Baysox to pitch souvenirs in major-league way in '94

MEMORABILIA

September 26, 1993|By Ruth Sadler | Ruth Sadler,Staff Writer

The Baysox will officially leave Baltimore this week for their real home, Bowie.

Their new offices will be opening, and, come spring, they are to have a new ballpark and a full-time gift shop.

One team focus in 1994 will be souvenir merchandise.

According to general manager Keith Lupton, the Baysox did not Notebook

attempt to sell anything nationally this season. This will change with an ad geared to holiday purchases soon to appear in a Baseball America publication.

"I'd say it's safe to say we're going to get into the souvenir business in a big way," Lupton says.

The team also is considering opening shops in Annapolis and Washington. Lupton says no Baltimore shop is planned now.

Apparently the Baysox, with a new logo and a temporary home, were a hit with fans at Memorial Stadium. Lupton gives no figures but says, "I'm sure it was a lot more . . . than we had in Hagerstown last year. . . . It was probably equal to what we do in Frederick."

Fans liked the team logo -- the most popular merchandise had it. Lupton says the Baysox re-ordered their logo baseballs, T-shirts and caps. Other big sellers were trolls, commemorative pennants and such clothing as a pinstriped baseball-jersey style shirt and a tan cap with teal bill.

Lupton says he has no figures yet on national sales of Baysox merchandise. National licensees may produce minor-league merchandise for sale anywhere. Teams must approve prototypes, but manufacturers aren't required to let teams know if the items are produced, he said.

He says that he has talked to other minor-league executives whose outstanding merchandise sales seasons produced less revenue than Bowie's. Baysox souvenir brochures may be obtained by writing the team at P.O. Box 1661, Bowie, Md. 20717.

Safety feature

Fleer has put an anti-counterfeit device on each NBA lottery card and says it will check each card submitted for redemption. The word Fleer is visible under ultraviolet light in the upper-left corner. The company warns collectors who purchase lottery cards on the secondary market to be sure of the source of their cards. Lottery cards should be mailed to Fleer Exchange Set, P.O. Box 508, Church Hill, Md. 21690 by April 1, 1994. Cards will be shipped six to eight weeks after the Nov. 1 signing deadline.

T-202 revival

Next month, Upper Deck is introducing its version of the T-202 Hassan Triple Folders, which first appeared in 1912. The tobacco cards featured two color pictures on either side of a black-and-white center panel. The folded cards were inserted in cigarette packs. Upper Deck's cards feature Hall of Famers Reggie Jackson, Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams in three combinations. They are available by mail for 15 Series 2 wrappers plus $3 shipping.

More basketball fame

Action Packed features the Class of '93 in its Basketball Hall of Famer Series II, due in mid-October. The 42-card set includes the first female athletes on Action Packed cards (Ann Meyers and Uljana Semjonova), a subset showing Bill Bradley, Pete Maravich, Elvin Hayes, Jerry West and Oscar Robertson as collegians and a subset of players who coached. Baltimore collectors can find lots of cards with local connections: Wes Unseld, Al McGuire, Walt Bellamy and Hayes played for the Bullets; former Winston-Salem State coach Clarence "Big House" Gaines is a Morgan State alumnus; Red Holzman played one season for the University of Baltimore; and Dan Issel was signed to play for the ill-fated ABA Claws.

Conlon only bigger

Megacards is enlarging the Conlon Collection -- with 8 x 10 cards. Master Series I is a limited edition set of nine black-and-white, gold-foil cards, comprising a "dream team" of the era Charles Conlon photographed (1905-1942). Color Master Series I has nine color-enhanced cards featuring players, ballparks and the Walter Johnson/Nolan Ryan fantasy card from the 1993 Conlon Collection. Maryland baseball history fans will find Babe Ruth in both sets and Home Run Baker and Orioles John McGraw and Wilbert Robinson. Backs feature anecdotes, stories and poems. Each set comes in a display portfolio with sleeve-card holders.

Ramsay scouts for SkyBox

Hall of Fame coach Jack Ramsay has written thumbnail scouting reports for the backs of all SkyBox cards for 1993-94. Backs also include five-year stats and large photos. Series 1, which comes in 12-card packs, is due in mid-November.

Coming events

Today, card show and auction to benefit Baltimore Colts Alumni (expected signers include Mike Curtis, Tom Matte, Bruce Laird, Joe Ehrmann and Rick Volk), Pikesville Hilton (I-695, Exit 20), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., auction begins at 4. (410) 795-0033.

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

CARD OF THE WEEK

Action Packed has color coded its rookie/update set, due out in November. First-rounders get a gold-foil accent, second-rounders get silver, and third-rounders (as prototype subject Neil O'Donnell of Maryland was in 1990) get bronze. Other draftees get red, and veterans in the 60-card set get a blue background.

5/8

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