at free-agent prices ($175) to calendars ($9.95), gift wrap and ribbon, shirts and caps. Call (800) 248-WINS. Minor-league catalogs offer caps, shirts, plush team mascots, pennants and cards. Logos can be eye-catching, such as the Chattanooga Lookouts' cartoon eyes within a "C" ( 267-2208; P.O. Box 11002, Chattanooga, Tenn. 37401), the Tucson Toros' Tuffy the bull ( 944-TORO; P.O. Box 27045, Tucson, Ariz. 85726), the Quad Cities River Bandits' bandanna-clad baseball ( 743-6559; P.O. Box 3496, Davenport, Iowa 52808) and the Albany Polecats, naturally fashionable in black and white ( 947-5783; P.O. Box 50485, Albany, Ga. 31705).
Read all about it
The fall issue of Topps Magazine features a sneak preview of Topps' 1993 baseball cards and articles on Negro Leagues memorabilia, early black baseball players, organizing your cards build rosters (having a complete set is essential) and a look at Topps' first NFL cards, from 1955.
Today, baseball card show, Towson Quality Inn (I-695, Exit 26 S), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., (410) 239-7446.
Today, baseball card show, Freedom District Fire Hall, Sykesville (Route 32 between I-70 and Route 26), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 922-8366.
Tuesday, baseball card show, North Point Plaza Bingo Hall, 5-10 p.m. (410) 563-9032.
Saturday, baseball card and craft show to benefit Joppatowne High School athletics, Joppatowne High School (555 Joppa Farm Road), 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call Steve Rapley (410) 538-6821 or Steve Sharpeta (410) 679-1878.
Saturday, baseball card show, Towson Sheraton (I-695, Exit 27A), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 922-8366.
Sunday, baseball card show, Security Holiday Inn (I-695, Exit 17), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 922-8366.
Card of the Week
Fleer's first NHL set, giving it cards in all four major team sports, comes in the Ultra line. There are 250 cards, including two players each from expansion Ottawa and Tampa Bay. There is a limited 10-card Jeremy Roenick subset, including 2,000 randomly inserted signed cards. There are also Ultra rookies, Ultra all-stars and Ultra award winners.