NBA Hoops Series II gives hint of Summer Olympic Games, that is


'Tis the season for Olympics. Next month, the Winter Games begin, but Summer Games fans can get a preview of the U.S. basketball team in NBA Hoops' Series II.

The 32-card Team USA subset features NBA players and coaches on the 1992 team plus members of the 1976, 1984 and 1988 teams still active in the NBA. The '92 team cards include Magic Johnson, although he may not be playing. Card fronts are clean, with each player's name across the top in a red, white and blue striped banner, and the player poses with the ball in his Team USA uniform. Backs, which also carry the banners, have just a copy block which includes a quote from the player on his selection to the Olympic team.

The 260 cards include no duplicates of Series I cards, a departure from its previous two seasons. Besides the Olympians, there are 118 player update cards, 27 more Art Cards, the 11 lottery picks in their NBA finery, stay in school messages from Otis Smith and Jeff Turner, all-time active NBA leaders (including the Washington Bullets' Michael Adams) and a six-card subset on last season's championship series.


Open house: Den's Collectors Den, the mail-order business of the late Dennis Eckes, is being liquidated. The shop/warehouse, at 8574 Laureldale Drive in Laurel, is open daily from 12:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. through March. Items for sale include baseball card sets, comic books, commemorative envelopes and sports memorabilia from the business as well as items from Eckes' estate. Payment is cash only, no checks. For further information, call (301) 317-0898.

Eckes, who died last April, began his mail-order business in 1978 in the basement of his house with his wife Paula. Two years later, he moved it to the Laureldale Drive address. He was a pioneer price-guide author and with James Beckett began the Sport Americana series.


Olympic cards: Impel Marketing's U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame cards have been shipped to dealers. The 90-card series comes in 15-card foil packs. Three Marylanders are among the 66 Hall of Famers in the set: boxer Ray Leonard, swimmer Debbie Meyer and sportscaster Jim McKay.



Upcoming events:

Today, Bird Expo '92, baseball card and memorabilia show, some proceeds benefit Johns Hopkins Children's Fund, Pikesville Armory, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., (410) 796-1905 or (410) 574-7059.

Today, baseball card show, Martin's Ballroom North Point (I-695, Exit 40S), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 922-8366.

Saturday, baseball card show to benefit Joppatowne High School Athletic Boosters, Joppatowne High School, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 679-8925.

Saturday, baseball card show, Towson Sheraton (I-695, Exit 27A), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 922-8366.

Feb. 1, baseball card show, Comfort Inn-Airport (I-695, Exit 6A), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 922-8366.

Feb. 2, baseball card show to benefit Loch Raven Recreation Council Baseball League, Loch Raven Optimist Bingo Hall (Loch Raven Boulevard and Taylor Avenue), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 931-4881.

Feb. 2, baseball card show, Towson Quality Inn (I-695, Exit 26 S), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., (410) 239-7446.

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