There's much more than meets the eye...

There's much more than meets the eye with Upper Deck's 0) Eric Lindros card

Upper Deck has developed a reputation as a quality card producer, one with consistently high standards. Its strength has been its photographs.


So it was surprising last weekend when the NHL Players Association said Upper Deck told it that the front of Eric Lindros' card (No. 88) had what amounted to a doctored photograph -- after production was complete and distribution begun.

Ted Saskin, director of licensing for the NHLPA, said it was Lindros' head on a teammate's body. It was hard to imagine Upper Deck emulating the late, infamous New York Daily LTC Graphic, which specialized in pasting heads on photographs of other people.


Upper Deck said Monday it had superimposed the jersey and gloves of a Flyers player over a photograph of Lindros, who was wearing the uniform of another team. McCall's famous cutout, Betsy McCall, could play this game.

"Due to incredible deadlines beyond our control, we made a decision to produce the card that did not follow our traditional photographic procedures," says the Upper Deck statement. "Our intent was to portray Eric on the most flattering card possible. We apologize if this has caused Eric Lindros, the Lindros family or NHLPA any inconvenience."

Why the rush?

Score's NHL Series I is out -- with Lindros in a Flyers uniform, so Upper Deck could not possibly have been trying to be the first showing Lindros as a Flyer.

Upper Deck has a cachet among collectors. It's a brand they look for -- and wait for. Granted, Lindros' card will probably be the most desirable in this season's NHL sets, but collectors would probably have been willing to wait another couple of weeks for their Upper Deck low series simply because they want Upper Deck.

NB By the way, don't look for a corrected version of Card No. 88.

Camden Yards for your home

A new limited edition print of the first night game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards by David Yontz is available. Aerial Views of Lisbon is selling 1,150 lithographs, 50 signed and numbered artist proofs and gift cards. The prints are $110, with the price guaranteed through Dec. 1. Call Mike Smith at (410) 442-1275.


Racing holograms

Auto racing fans can watch Harry Gant's No. 33 Winston Cup Olds change to his No. 7 Busch Grand National car or Dale Earnhardt's car change to a rocket on holograms from Wheels Racing. The Gant and Earnhardt cards are out, and a Bill Elliott card is to be released this month. Cards were produced in limited series of silver, gold and platinum and a smaller number of autographed pieces in silver, gold and platinum. Each card comes with a numbered ticket of authenticity.

Let your fingers do the walking

SkyBox International is offering a toll-free number for collectors looking for PrimeTime football cards. There will be only 10,000 numbered cases to be sold only through hobby shops and dealers. Call (800) 424-6735, extension 8107.

Less reading matter

In the past two months, two publications have folded. The Hockey News discontinued Collectors World and will feature hockey collectibles once a month in a special section. Krause Publications pulled the plug on Card News, saying it plans to add some of its features to Sports Collectors Digest.


Buy the numbers

NBA Hoops again presents college and pro stats on its cards. To save collectors the trouble of counting, it says it has crammed 21,472 different statistics in Series I -- and that doesn't include team cards, career highlights or anything mentioned in biographical sections.

Sneak preview

Topps is continuing to upgrade its regular line. Sample cards of the 1993 baseball set show a borderless, sophisticated look. One question: Why is Gary Carter, who announced his retirement before the season ended, on the sample sheet?

Collecting with Gold Gloves

Collectors of the unusual might be interested in the second annual Rawlings Gold Glove Award Charity Dinner. The dinner ** benefits the Baseball Hall of Fame, Rawlings Memorial Scholarship Fund, American Cancer Society and Baseball Assistance Team (BAT). Precious Metal Cards, which did a 1-gram gold Brooks Robinson card last year, has produced 1,000 Roberto Clemente cards for the Nov. 5 dinner in New York. The cards will be given to purchasers of raffle tickets. Among the raffle prizes are two tickets to the 1993 All-Star Game at Camden Yards. Those who attend the $500-a-plate dinner receive a gold-stitched baseball and a gold-plated lapel pin of a Rawlings glove. Call (212) 874-3165.


Upcoming events

Today, baseball card show, Beltway Mall, Greenbelt, during mall hours.

Today, baseball card show, Comfort Inn-Airport (I-695, Exits 5 and 6A), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 922-8366.

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

Card of the Week

This is not an error. It's a genuine Johnny Unitas Stadium Club football card, part of a six-card "Football Legend Subset." George Blanda, Terry Bradshaw, Bart Starr, Roger Staubach and Y. A. Tittle also have been randomly inserted in packs of Stadium Club II. A treat, their rookie cards are reproduced on the back.