Oversized cards are growing in popularity

MEMORABILIA

November 14, 1993|By Ruth Sadler | Ruth Sadler,Staff Writer

Bigger is getting popular.

Fleer picked up GameDay this season and kept the football card oversized. Classic followed with its Classic Future cards.

Fleer seems to like the size because it will be releasing large-format hockey and basketball cards before year's end. And Upper Deck's T-202-style cards are also larger than normal but a different size than Fleer's and Classic's.

Power Play hockey cards bring back what Canadian collectors call "tall boy" cards, which haven't been produced in 30 years. Fleer's oversized cards are expected to be available before Thanksgiving.

There will be 280 cards in the set. Fleer plans three insert sets and says one insert card will be in each 12-card pack. Insert sets feature second-year stars, point leaders and top goalies, and the cards are gold-stamped. On average, each team is represented by 10 players, but the expansion Florida Panthers and Anaheim Mighty Ducks have 15 players each.

By mid-December, Fleer's NBA Jam Session should be out. These cards are full-bleed and are the first oversized NBA cards since 1976-77 Topps. Judging by the sample Karl Malone card, this format works well for big men. There are 240 cards plus four insert sets, and each 12-card pack will have an insert card.

Inserts feature scoring leaders, second-year stars, rookies and dunk masters. Dennis Rodman fans will find him suited as a San Antonio Spur.

Upper Deck's All-Time Heroes of Baseball set looks to the past for subjects and format. There are 165 cards featuring stars (such as Hall of Famers Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Walter Johnson, Willie Mays and Ted Williams) and other former players such as one-time Orioles Al Bumbry, Don Buford and Doug DeCinces).

The format is that of the classic T-202 "triple folders" with two side panels and a larger middle panel. There is a 10-card insert set of T-202 reprints. Upper Deck will donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of these cards to Baseball Assistance Team (BAT). Collectors may enter a sweepstakes to win a set of original T-202s.

Quarterbacks by the sheet

New manufacturer Spectrum Holdings Group, Inc. of Birmingham, Mich., is putting out collector sheets of the Quarterback Club. The Series I Tribute set has 12 sheets. Each sheet includes a 24-karat gold facsimile signature. Spectrum says it will produce 5,000 copies of each for the hobby and 1,500 each for its collectors club. Sheets will be available individually or as a set packaged in a binder. Spectrum plans a Series II for January.

World Cup preview

Upper Deck's English-Spanish 165-card World Cup set is coming this month. Subsets explain soccer, show some of the world's top players and profile members of the U.S. national team. Insert sets feature hologram stickers showing photos of soccer stars superimposed on a map of his country and U.S. coach Bora Milutinovic's choices of the 10 countries with the best chance to win the World Cup.

One last time

Nolan Ryan has retired, but his collectibles march on. Fossil is offering a set commemorating the pitcher's 27th season -- a numbered watch, an autographed, framed and numbered Ryan print and collector's tin. Ten thousand sets were produced. Look for them in department stores.

Late ballparks for the walls

Bill Goff Inc. lithographs feature memorable moments at Cleveland Stadium and Arlington Stadium, where baseball was played for the last time in September. The Cleveland print recalls the 1948 World Series, the last the Indians won, and the Texas print shows Nolan Ryan hitting Robin Ventura on the arm, setting off a melee this past August. Unframed, the Cleveland print costs $160 and the Texas one $140. For information, call (800) 321-4633.

Coming events

Through Dec. 17, exhibit on Hall of Fame pitcher Rube Marquard, Babe Ruth Museum, 216 Emory St., (410) 727-1539.

Thursday, sports card and comic book auction, Holiday Inn-Cromwell Bridge Road (I-695, Exit 29), preview 5 p.m., auction 6 p.m.

Nov. 26-28, card show to benefit St. Michaels Soccer Association (expected signer is Harold Baines), Talbot Community Center (Route 50), Easton, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Nov. 27-28, card show to benefit Reisterstown Rec Council (expected signers include Rex Barney), Hannah More Park, Reisterstown, Nov. 27 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Nov. 28 noon to 4:30 p.m.

Dec. 5, card show, Holiday Inn-Cromwell Bridge Road (I-695, Exit 29 south), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

CARD OF THE WEEK

Lime Rock's 165-card Baseball Winter League set is the first to show players on Dominican Republic major-league teams. Lime Rock says it will donate some of the revenue from sales to the Domincan Republic baseball players retirement fund. Among those in the set are Orioles Manny Alexander and Luis Mercedes. (Shown is Yorkis Perez of the Licey Tigers.)

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