Topps' X-factor marks spot for card fans in Maryland Coupons redeemed for vintage prizes


Attention, all cynics -- collectors and dealers alike -- wh thought that Topps was saving all those X-marked cards for the dog days of the baseball card season.

Three of those cards -- coupons, actually, for vintage Topps cards valued at $50 or more -- have turned up in Maryland.

According to Dee Bosley of The Old Ball Game in Reisterstown, a customer at the store received an X card last week. The card must be sent to Topps, and the collector then receives the prize card. The collector has not yet gotten the card from Topps.

The dealers' grapevine reports two other X's. One dealer spoke with an Eastern Shore dealer who had had a customer get one, and another dealer knows of a Hagerstown dealer with a similar experience.

Chuck Hoffman of Doubleplay Sportscards in Pasadena reports one customer getting a 1979 Jim Palmer and another a 1959 common.

* Signed Ryne Sandberg Donruss cards also are turning up. There have been three at The Old Ball Game, two at Jay's Sports Connection in Towson and one at Straightaway Center in Glen Burnie.

Jeff Owen of Jeff's Dugout in Ellicott City says a customer got one of the 2,500 signed Reggie Jackson 1990 Upper Deck cards last month.

Baltimore-area collectors are getting a number of Donruss Elite cards: Cecil Fielder and Barry Bonds at The Old Ball Game; Doug Drabek at Jay's; George Brett at Doubleplay Sportscards; Nolan Ryan, Bonds, Drabek and Fielder at All-American Baseball Cards in Essex; Matt Williams, Rickey Henderson, Bonds, Fielder and two Bretts at Straightaway Center; Brett at Extra Inning in Glen Burnie; and Drabek and Ryan at Bill's Baseball Cards in Essex.

* Most dealers report strongest collector interest in Upper Deck --

cards. Bob Fickus of Baseball Unlimited in Rosedale reports the Michael Jordan insert holding its value at about $20 and strong sales of Upper Deck hockey as well as baseball cards. Bill Wilke of Bill's Baseball Cards in Highlandtown finds customer interest in Skybox, Score football and baseball, 1989 Score football (possibly because of its relative scarcity) and Upper Deck.

* Score's Series II baseball cards, available this month, will feature 26-card subset, "The Franchise." These cards will have a black and white photograph of a key member of each team on a royal blue background with black border. The Baltimore Orioles' "Franchise" is Cal Ripken. . . . When Score's 900-card factory sets come out in April, they will contain seven cards not available in Series I and Series II wax packs: "Cooperstown Cards" of Ryan, Brett, Henderson, Wade Boggs, Will Clark,

Barry Larkin and Ken Griffey Jr., considered future Hall of Famers by the card maker. These cards will have pastel-painted photographs of each player in a circular gray vignette with white border.

* Dealers report that Skybox II basketball cards are in. . . . Later this month, specially marked multipacks of Coca-Cola products will include five Donruss 1991 baseball cards. . . . Donruss, besides selling collectors its cards, will begin selling accessories to collectors -- its own line of binders, vinyl sheets, individual card storage products, "collector's kits" and a guide/handbook for collectors.

* St. Vincent, the champion stamp-issuing country, which earlier produced a 150-stamp baseball series, has put out a 50-souvenir sheet set of Super Bowl stamps. The Caribbean island country's issue has been authorized by the National Football League. Twenty-five of the sheets feature the Super Bowl program covers. Each of the other 25 is devoted to one Super Bowl and contains two stamps showing action photos, except for Super Bowl XXV, which shows the Lombardi Trophy and the logos of all NFL teams. The set is called "25 Years of Super Bowl History in Postage Stamps." Further information can be obtained from Inter-Governmental Philatelic Corp., 460 W. 34th St., New York, N.Y., 10001.


Upcoming events:

Today, baseball card show, Running Brook Elementary School, 5215 West Running Brook, Columbia, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 740-3368.

Today, baseball card show, Towson Quality Inn, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

March 9, baseball card show, Holiday Inn Timonium, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 254-2729.

March 9, baseball card show, Security Holiday Inn, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 922-8366.

March 10, baseball card show, Comfort Inn Airport, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 922-8366.

March 16, baseball card show, Pallotti High gym, Laurel, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 725-3228.

March 17, baseball card show, Caton Avenue Pargo's (I-95 at Exit 50 south), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 922-8892 or 243-1705

March 30, baseball card show, Freedom Community Center, Route 32, 1/2 -mile south of Route 26, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 549-6269.

April 7, baseball card show, Freedom District Fire Hall, Sykesville, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 922-8366.

April 14, baseball card show, Glen Burnie Elks Hall, Severna Park, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 922-8366.

April 21, baseball card show, Martin's Ballroom-North Point, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 922-8366.

April 21, baseball card show, Towson Quality Inn, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

April 28, baseball card show, Security Holiday Inn, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 922-8366.

Card of the week

Twenty-seven PBA Hall of Fame members are among the 100 bowlers featured in Collect-A-Card's Kingpins set. The color backs have for their background a bowling lane (photographed at Riverside Lanes in California), the distinctive wood grains an effort to deter counterfeiters. The cards are sold only in sets, with a suggested price of $15.95.

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