The All-Star Game at Camden Yards is eight months away, but collectors can get in the spirit of the game now.
The first selection of 1993 All-Star souvenirs is on sale at the Orioles Baseball Stores at the ballpark, in Washington, Seabrook and York, Pa. The Camden Yards store is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.
The lineup includes three styles of T-shirts, sweaters, mini-bats, balls, pennants, pencils and buttons.
Nettie Kirkland, buyer and division manager of the Orioles store, says more items will be added about every two weeks as they are produced and delivered.
"Right on up until right before the All-Star Game," says Kirkland. "A lot of it's already in the works."
Kirkland meets with vendors, and they exchange ideas. The vendors return with sketches, which Kirkland may then approve. From there, all ideas go to Major League Baseball for approval. Finally, the items are produced and sent to the Orioles stores, which sell them.
Right now, says Kirkland, the four stores are the only places with All-Star merchandise.
As the All-Star souvenir lineup evolves, so does the selling. With a wider selection expected to be available and additional operators, ARA will begin accepting mail orders for All-Star merchandise Nov. 15 at (410) 332-4633, extension 174.
"By next spring, we will probably have a 12-page catalog," says Kirkland.
Upper Deck Authenticated
Upper Deck Authenticated, a joint venture of Upper Deck and McNall Sports & Entertainment (owned by Los Angeles Kings owner Bruce McNall), will begin selling its wares through a catalog. The company will sell licensed sports items signed by athletes it has under contract, including Magic Johnson, Reggie Jackson, Wayne Gretzky, Mickey Mantle and Dan Marino. Signatures on all items will be witnessed, and each item will carry a numbered hologram and certificate of authenticity. To get a catalog, call (800) 456-2007.
Ty Cobb is the latest player in SAM's second-set lineup of ceramic bobbing head dolls. Sports, Accessories & Memorabilia (SAM), a licensee of Major League Baseball and the Cooperstown Collection, will release the second set, which features New York Yankees greats of the '60s, this month.
The first set, featuring Nolan Ryan, Ken Griffey, Tom Seaver and Babe Ruth, is limited to 3,100 pieces, 100 collectors editions at $250 each and 3,000 at $39.95 each plus $5 shipping. To order, call (800) 771-1718.
Four drafts in one set
Classic Games is making it easy for draft fans with a 325-card 1992 Four Sport Draft Pick Collection. The collection of football, basketball, hockey and baseball draft pick cards includes Classic exclusives Shaquille O'Neal, Desmond Howard, Alonzo Mourning, David Klingler, Jeffrey Hammonds, Phil Nevin, Roman Hamrlik and Manon Rheaume.
Each pack contains 12 cards and might include a randomly inserted certificate redeemable for memorabilia. The set includes five-card Wooden Award subset and a foil-stamped card of top picks O'Neal, Howard, Nevin and Hamrik photographed together.
A ring of their own
The L.G. Balfour Co., a jeweler which has designed championship rings for the World Series, Stanley Cup, Super Bowl and NBA, now has rings for fans. Officially Licensed Team Rings are made of an alloy that resembles gold but is more durable and will not tarnish. Rings are available in sizes from 6 to 14 for all teams in major-league baseball, the NFL and the NHL. For information, write L.G. Balfour Co., c/o ML Logo Inc., 301 Oxford Valley Road, P.O. Box 374, Yardley, Pa. 19067.
Nov. 22, baseball card show, Security Holiday Inn (I-695, Exit 17), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 922-8366.
Nov. 29, baseball card show, Towson Sheraton (I-695, Exit 27A), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 922-8366.
Dec. 6, baseball card show, Towson Quality Inn (I-695, Exit 26 S), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., (410) 239-7446.
Dec. 6, 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.
Card of the Week
Fleer brings its Ultra line to the NBA this month with a 200-card first series. Scottie Pippen is featured in a 10-card tTC subset, and Pippen has autographed 2,000 cards, which will be randomly inserted in 14-card packs. All-Stars and award winners are featured on 20 insert cards.