Action Packed, which has produced innovative football card for the past three years, has turned its attention to baseball.
The result is the first of three 84-card All-Star Gallery sets. It is aptly named.
Like Action Packed's NFL cards, the baseball cards are thicker than standard and embossed. As Lou Brock practically slides off his card and Bob Gibson falls off the mound (and almost off the card), it's clear that Action Packed's techniques work with baseball, too.
"Baseball cards are not football cards with baseball players on them," says Action Packed's Laurie Pearlstein, who grew up in Pikesville. "Each sport has its own personality, and we try to reflect that in the cards."
All of the players appeared in at least one All-Star Game, but some selections may surprise collectors. Pearlstein says Action Packed developed a wish list of former All-Stars and has been working with Frank Torre, who represents many retired players.
The cards should prove a delight to older baby boomers, who discovered baseball in the '50s. Most of the players in the set were playing in the '50s. Some were retired but still talked about, and others, like Ferguson Jenkins and Sal Bando, came up in the '60s. Collectors should be able to recognize almost everybody.
Chalk up any gripes to Action Packed's high standards. Dick Groat in a Philadelphia Phillies uniform, Al Oliver in a Montreal Expos uniform? They spent most of their careers with the Pittsburgh Pirates and are identified with them. Orlando Cepeda, the eternal San Francisco Giant, as a St. Louis Cardinal?
"It's very hard to find good photos of these people," Pearlstein says. "We're kind of stuck with the pictures we can get."
That explains why 13 cards are done in sepia tone. The best available photos were black and white.
Backs are straightforward -- no photos, just the stats. Look for major-league totals and career highlights.
There are 18 Hall of Famers in the set, and one is guaranteed in each foil pack of seven cards. There are no factory sets.
Pro Set gets financing
A bankruptcy judge in Dallas has approved debtor in possession financing for Pro Set Inc. The new financing will allow Pro Set to resume production. According to president and chief executive officer John Grigsby, the first new release will be NHL Series I, which should be available by the end of the month.
Today, baseball card show, Cranberry Mall, Westminster, during mall hours.
Today, baseball card show, Freedom District Fire Hall, Sykesville (Route 32 between I-70 and Route 26), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 922-8366.
Saturday, baseball card show to benefit Johns Hopkins Children's Center, White Marsh Mall, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (expected autograph signer is David Segui), (410) 879-4651.
Card of the Week
Score Pinnacle is back for another football season. The 330-card set comes in packs of 16 and 27 and is expected in November. Team Pinnacle, with offensive and defensive counterparts sharing a card, moves its football debut. Team 2000, which includes 30 cards featuring young players who could be the big stars in 2000, can be found only in 27-card packs.