There are a lot of Boy Scouts who collect sports cards. And over the past several years, they have written letters to the organization's national headquarters in suburban Dallas lobbying for a merit badge.
The scouts have acknowledged the large number of collectors and the growing sophistication of the hobby by adding a merit badge for collections. For years, Boy Scouts have been able to earn badges for coin and stamp collections, but this is the first time collections of other things, such as trading cards, have been merit badge material. This year, three other badges were added (medicine, family life and auto mechanics) and one deleted (signaling) for a total of 124.
According to Boy Scout spokesman Blake Lewis, potential merit badges must meet three criteria, the most important being interest shown by scouts, especially through letters. "It becomes pretty apparent over time when there's a solid prospect," he said. There must also be support for the badge by adults, with enough throughout the country ready to act as counselors for the badge. Finally, the badge must reflect the values of scouting.
To earn the collection badge, a scout must describe his collection in detail, discussing the history, growth and development of it. He should also be well-versed in preservation and display and events related to displays (shows, seminars, contests, museums). He must be able to discuss how investment applies to his collection and the value he places on his collection and how he would. He should also be able to discuss classification, identification and grading of the collection, explain how the collection might be appraised by others, how to contact collectors' associations at the local, state and national level and what career opportunities may be available.
However, the Boy Scouts are just catching up to the Girl Scouts, who have had a general collecting badge available at the junior level for at least 15 years and at the cadet/senior level for about 10, according to Jo Soyak of the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland. The Girl Scouts do not have stamp or coin badges. Among the requirements for the collecting badge, a Girl Scout should be able to discuss classification, organization and display of her collection, as well as to learn the history of the hobby and what clubs and publications exist for the hobbyist.
Collectors who would like to help scouts with these badges should contact Betty Boots at the Boy Scouts' Baltimore Council (338-1700) or Carolyn Trout at the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, 730 W. 40th St., Baltimore, Md. 21211 or 889-2861. Those outside the Baltimore area should contact their local scout councils.
Topps Stadium Club II is out. There are no tuxedoed players in the 300-card set, but there are two boo-boos. Otis Nixon, proudly wearing his Atlanta Braves cap, is pictured on the front of Cleveland Indians' Alex Cole's card. And Deion Sanders is shown in his Braves uniform on the front of his card, but his team is listed as the New York Yankees on the back.
Pro Set has given the green flag to its 180-card Winston Cup series and says it will be available this month. The cards, which come only in 12-card wax packs, feature cars, drivers and crew chiefs. There is a 37-card subset of Winston Cup legends, and Bobby Allison has autographed 1,000 cards, which will be randomly inserted in packs. Also randomly inserted are 5,000 hand-numbered hologram cards of the Winston Cup trophy. . . .
Today, baseball card show, Glen Burnie Elks Hall, Severn (Stevenson and Quarterfield roads), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 922-8366.
Saturday, Oct. 5, baseball card show and auction, Cecil Community College, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., (301) 287-5503.
Sunday, baseball card show, Towson Quality Inn (I-695, Exit 26S), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, baseball card show, Comfort Inn-Airport (I-695, Exit 6A), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 922-8366.
Oct. 13, baseball card show, Security Holiday Inn (I-695, Exit 17), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 922-8366.
Oct. 19, baseball card show, White Marsh Mall, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., 879-4651.
Oct. 20, baseball card show, Freedom District Fire Hall, Sykesville (Route 32 between I-70 and Route 26), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 922-8366.