Upper Deck's FanFest offers 'shop until you drop' atmosphere

Memorabilia notebook

June 20, 1993|By Ruth Sadler | Ruth Sadler,Staff Writer

Major League Baseball Properties promises that Upper Deck All-Star FanFest will be a treat for collectors. It may also be an endurance test.

The FanFest, July 9-13 at the Convention Center and Festival Hall, during All-Star Week, will have collectibles for sale and for free, classic memorabilia to see (on loan from the Baseball Hall of Fame) and memorabilia produced on the spot.

Major League Baseball's licensees will be out in force. Collectors will recognize Donruss, Fleer, Score, Topps, Upper Deck, Megacards, Kenner, Hartland and Roman.

In the section called Making of the Game, "Fans can see how a bat and ball are made . . . how our licensed products are made," says Ray Schulte of Major League Baseball Properties, the licensing arm of major-league baseball. There, Cooperstown Bat will unveil its 1993 All-Star model and show how it makes its bats. Equipment manufacturers such as Rawlings and Nike will also demonstrate how their products are made. Some apparel licensees will be making limited-edition T-shirts for the show.

Schulte says nothing can be sold in the All-Star Bazaar. That's where fans will be the subject of their own baseball card, in the uniform of their favorite team (expect to wait -- it's a popular attraction), and collect freebies from manufacturers.

"They all will be giving out premium items," says Schulte.

Autographs are also free, and more than 100 former players will be on hand to sign throughout the course of the show. There are some Hall of Famers, Negro Leagues stars and popular local players among the 72 who have committed. Among them are Luis Aparicio, Al Bumbry, Leon Day, Bob Feller, Mark Fidrych, Pat Kelly, Harmon Killebrew, Buck Leonard, Juan Marichal, Robin Roberts and Earl Weaver.

Fans who live far from their favorite team will appreciate the retail store operated by Major League Baseball Properties. It will sell items from all 28 teams.

Collectors Showcase will have 150 booths, many with dealers who will be attending their third FanFest.

Schulte says that since many fans won't be coming to FanFest for the card show, the emphasis there will be on lower-priced items, in the $2 to $25 range, so new collectors won't be intimidated. Fans may also attend presentations at the Diamond Theater on collecting. Collectors Showcase will include a newsstand with hobby publications for sale.

FanFest also includes historic exhibits, tests of skill, food from around the major leagues and entertainment.

Tickets bought before July 9 are $10 for adults and $6 for children 12 and under, seniors 62 and older and military personnel.

A 1915 treat

Cracker Jack is celebrating its 100th anniversary by issuing replicas of some of the cards of its 176-card 1915 series. The 24 minicards include 22 Hall of Famers and four players appearing with Federal League teams.

All-Star medallion

Chicagoland Processing/Enviromint has produced 5,000 silver coins commemorating next month's All-Star Game at Camden Yards. The coins are $29.95 each plus $5 shipping. Also new are coins featuring Richard Petty, minor-league baseball logos and the 1994 World Cup. Call (800) 765-0123.

Coming events

Through July 11, "The Artist and the Baseball Card," Delaware Art Museum, 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, (302) 571-9590.

Through Oct. 31, exhibit "The Babe, The Birds and Baltimore: An All-Star Tradition" and exhibit on Rex Barney's 50-year sports career, with memorabilia from his Brooklyn Dodgers days, Babe Ruth Museum, (410) 727-1539.

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

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