You say you're interested in baseball? Join the club

KIDS' CORNER

May 22, 1994|By Mark Hyman | Mark Hyman,Sun Staff Writer

If you're a kid, you're too young to play in a big-league game and too young to drive yourself to the ballpark to watch one. But you're just the right age to join a baseball fan club.

What is a baseball fan club? That's difficult to say because no two clubs have exactly the same rules or give away the same things. When you join some clubs, you can buy tickets to baseball games at a low price. In others, you get souvenirs from the team, including T-shirts, fanny packs and pins. Most clubs also will send you a membership card with a place to sign your name.

The hardest parts are finding out about the clubs and deciding which you would like to join. A good way to start is by writing to your favorite team or player and asking whether they have a club for kids. The addresses of major-league teams can be found in many baseball books. There are lots of good clubs around, but one of the best is the Colorado Rockies' kids fan club. For only $5, the Rockies club sends a "fun pack," which includes a membership card, a fanny pack, a wallet, a pin, a pencil/pen holder, decals, activities booklet and a newsletter.

Barb Maniscalco, who works for the Rockies, says the club had 11,302 members last year and hopes for 15,000 this year. It is at 11,000 so far, with kids from every state, including Hawaii. The club even has one member from Norway and one from Germany.

For information, write: Rockies Rookies Kids Fan Club, P.O. Box 120, Denver, Colo., 80201-0120.

Here are some other fan clubs:

* Cal Ripken Junior Orioles. For $10, you get to attend a question-and-answer meeting with Ripken and a clinic. Members can enter a contest, with winners getting a Camden Yards tour and a chance to be a pre-game batboy or batgirl. There's also a chance to buy half-price tickets to three different games. The club is closed for this year, but to be on a list for next year, write: Cal Ripken Junior Orioles, 333 W. Camden St., Baltimore, Md., 21201.

* Chicago White Sox Silver & Black Pack. Open to fans 16 years old and under. Members get a membership card and certificate, a club patch, stickers and a newsletter. The cost is $15. Write: Silver & Black Pack, Chicago White Sox, Dept. 77-3419, Chicago, Ill., 60678-3419.

* Frederick Keys Knothole Gang. Open to fans 14 or younger of the Orioles' Single-A Carolina League team. Members get a membership card, can attend a clinic and have a chance to win prizes. The cost is $6, plus $1.90 if you want the kit mailed to you. Write: Knothole Gang, Frederick Keys, P.O. Box 3169, Frederick, Md., 21705.

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