Ruth Museum's display has a hot number: 2,131


March 24, 1996|By Ruth Sadler | Ruth Sadler,SUN STAFF

There are a lot of officially licensed items with "2131" on them in collections across the country.

But the real "2131," the large numerals that hung from the B&O warehouse during Cal Ripken's pursuit of Lou Gehrig's consecutive-games record last summer, have found a home at the Babe Ruth Museum. The banners are part of an exhibit on Ripken's streak that opened Friday.

Also on display are Orioles manager Phil Regan's lineup card, the pitching rubber and second base from the record-breaking game Sept.6, plus a baseball signed by the California Angels' starting lineup, who provided the opposition.

According to Ira Rainess of the Tufton Group, which handles Ripken's merchandising and personal appearances, these are the only game artifacts that have been allocated. Other items will be headed for the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y., the Ripken museum in Aberdeen and Ripken's personal collection. "At this time, we haven't made the decision," Rainess says.

"It's a peculiar kind of thing," says of the artifacts of the record game. "It's not like a record-breaking home run, where you can get the ball and bat. . . . The lineup card comes the closest."

But the 2131 banners are special. "To me, the most profound symbol of the streak was the warehouse banners," says Gibbons, noting that they were often shown on television and mentioned in print.

Gibbons says the museum got nearly everything on its wish list.

"The only thing that seemingly did slip through the cracks was the pen that Phil Regan used [to fill out the lineup card]," Gibbons says. "He just kept it." Museum officials contacted Regan, who said he gave it to one of his daughters. The museum is still hoping to get it.

Museum visitors will be entertained by audio and video highlights of the record-tying and breaking games as well as original artwork that was the basis of exclusive streak merchandise.

Call (410) 727-1539 for information.

Upper Deck baseball

Upper Deck baseball has given new looks to its design and set composition for 1996, eliminating parallel insert sets. There are 240 basic cards and six insert sets, including four cards saluting Ripken that continue the 22-card cross-brand insert set that started with Collector's Choice.

SkyBox Premium 2

Magic Johnson has been added to SkyBox Premium NBA Series 2 with an updated player card (No. 301) and an insert card (HS 11 in the 10-card Hot Sparks insert set). There are 151 basic cards plus four insert sets, including one of USA Basketball's 1996 men's team.

Upper Deck racing

History is a big part of Upper Deck Series One Motorsports cards for 1996. Among the 150 basic cards is a 30-card subset on the history of stock car racing. One of the five insert sets features racing legends and will be continued in Series Two and in SP editions.

Coming events

Today, card show, Holiday Inn-Cromwell Bridge Road (I-695, Exit 29), (410) 529-1624.

Today, card show (expected signers are Art Donovan and John Unitas), Westpark Hotel, Tysons Corner, Va., (800) 899-8833.

Friday-next Sunday, "Senators of Griffith Stadium Reunion" card show (expected signers include Harmon Killebrew, Chuck Stobbs, Roy Sievers, Mickey Vernon and Jim Lemon), Essex Community College, March 29 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., March 30 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., March 31 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., (516) 676-3302.

Pub Date: 3/24/96

Card of the week

Former Maryland star Joe Smith has been a fixture in NBA sets as a Golden State Warriors rookie. He's in his Terrapins uniform (shown in the Centers of Attention insert set) in Pacific's Crown Collection Basketball Draft Picks set. There are 54 cards and three insert sets.

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