No run on Jordan items -- yet

MEMORABILIA

March 26, 1995|By Ruth Sadler | Ruth Sadler,Sun Staff Writer

Michael Jordan's unretirement is a week old, and it hasn't sent Baltimore area collectors stampeding to stores in search of cards and other Jordan-related items.

Hobby dealers are prepared, though, with materials and advice.

"I think his baseball cards will be going up because there won't be any more," says Nick Hershan of Fielder's Choice in Arbutus. "His [basketball insert] cards have been steadily going up. . . . Since he quit baseball, people have been asking about Michael Jordan -- and buying."

Hershan says his budget-minded customers are buying Grant Hill cards while they are relatively inexpensive, anticipating a rise in value if he is named NBA Rookie of the Year.

Joe Bosley at The Old Ball Game in Reisterstown says he has had a set with Jordan's rookie card for a while but no buyers. "I think it's a good time to buy because his prices have dropped since he retired. . . . Assuming he regains form, I expect them to rise a little bit."

David Herndon, of Uncle Dave's Baseball Cards in Eldersburg, got an immediate reaction from collectors.

"I had two Michael Jordan rookie cards [Monday], and somebody came in and bought one," he says. "There's a noticeable pickup of interest in his cards."

Harry Beach at All Star Cards in Baltimore says he has done well with basketball this year but that his customers aren't looking for Jordans. "I'm hoping he picks up because I have a lot of stuff."

At Larry Beck's in Baltimore, Larry Beck has autographed basketballs as well as cards but few Jordan collectors. "I think it ,, might be a tad too early [to see buyers]," he says. He says he did have a request for a 1994 Stadium Club No. 169 first-day card, a card he thinks will be popular.

It's not just cards that are slow.

According to Cliff Rudo at Rudo Sports in Mondawmin Mall, "a couple of people" have asked about jerseys with Jordan's new number (45). He says he sold a couple of No. 23 jerseys last week, but that's not unusual. However, sales of Jordan shoes have picked up.

"We're more of a shoe store, anyway," says Rudo. "I think everybody's more interested in March Madness." He says he's heard more people talking about Maryland than about Jordan.

Star-studded lineup

Baseball fans can put an All-Star lineup on the shelf with new bobbing-head dolls from Sports, Accessories & Memorabilia. Cal Ripken and Jim Palmer dolls will be issued this week. Ripken and Palmer will each autograph 100 gold-based bobbers. Also due for spring or early summer are Ernie Banks, Ferguson Jenkins and Gaylord Perry bobbers. Call (800) 4-TEAM-HDS.

Stuck on the NBA

Pinnacle Brands will bring out its first NBA collectible in April, a set of team logo lapel pins produced in conjunction with Imprinted Products. All 29 teams are included, but Pinnacle says production is limited to 214,000 total pins.

Leaf Limited hockey

The NHL is allowing card licensees to produce a third line instead of a second series, so Donruss is going with Leaf Limited instead of Donruss Series 2. Limited was an insert in Leaf Hockey. Leaf Limited has 120 basic cards and three insert sets -- World Juniors (Canada), World Juniors (United States) and Gold (10 stars).

Cards of their own

Highland Mint, which has been reproducing Topps, Pinnacle, Press Pass and Upper Deck cards in bronze, silver and gold, will be making its own cards this spring. Larry Bird will be the first player featured in a set of basketball greats. These cards will also come in bronze, silver and gold.

Coming events

Through Sept. 5, "Babe Ruth: An Artistic Perspective," Babe Ruth Museum, 216 Emory St., (410) 727-1539.

Friday-next Sunday, card show with some proceeds benefiting Grant-a-Wish Foundation, Eastpoint Mall (expected signers include Jim Palmer and Sean Landeta), mall hours, (410) 284-6697.

April 1, card show, Earleigh Heights Fire Hall, Severna Park, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 672-5859.

April 7-9, card show, State Farm Show Complex, Harrisburg, Pa. (I-81, Exit 23; expected signers include Kevin Greene and Bam Morris); April 7, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.; April 8-9, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; (717) 939-1075.

April 8, card show, Arbutus Fire Hall, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 437-9927.

April 22, card show, Wicomico Civic Center, Salisbury, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 437-9927.

April 22-23, card show to benefit National Negro League Players Association (expected signers include Buck Leonard, Monte Irvin, Gino Marchetti, Jim Parker, Lenny Moore), Carrolltown Center Mall, Eldersburg (Route 26, one mile east of Route 32); April 22, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; April 23, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; (410) 781-6648.

CARD OF THE WEEK

Pinnacle Football Series II-Zenith Edition, due in April, completes the 1994 NFL season. All 150 regular cards will be printed on gold foil, and there are three insert sets. The set focuses on highlights and the playoffs and Super Bowl. Pinnacle says the print run will be the shortest of any of its football issues. (Shown is Dolphins' Dan Marino.)

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