Simpson case derails one pact, threatens another


August 28, 1994|By Ruth Sadler | Ruth Sadler,Sun Staff Writer

When football Hall of Famer O. J. Simpson was arrested in June, he had signed contracts for a number of memorabilia ventures.

The publicity surrounding his being charged with the murders of his ex-wife and her friend sent demand for -- and prices of -- Simpson memorabilia soaring.

One contract was canceled last week by the manufacturer, and another is being re-examined.

Sports, Accessories & Memorabilia, which had a contract with Simpson and had produced a prototype bobbing head doll of him, will not manufacture the doll and has destroyed the mold.

"We feel that due to the circumstances surrounding the case, and the hype that has occurred, it would not be feasible for us nor right for us to profit from this venture," says SAM vice president Nikki Bloomquist. "Whether guilty or innocent, there is by no means any way we will ever produce a bobber of O. J. Simpson."

Simpson is also under contract to the Ted Williams Card Co. The contract, signed Jan. 8, calls for him to be featured in the nine-card "Etched in Stone" insert set of the company's 1994 football set. (John Unitas was featured last year.) Simpson, who appeared on two cards in last year's set, also had agreed to autograph fewer than 50 cards, but their existence was not going to be announced.

Spokesman Tom Consentino said that, because the football cards are scheduled for late October-early November, the company will make a decision in the next two weeks. Consentino says the card company has been informally gathering opinions of dealers and collectors.

"The ultimate decision is going to come down to the management of the Ted Williams Card Co. and what they think is right," says Consentino. "What they didn't want to do is react in a knee-jerk way. . . . What the company stands for is recognizing what these great players did during their careers . . . not focusing on their personal lives."

Select II

Pinnacle's Select Series II will be available later this month. There will be 210 cards plus inserts featuring nine prospects, Paul Molitor, Carlos Delgado and 10 players selected for their special skills (no Orioles).

Upper Deck's SP returns

Upper Deck's high-end set, SP, is back. The 200-card set comes in packs of eight. Upper Deck says that it is producing the same number of cases as last year, but the number of cards will be smaller because cases and packs are smaller. There's a 38-card insert set of 3-D holograms, which includes Cal Ripken ++ and Jeffrey Hammonds. Chicago White Sox farmhand Michael Jordan makes two appearances -- as one of 20 top prospects and in the 3-D set.

More mint cards

Highland Mint's first Pinnacle replica cards feature Nolan Ryan (1993 "Now and Then"), Greg Maddux (1992) and Jeff Bagwell (1992). All are available in bronze and silver. Other new items are a Frank Thomas gold card (1992 Topps) and a Roger Clemens silver medallion.

NFL rookie exchange cards

Score will be shipping its NFL cards this month. Exchange cards in one of every 72 packs in hobby boxes can each be redeemed for one of 10 rookie cards.

Coming event

Sept. 16-18, card show, Eastpoint Mall (I-695, Exit 38 west); Sept. 16-17, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sept. 17, noon to 5 p.m. (expected signers include Mike Mussina, Rafael Palmeiro and Chuck Thompson by advance ticket sale only); (410) 574-4365 or (410) 255-1317.


Donruss' Studio returns as a 220-card, single-series offering. There will be four insert sets, including players in vintage uniforms (Joe Carter is shown in a 1942 Kansas City Monarchs uniform). Cal Ripken appears in the Silver and Gold Series Stars insert sets. Donruss says Studio is limited to 8,000 cases, 35 percent fewer than last year.

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