Fleer expands oversized choices

MEMORABILIA

August 07, 1994|By Ruth Sadler | Ruth Sadler,Sun Staff Writer

Fleer is going 4-for-4 in oversized cards and getting the jump on the 1994-95 NBA season.

Last year, it went to big cards in football (NFL Game Day), basketball (NBA Jam Session) and hockey (Power Play). The 400-card set will make Fleer the only company with oversized cards in all four major sports.

The cards, which measure 4 11/16 inches x 2 1/2 inches, are 35 percent larger than standard trading cards.

The baseball line is called Extra Bases and is due later this month. There are four insert sets totaling 80 cards, and a fifth (Pitchers' Duel) will be available by mail for $10 wrappers and $2 for shipping. There is one insert card per pack.

There are 14 Orioles in the set. Cal Ripken and Jeffrey Hammonds appear twice -- once on a regular card and once in an insert set.

NBA camps officially open Oct. 6, but Fleer is starting its season early -- shipping its first series of cards in the middle of this month.

There will be 240 basic cards plus 99 insert cards in nine insert sets. Fleer says each pack will have one insert card, and random packs will contain only insert cards.

Card fronts feature foil stamping in color. Backs are vertical, with half the card devoted to complete stats and the other to a color action picture.

Local reading

Cal Ripken's streak makes the cover of the September issue of Sports Card Trader, and there's an interview with him inside. The magazine's third annual list of the 25 "most powerful people in the sports card industry" includes sportscaster Phil Wood, the host of a memorabilia show on WTEM-AM in Washington. It is Wood's first appearance in the poll, at No. 25.

Camden Yards artwork

Camden Yards is one of the featured parks in the newest group of lithographs from Bill Goff Inc. The others are the Ballpark at Arlington and Ebbets Field. Unframed prints are $140 (Camden Yards and Ebbets Field) and $160 (Arlington). Call (800) 321-4633.

Switching to Pinnacle

Highland Mint, which has been reproducing Topps cards in metal, is switching to Pinnacle for baseball. As a result, Highland Mint will produce no more than the number of bronze or silver cards manufactured for each player as of July 7 and destroy its unsold inventory of Topps cards by Sept. 7. This will result in fewer cards than the company's originally announced maximums.

Driving for the gold

Finish Line Collectibles has issued a 100-card premium set, Finish Line Gold Edition. Insert cards include $2.50 prepaid phone cards, autographed cards and 3,000 Ernie Irvan holograms.

Catalog offer

Action Packed has put the winners of The Winston Select (formerly The Winston) in a 24-karat set of 10 cards. The 10-card set is available only in the Winston Cup catalog. Also available only in the catalog is a 13-card set featuring the Smokin' Joe's Winston Cup and Winston Drag Racing cars and drivers. Collectors can also see Action Packed's newest product -- a set of Smokin' Joe driver portraits on embossed pins.

Conlon factory sets

The 330-card set of the 1994 Conlon Collection is available in a factory set. It is packed in a tin, which features reproductions of some of the cards. There are also two promotional cards, of Babe Ruth and Charles Comiskey. The cards feature the sports photography of Charles Martin Conlon, who was active from 1905 to 1942.

75th anniversary auction

Christie's Oct. 1 sports memorabilia auction features items from the 1919 World Series between the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago White Sox.

The auction's highlight will be two autographed baseballs. One is signed by seven of the eight "Black Sox" who were banned from baseball for taking money to throw the Series, including Joe Jackson. The other is signed by members of the Reds.

There are also balls signed by White Sox owner Charles Comiskey and Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who became commissioner after the scandal. Also in the sale are a warm-up jacket worn by Hall of Fame pitcher Walter Johnson and a scrapbook from Lou Gehrig's 1927 and 1928 barnstorming tours. For information, call (212) 546-1119.

Coming events

Through Oct. 31, "Sheriff and His 'Boys,' " exhibit on Sheriff Fowble, who helped develop major-leaguers Al Kaline, Ron Swoboda and Tim Nordbrook, Babe Ruth Museum, 216 Emory St., (410) 727-1539.

Through Dec. 31, "The UnFOURgettable Years" exhibit opens, featuring events from years ending in 4, Babe Ruth Museum, 216 Emory St., (410) 727-1539.

Today, card show, Carrolltown Center, Eldersburg, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., (410) 781-6648.

Aug. 27, card show and auction, Arbutus Volunteer Fire Hall (5200 Southwestern Blvd.), 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., (410) 437-9927.

CARD OF THE WEEK

Pacific is bringing its Crown Collection to football with a 450-card set, including 33 top rookies. Players' names and positions are in gold foil. Cards come 12 to a pack. Pacific says there will be fewer than 4,999 cases. (Shown is Sterling Sharpe.)

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