Colorful hoop history in black and white


January 02, 1994|By Ruth Sadler | Ruth Sadler,Staff Writer

Basketball fans with a nostalgic bent or who are interested in the history of the game might enjoy Action Packed's second series of Basketball Hall of Fame cards.

Action Packed's embossing seems to be more effective on the black and white photos, reproduced in a tintype-style, in the 42-card set than on the full-color ones. Backs have enough stats to be interesting but are not overloaded.

There's Paul Arizin dribbling -- in black and white -- the way he looked on TV in the '50s. For postwar fans, Harry Galltin and Ed Macauly are included.

For history, there's Angelo Luisetti of Stanford, twice Player of the Year, who shocked LIU (and the eastern basketball establishment) with his "impossible" one-handed shot in 1936. It ended LIU's 43-game winning streak and changed the game forever. Another landmark player is Bob Kurland, a 7-foot All-American at Oklahoma A&M whose defense prompted the NCAA to adopt a goaltending rule in 1944. He was later an Amateur Athletic Union star.

Fans of the more recent past might want to trade for the Hall of Fame Class of '93 -- Ann Meyers and Uljana Semjonova (the first two women to be featured on Action Packed cards), Bill Walton, Dan Issel, Walt Bellamy, Dick McGuire, Calvin Murphy and Julius Erving. Erving is also featured in a five-card subset.

Other subsets look at groups of Hall of Famers. "College Days" shows Bill Bradley in his "Dollar Bill" Princeton days, Pete Maravich at LSU as well as Elvin Hayes, Jerry West and Oscar Robertson as collegians. "Players Who Coached" shows the men as pro players on the front with color head shots of them as coaches on the back. Stats are playing and coaching totals. The subjects are K. C. Jones, Tom Heinsohn, Billy Cunningham, Red Holzman, Lenny Wilkens and Bill Sharman.

Details are where Action Packed generally shines, so Maravich has his floppy socks and southpaw Cunningham is shown dribbling left-handed. But Luisetti isn't shooting one-handed -- the picture of him seems to be the same one in all the basketball history books and shows him raising the ball off the floor with both hands. Oh well.

Introducing Donruss hockey

Donruss is issuing its first hockey cards this month, one 400-card series with a borderless design. There will be four insert sets: Elite, Rated Rookies, Dick Perez art cards and a 26-card set commemorating the premiere edition of Donruss hockey.

Classic errors

Classic Games has double-numbered cards in its 1993 Four Sport Draft Pick Collection and will renumber cards later in the production run. Baseball players Andre King and Ryan McGuire appear as No. 283, but McGuire should be No. 288. There are also two Jeff D'Amico baseball players, one from Redmond High and one from Northeast High. Both have No. 277. The Northeast graduate should be No. 306.

Olympic pins

U.S. Olympic sponsor Champion is offering a set of three commemorative pins for $4.95 with the purchase of $35 worth of Champion apparel. The pins will be available at stores, including Penney and Woodward & Lothrop, through the Winter Games while supplies last. For each set sold, $1 will be donated to the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Completing Stadium Club NFL

Topps puts the finishing touches on Stadium Club football with the 250-card Series II. Every pack contains 14 regular cards plus one insert card. Also, to recognize Jerry Rice's record 101st touchdown catch, a commemorative card will be included in every 101 packs.

Hologram stars

Upper Deck is bringing holograms to its 1993-94 NBA lineup with a 36-card boxed set of stars and top rookies. Holojam features one veteran from each team and nine top rookies. Starring in the set for the Chicago Bulls -- the retired Michael Jordan. Look for it this month.

Coming events

Feb. 4, exhibit on Sheriff Fowble opens, Babe Ruth Museum, 216 Emory St., (410) 727-1539.

Feb. 6, Babe Ruth's 99th birthday party and preview of the celebration of his 100th birthday, Babe Ruth Museum, 216 Emory St., noon, (410) 727-1539.


SkyBox Premium NBA Series I has 191 cards plus 34 insert cards and two 1992 draft picks to complete last season's set. One insert set features matchups such as Shaquille O'Neal vs. Patrick Ewing (shown). SkyBox's third rookie exchange card, the Head of the Class Card, is redeemable for a card featuring the first six 1993 draft picks.

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