Logo is a selling point for CFLs

MEMORABILIA

August 14, 1994|By Ruth Sadler | Ruth Sadler,Sun Staff Writer

Baltimore's expansion CFL team lost its name in court before its first game. It also lost merchandise that could not be sold because it bore the banned name.

But it seems to have a winner of a logo -- a stylized horse head with flowing mane.

Now the merchandise is nickname-less, but it doesn't seem to have hurt sales.

"I think sales have been pretty steady," says Tom Renedo, manager of licensed merchandise. "The logo's going to stay."

He says the biggest sellers have been T-shirts, media guides, coffee mugs and lapel pins. A new item, "CFL Facts and Figures," is also popular ("[Fans] want to know who the players are."). Other items for sale include equipment bags, pennants, key rings, visors and replica helmets.

First-day programs, with blacked-out nickname on the cover, have sold out, but some first-day T-shirts remain.

Sales are strongest in the days before home games, when people go to Memorial Stadium to pick up tickets, see the merchandise display, stop in and buy. Sales are also brisk at stadium concession stands during games.

The team has a mailing list of 100-plus, with orders from New Jersey and Ohio.

One of the attractions seems to be the logo.

Scott Mitchell, Renedo's assistant, has a brother who works for Canadian Graphics West, which he describes as "the Starter of Canada."

"He says it's the most popular CFL logo," says Mitchell. "We've heard nothing but good things about the logo."

Renedo says the CFLs' line will be expanded with warmer wear come fall -- jackets, sweatshirts and heavier-weight caps.

Collectors who want a price list (catalog printing has been delayed because the original contained the banned nickname in text and pictures) can write to: Baltimore CFL, Memorial Stadium, 1000 E. 33rd St., Baltimore, Md. 21218 or call (410) 554-1010.

Ken Burns' 'Baseball'

Maryland Public Television will air the preview of Ken Burns' 18 1/2 -hour documentary "Baseball" tomorrow and Tuesday. As part of its August fund-raiser, it will offer viewers the companion book, cassettes and compact discs of the background music, a set of videocassettes of the series and a calendar. Collectors with an eye for the uncommon might be on the lookout for posters and postcards. According to Gil Boyce of MPT, public stations could purchase them to use as "incentives," to be given to donors at their discretion. They are not premiums and thus can't be selected by viewers making pledges.

Upper Deck football

Upper Deck's NFL set has 330 cards plus two insert sets. One insert set highlights 20 participants in the 1994 Pro Bowl and introduces "HoloView" cards, which show a three-dimensional image. The other insert set (with different versions available at hobby and retail outlets) show players who might lead a designated statistical category or win an award. Collectors holding the winning cards (or a long-shot card, if none of the pictured players wins) can redeem them for a full insert subset (for example, the MVPs).

Stadium Club football

Stadium Club football returns later this month with Super Team cards and first-day issue cards. The 270-card first series features 30 1994 draft picks. A new insert set, Dynasty and Destiny, compares current players with former players considered potential Hall of Famers.

Dream Team coins

Collectors who think Dream Team II is as good as gold may be interested in Enviromint's newest medallions. There are silver ($29.95) and gold select ($49.95) medallions of each Team USA member.

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.

CARD OF THE WEEK

This is the third season that Fleer is producing minor-league sets under the Pro Cards label. The 1994 lineup has 152 team sets and five all-star sets. There are 25 cards in the Bowie Baysox set, including Annapolis native Rick Forney, who pitched a seven-inning perfect game July 30.

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