Upper Deck trump card super premium

MEMORABILIA

August 29, 1993|By Ruth Sadler | Ruth Sadler,Staff Writer

Until there was Upper Deck five years ago, there were just cards.

Score had put color photos on its card backs the year before and generally jazzed up card design. But Upper Deck arrived with thicker, whiter card stock, security holograms and eye-catching photographs, starting the premium card market.

Now everybody has a premium line to go with its regular product, including Upper Deck, which is upping the ante with a super-premium line called Upper Deck SP.

The new 290-card baseball set features coating on both sides of cards, "borderless" designs, two years' worth of stats (1992 and the player's career-best season) and All-Star cards of the starters of this year's game. Cards are organized alphabetically -- beginning with the Angels, and within each team. There are nine cards from each team, but the All-Stars don't appear on regular cards. Twenty-card subsets highlight top prospects and sluggers.

Upper Deck says print runs for the new product will be "a fraction" of its regular baseball set and will only be sold in hobby shops. Packs have 12 cards each.

It's nice to see a late-season set so most of the players are on the right teams -- Fred McGriff is shown as an Atlanta Brave -- but, of course, players who were traded in the deadline period are shown with their old teams.

Baseball update

Topps' 132-card baseball update set includes McGriff in an Atlanta uniform and Gary Sheffield in a Florida uniform, Boston rookie pitcher Aaron Sele and replacement managers Dallas Green and Davey Johnson. Cards of 22 members of Team USA are a set exclusive.

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Sweet Spot is a new bi-monthly newsletter dealing with

autographed sports memorabilia. The first issue has a two-page survey of single-signature baseball prices and a feature on protective cases. Future issues should have classified ads. Subscriptions are $18. For information, write to Kaufman Communications, 8140 North Mopac Expressway 2-120A, Austin,

Texas 78759.

From the Statue of Liberty

Chicagoland Processing, using brass retrieved from the Statue of Liberty during its 1986 restoration, is making a medallion commemorating the World Cup. Each medallion shows the Statue of Liberty on one side and the World Cup USA '94 logo on the other. Medallions retail for $45 and come with a certificate of authenticity from the Ellis Foundation. Call (800) 288-MINT.

Planning ahead

Ballpark fans can order 1994 Bill Goff calendars. The calendar, which begins with December 1993, features ballparks of the past and present, including Camden Yards and Griffith Stadium. For orders of five or less, the calendars are $15 each plus $4 shipping. There are discounts for larger orders. For information, call (800) 321-4633.

They're also bikers

Cleveland Indians outfielder Kenny Lofton, Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Mitch Frerotte and Atlanta Falcons coach Jerry Glanville ride motorcycles and are featured on insert cards in SkyBox's American Vintage Cycles Series II.

Coming events

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.

Sept. 12, card show, Security Holiday Inn (I-695, Exit 17), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 922-8366.

Sept. 12, card show, Towson Quality Inn (I-695, Exit 26S), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., (410) 239-7446.

CARD OF THE WEEK

Bicycle apparently thinks collectors should play with their cards. The playing-card company has issued a 53-card set called Major League Baseball 1993 Aces. Each suit is a category and features 12 leaders (ERA, batting average, home runs and stolen bases). The wild card (No. 53) is Cal Ripken. One side has a full-bleed color photo, club logo, player name and position and suit and value. The other side is a playing-card back with the set logo.

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