It's best to keep prized collections in dark


May 29, 1994|By Ruth Sadler | Ruth Sadler,Sun Staff Writer

Most collectors are familiar with at least some of the array of products marketed to protect card collections.

Taking care of other forms of memorabilia requires different equipment -- and a different outlook.

One local source concerned with preserving collectibles is the Babe Ruth Museum, which has an extensive collection of baseball items.

The key to preserving memorabilia, curator Greg Schwalenberg said, is darkness.

He advises collectors to keep such items as autographed balls in the dark, in a holder. When handling a baseball from a collection, always hold it by the seams, he said.

Schwalenberg says the museum tries to rotate items exhibited in its collection to minimize exposure to light. Items not on display are kept in a dark, climate-controlled area. Jerseys are on hangers covered with acid-free muslin and padded. Bats are stored on shelves and travel in tubes.

He seeks advice from experts at other museums for care of leather and fabric and recommends that collectors do the same.

"If you want to take care of a uniform, it's like taking care of fabric at the Walters [Art Gallery]," he says. "[Museums] are interested in preserving history," just as collectors are.

Acid-free boxes, folders and other items for preserving a variety of collectibles are not just for museums. Companies selling them include Gaylord Bros. (Box 4901, Syracuse, N.Y., 13221-4901), Light Impressions (800) 828-9859.

Fleer Ultra II

Fleer continues Ultra baseball with Series II in June. There will be 300 basic cards, including 47 veterans in their new uniforms, and 84 insert cards. The Phillies Finest Highlights Series, features John Kruk and Darren Daulton.

Olympic memorabilia

The Baltimore area's first show featuring Olympic memorabilia will be held June 11, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the meeting room of the New Weave Building at Savage Mill in Savage. Collectors can buy and swap. There will also be information on the 1996 Atlanta Games and on collecting Olympic items. For information, call John Kinnaman at (410) 290-7953.

Doubling in Finest

Topps is doubling the size of Baseball's Finest for 1994. There will be two series of 220 cards, with the first shipping in early June and the second in mid-July. Series I has two 20-card subsets, featuring top 1993 rookies and star veterans.


Baseball card collectors can do some shopping in the grocery store. Pinnacle and Tombstone Pizza are teaming for a 30-card set licensed by the Major League Baseball Players Association. One card is packed with each pizza, and collectors can get the whole set for five proofs of purchase and $1 shipping. (Shown is the Orioles' Cal Ripken.)

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