Change of possession: Most Baltimore buyers no longer passing on Rypien card


It was a very good year for Mark Rypien. After helping the Washington Redskins win the Super Bowl, he was headed for Disney World as the game's MVP. In the Pro Bowl, he threw two touchdown passes.

His rookie card went from common to hot. At the beginning of the season, his was just another piece of cardboard among the rookie stars in Score's 1989 NFL set -- Barry Sanders, Troy Aikman, Thurman Thomas, Derrick Thomas, Deion Sanders and Michael Irvin. And, as with all things Redskins, the reaction in Baltimore varies -- demand exceeding supply in some shops and no demand at all in others.

"I haven't had one since three or four games before the playoffs," says Robbie Davis of Robbie's First Base in Timonium. "When I did have him, he was a common, a $2 card."

Davis, who says 35 percent of his business is in football cards, went to the Super Bowl and brought back programs with the Redskins on the cover. They sold out so fast he had to cancel an ad. "They talk about Baltimore not being for the Redskins," he says, "but they are around here."

At Crofton Sports Collectibles, Betsy Bottazzi says: "We've been out of them for a while. The day after the Super Bowl, we had one in the store and sold it. We've had several requests." That last card went for $20. Bottazzi says interest in Rypien cards picked up after the NFC championship game: "We'd get one in, and it would sell."

Anna Willoughby says at Extra Inning in Glen Burnie "quite a few" Rypiens have been sold and the last went for $20. "There was quite a bit of interest in the Redskins before the Super Bowl," she says.

"We had a couple of people the day after the Super Bowl," says Mike Tanner at Baseball Card Outlet in Dundalk, "but nobody's talking about the Super Bowl much anymore." He says his store sold out of 50 Score and Upper Deck Redskins team sets.

At All-American Baseball Cards in Essex, Linda Hassell says customers showed interest in the Redskins during the season but haven't been asking for Rypiens since the Super Bowl.

Bob Fickus says he sells little football material at Baseball Unlimited in Baltimore, and the Super Bowl didn't change things: "People haven't even asked."

Also reporting no sales interest in Rypien were Don Bevans of All Star Cards in Baltimore ("We didn't even get any mild reaction to the Super Bowl.") and Tom Blair at Jay's Sports Connection in Towson, who thinks collectors have been holding onto '89 Score football after Upper Deck's baseball debut in '89 taught them the value of saving more than stars.

Not surprisingly, in the heart of Redskins country, Bill Huggins at House of Cards in Wheaton is doing a land-office business. "They're one of our hottest cards," he says, adding that the trend began in October when the card was $3 and the Redskins 7-0. Now the card goes for $25 and, along with those of Art Monk, Gary Clark and Ricky Ervins, leads Huggins' football best-seller list.


Think spring: Upper Deck low number baseball and Donruss Series 2 baseball are available.


Basketball for breakfast: Cheerios fans will find SkyBox cards in their cereal boxes in a national promotion. Four cards are packaged in each box, and SkyBox cards are pictured on the box.


Super coin: Chicagoland Processing has minted 25,000 silver medallions commemorating the Redskins' Super Bowl victory. The coins, made from silver extracted from recycled film, are available for $29.95 each plus $5 shipping by calling (800) 765-0123.



Upcoming events:

Today, baseball card show to benefit Carroll County Youth Services Bureau, Martin's Ballroom-Westminster (140 Village Shopping Center), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 922-8366.

Saturday, baseball card show to benefit Babe Ruth Museum, Hit and Run Club, Memorial Stadium, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., (410) 727-1539.

Saturday, baseball card show to benefit Anne Arundel Chapter of the Sunshine Foundation, Columbian Center (335 Ritchie Highway, Severna Park), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 987-5919.

Saturday, baseball card show to benefit Overlea-Fullerton baseball program, Fullerton Elementary School, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., (410) 931-1516.

Sunday, baseball card show to benefit Johns Hopkins AIDS Research Center, Sacred Heart Church, Reisterstown (65 Sacred Heart Lane), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 833-5790 or (410) 833-6877.

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