New jobs don't boost area sales

MEMORABILIA

October 23, 1994|By Ruth Sadler | Ruth Sadler,Sun Staff Writer

Last week, the Orioles dominated the sports headlines with a new manager, Phil Regan, and a new pitching coach, Mike Flanagan.

Regan, who pitched in the 1960s, has cards from a near-classic period. And Flanagan is a longtime Orioles fan favorite.

But that hasn't been enough to shake the doldrums in the Baltimore baseball card market.

"We did sell Phil Regan's rookie card [1961 Topps] . . . for a dollar," says Don Betz at Jay's Sports Connection in Towson. He says he sold three or four early in the week. "We're not selling Flanagan. . . . I guess people figure they can always get him."

Other hobby dealers wish someone would ask about Regan or Flanagan cards.

"As far as Regan, I think [people] are still in shock," says Bud Williams at Bud's Starting Lineup in Baltimore. "They thought it was going to be [Rick] Dempsey. I sold more Rick Dempsey cards than I had in six years. . . . Most of the people who have Oriole cards have Flanagan."

"I went and pulled a bunch [of Regans and Flanagans Monday]," says Chuck Hoffman at Doubleplay Sportscards in Severna Park. "I don't think people are that familiar with Phil Regan." He says many of his customers thought Davey Johnson would get the job. "Whoever the manager is . . . a lot of kids want their cards. . . . I'm sure a lot of people will want his card when he's [shown as] an Oriole."

At The Old Ball Game in Reisterstown, Joe Bosley specializes in older cards and memorabilia. He says he is seeing renewed interest in older material, but no one has asked about Regan or Flanagan cards. "The strike is really having an increasingly adverse effect on the business," Bosley says. "Plus the NHL [not playing] . . . and the animosity of this city toward the NFL leaves only basketball."

Mike Tanner isn't seeing that animosity at Baseball Card Outlet in Eastwood. "It's probably 75 percent football cards now," Tanner says. "It's doubtful anyone will look for [Regan or Flanagan cards] unless they're signing at a show."

Baseball isn't selling well at Mack the Plaque in the Harundale Mall. "They're not buying baseball," says Jerry Warner. "They're still angry with baseball.

Bowman's Best baseball

The inaugural Bowman's Best baseball is a single-series, 200-card set.

Each pack has seven cards, including a Mirror Image subset card. The red set includes Orioles Lee Smith, Ben McDonald and Cal Ripken. The blue set includes Orioles prospect Alex Ochoa.

Ultra basketball

Fleer's first series of Ultra NBA contains 200 cards plus 59 insert cards in six sets.

Each 14- or 17-card packs has an insert card, and random packs are made up entirely of inserts. Look for them this month.

Heavy medal

Enviromint, which normally strikes coin-sized medallions, is putting a half-pound of silver in medallions ($159 each) commemorating Nolan Ryan's career strikeout record. It is the largest medallion licensed by Major League Baseball. There will be 324 gold select versions ($199 each). Call (800) 299-MINT.

Topps baseball update

Topps' 132-card Traded Baseball set features 12 1994 draft picks and two cards honoring newly retired Ryne Sandberg, including the only card of him in a Philadelphia Phillies uniform. For Orioles fans, it's your last chance to get Chris Sabo in a Baltimore uniform.

Coming events

Saturday, card show to benefit Catonsville High boys basketball team, Catonsville High School (421 Bloomsbury Ave.), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 461-5443.

Nov. 12-13, Bird Expo in part to benefit Grant-A-Wish Foundation, Pikesville Armory (expected signers include Rafael Palmeiro, George Kell, Don Larsen, Mike Cuellar, Vida Blue and Bobby Grich), Nov. 12 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Nov. 13 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 574-4365.

Nov. 13, card show to benefit Wellwood Recreation Center, Pikesville Middle School (7701 Seven Mile Lane), 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., (410) 887-1240.

Nov. 19, card show, Arbutus Fire Hall, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., (410) 536-4533 or (410) 437-9927.

CARD OF THE WEEK

In 1960, Phil Regan appeared in 17 games for the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers put him on the roster in 1961, and Topps put him on a card. His rookie card (No. 439) is listed at $2.50 in top condition.

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