Card collectors can double their pleasure through traders exchange

MEMORABILIA Notebook

April 11, 1993|By Ruth Sadler | Ruth Sadler,Staff Writer

Anyone who has ever collected baseball cards knows that doubles are a royal pain.

If a lot of your friends collect, they may have some swap value. For collectors whose friends don't, doubles are a nuisance taking up room because dealers often don't want those cards, either.

Enter Chris Davidson with a simple cure for the common doubles. Send him your doubles, your want list and a $25 annual fee and his Diamond Traders Exchange will convert your commons into cards you'll keep.

"Our whole objective here is to trade cards between the members. We're like the broker for the membership," says Davidson. "Because we don't buy or sell the cards, we can offer full trade value."

Davidson has collected for eight years but never dealt in cards. The germ of the idea came from a friend, James Kesner, who began collecting Fleer Ultra last year and became overwhelmed by his doubles. He asked Davidson what he could do with them and didn't think the suggestion of a monster box was the best solution.

Since he had space, a computer and a friend at Georgia Tech to write the program, Davidson was ready to serve as a card matchmaker. He decided to do the trading for the collectors to ensure that cards were sent.

"I was very surprised to find out nobody was [arranging for trades of commons]," Davidson says. "It seemed like it should have been around for years."

Diamond Traders Exchange started in February. By Opening Day, 322 collectors had signed up.

"It's been way beyond what we expected," says Davidson, who has not advertised. Word has gotten out through newspaper stories.

Davidson stores the cards and keeps a balance sheet for each collector. The value of each account is based on the book value of the cards sent to Diamond Traders Exchange. The guide published by Sports Collectors Digest is the source. Every month, want lists are compared to inventory, filled where possible and the book value subtracted from the collectors' accounts.

For people who want to begin collecting another line, this could be the answer. Topps doubles can become a Donruss or Fleer collection.

For information or an application, write Diamond Traders Exchange, P.O. Box 767965, Roswell, Ga. 30076 or call (404) 518-4609.

Basketball hero

Recently retired Boston Celtics star Larry Bird is Upper Deck's featured Basketball Hero for the 1992-93 high number series, which came out last week. The 10-card insert set chronicles his career. The 200-card series also includes All-Star Game cards and a 10-card"Fanimation" subset of Karl Malone and Michael Jordan. Rookie sensation Shaquille O'Neal is on five cards: All-Star, Top Prospect, card No. 1 (replacing the No. 1A "Trade Upper Deck" card), Rookie Standout insert and All-Division insert.

Two other low series cards are replaced: 32A (Magic Johnson) is replaced by Doug Christie (22), and 33A (Bird) is replaced by Jim Jackson (33).

Upper Deck also has special in sert sets for its various packs formats: hobby, retail, jumbo and locker boxes. Note to commemorative sheet collectors: There's one for Bird's retirement ceremony.

The silver Shaq

O'Neal, darling of basketball card collectors, is on a silver coin, too. Chicagoland Processing/Enviromint has produced 15,000 silver medallions with the star rookie's likeness. Each is $29.95 plus $5 shipping.

.` To order, call (800) 765-0123.

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.

Tuesday, card show, North Point Plaza Bingo Hall, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., (410) 563-9032.

Friday, card show to benefit Mt. Hope Inc., Wacohu Grange (Huyetts Crossroads, Routes 63 and 40), Hagerstown, 5 to 11 p.m., (410) 563-9032.

Saturday, autograph session (expected signers include Catfish Hunter) and silent auction to benefit the American Diabetes Association of Maryland, Quality Inn, Towson, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., (800) 232-3662.

Saturday, card and comic book show, William Watters Memorial United Methodist Church (1452 Jarrettsville Road, Jarrettsville), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 557-9441.

April 18, card show, Towson Sheraton (I-695, Exit 27A) 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 922-8366.

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