Selling Baysox souvenirs is a major undertaking Notebook

MEMORABILIA

March 28, 1993|By Ruth Sadler | Ruth Sadler,Staff Writer

The impending arrival of the Double-A Baysox at Memorial Stadium may open a whole new vista to collectors.

It's a new team with a new logo -- and an array of merchandise collectors can check out before Opening Day. The Baysox's ticket office in the lobby at Memorial Stadium also serves as souvenir headquarters -- with advance sales of T-shirts and other popular items.

But don't be surprised if you see the Baysox's logo sold in stores far from the Chesapeake Bay.

General manager Keith Lupton says that Major League Baseball Properties licensees are authorized to manufacture items bedecked with minor-league team logos. In turn, minor-league teams receive royalty payments.

"If a logo gets hot, you can make some money," says Lupton, who adds that one of his favorites is the Chattanooga Lookouts' capital C with a pair of cartoon eyes.

The Baysox's cap logo has a capital B with a sail and baseball. Its primary colors are red, black and teal.

"A lot goes into that logo," says Lupton. "Do you want to go into a cute logo . . . or a traditional logo? We chose to go with a traditional logo because it might be around longer."

He says another consideration was to make it marketable across the country and that J. C. Penney is considering merchandise with the Baysox logo.

Among the items the team will sell are eight T-shirt designs, a half-dozen different caps, coffee mugs, steins, logo balls, tankards, sweatshirts and trolls.

It's a far cry from Lupton's early days in minor-league administration.

"When I got into minor-league baseball in 1981, [the souvenir stand] was just a little cubicle," he says. Now team merchandise is an important revenue source, along with tickets and food.

Collectors who attend Baysox games will be in for a triple treat. Maryland Baseball Limited Partnership owns the Frederick Keys as well as the Baysox, and some Keys merchandise will be sold at Memorial Stadium. The Baysox plan to sell some Orioles items, too.

Fans at Camden Yards will be able to buy items from Orioles farm clubs this year. Lupton says three items from each team will be available -- caps, T-shirts and one item of the farm team's choosing.

Collectors outside the Baltimore area can write to the Baysox for a souvenir list at Memorial Stadium, 900 E. 33rd St., Baltimore, Md. 21218-3646.

All-Star stadium 2

Topps' second Special Stadium Club baseball set is expected to be available this month.

The set contains 100 draft-pick cards, 56 All-Star cards, 25 Team USA cards and 19 cards featuring the playoffs and World Series. Among the Team USA players included in the 200-card set is Orioles No. 1 draft pick Jeffrey Hammonds.

Bobbing head news

Sports, Accessories & Memorabilia (SAM) is taking orders for bobbing head dolls of Hall of Famers Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays and Satchel Paige. Mays will wear a San Francisco Giants uniform, and Paige will wear a Kansas City Monarchs uniform.

The Mantle doll costs $99.99 plus shipping, and the other two are $39.99 plus shipping. Call (415) 328-2142 for an order form. SAM will donate $1 to the Negro Leagues Baseball Players Association for each Mays, Paige, Martinez Jackson and Reggie Jackson bobber sold in 1993. The Jackson bobbers (Martinez Jackson played for the Newark Eagles) will be out in July. . . In a related development, SAM has acquired M. Phillips, Ltd., which produces bobbers of NFL greats. . . . Greg Stokesberry (All-Star Bobbins, 2416 29th Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404) is producing bobbers of Leon Day, Paige, Buck Leonard, Ray Dandridge and other Negro Leagues stars for $34.95 postpaid.

Coming events

Through Oct. 31, exhibit on Rex Barney's 50-year sports career, with memorabilia from his Brooklyn Dodgers days, Babe Ruth Museum, (410) 727-1539.

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

Friday, card show to benefit West Middle Technology Education and Carroll County Special Olympics, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., West Middle School (60 Monroe St., Westminster), (410) 346-7837.

Saturday, card show to benefit Cape St. Claire Elementary School, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Cape St. Claire Elementary School

(Blue Ridge Drive, Annapolis), (410) 721-4119.

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