Basketball-card makers are in playoff form, too

The NBA season rolls on into late spring with the playoffs. The basketball-card season hasn't ended yet, either.

Action Packed has added basketball to its mix with the 42-card Basketball Hall of Fame set. It's Series I Notebook


of a projected 84-card set.

Upper Deck fleshes out its NBA set with a 200-card, high-number set plus 79 inserts.


With the familiar embossing and thick-card stock, the Hall of Fame set is pure Action Packed. All players featured were in the NBA or its predecessor leagues, but most of the coaches are from the college level. Action Packed jumps the gun with a five-card subset honoring future Hall of Famer Larry Bird.

Card fronts include a 25th-anniversary Hall of Fame logo, a gold banner-medallion-ball combination that doesn't intrude on the card action. Sometimes the logo is obscured by a basketball or body part, but the eye is always drawn to the photo, not the logo. Card backs have stats and career highlights on a parquet background.

Classic moves come from Willis Reed awaiting a rebound and Bill Bradley driving. The surprises are that Pete Maravich is not shooting (he's chasing a loose ball, and you can't see his floppy socks) and Jerry West is not shooting, either (he's dribbling).

Players whose careers were mostly in the 1940s and 1950s are shown in tinted photos, the same treatment Action Packed used for some cards in its All-Star Baseball set. Among those in this group are Slater Martin, Bob Davies, Dolph Schayes, Tom Gola and Jack Twyman. Featured coaches range from Red Auerbach to John Wooden, with Lou Carnesecca, Bob Knight, Red Holzman and Dean Smith.

Upper Deck completes its low series with cards replacing No. 1a (Shaquille O'Neal for draft pick), No. 32 (Doug Christie for Magic Johnson) and No. 33 (Jim Jackson for Larry Bird). The Game Faces, Team Facts and Fanimation subsets are notable. Game Faces showcases Upper Deck's strong photographic treatments by concentrating on the range of emotions NBA games elicit. Team Facts give team history, and Fanimation turns NBA stars into comic-book super heroes.

The All-Division Team insert set will get an A from geography teachers. The logo has a globe and compass points, and the compass points are repeated on the back. Backs also have a U.S. map, and states with teams in the featured division are colored.

The Foreign Exchange insert set focuses on NBA players born abroad. While it underscores the international flavor of the NBA, it omits Rony Seikaly (Lebanon) and includes military brat Dominique Wilkins and Patrick Ewing, who has lived in the

United States since he was 11.


Two Hall of Famers on a coin

Ann Meyers, who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame last weekend, and her husband, pitcher Don Drysdale, are the first husband and wife Hall of Famers. Mountain High Coins & Collectibles of Bend, Ore., is honoring them on a limited-edition coin. Coins come in bronze ($9.95), silver ($24.95), gold-accented silver ($39.95) or gold (call for price). Shipping is $3.50 per coin. Call (800) 345-1841.

In the dairy aisle

Add to your baseball card collection with the help of the dairy food group. Kraft is offering pop-up cards with its Kraft Singles.

There are 30

cards in the Kraft Singles Superstars '93 Collection, 15 from each league. When the tab at the top of the card is pulled, the card looks three-dimensional, offers information on a player's position as well as his statistics. When flat, cards are standard size. Boxed sets and a special album are available by mail.


New at the Babe Ruth Museum

A rare 1933 German Babe Ruth baseball card, given away with containers of margarine is now on display at the Babe Ruth Museum. Other additions to the museum's collection are an original photograph of Johnny Sylvester and Ruth, autographed by Ruth, and a 1959 New York Yankees baseball autographed by Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra. Sylvester was the hospitalized boy for whom Ruth promised to hit a home run in the 1926 World Series. The museum, at 216 Emory St., is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call (410) 727-1539.

Stadium Club supplies

Stadium Club fans can make their collection 100 percent Stadium Club and pick up some new cards. Topps and the Rembrandt Co. (which produces Ultra Pro supplies) will be marketing a line of accessories under the Topps Stadium Club Ultra Pro name. There will be five items: a large-size album with padded cover stamped in gold foil; nine-pocket sheets; card protectors; card sleeve protectors; and semi-rigid holders. The holder is the first PVC-free semi-rigid protector on the market and is designed for coated cards. Topps is making 10 cards featuring Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonds and Willie Mays, which are randomly inserted.

Old parks for your walls

Comiskey Park, Ebbets Field and the Polo Grounds are the latest baseball prints from Bill Goff Inc. There have been 600 signed lithographs of each produced. For information, call (800) 321-4633.


Coming events

Through July 11, "The Artist and the Baseball Card," Delaware Art Museum, 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, (302) 571-9590.

Through Oct. 31, exhibit "The Babe, The Birds and Baltimore: An All-Star Tradition" and exhibit on Rex Barney's 50-year sports career, with memorabilia from his Brooklyn Dodgers days, Babe Ruth Museum, (410) 727-1539.

Today, card show, Security Holiday Inn (I-695, Exit 17), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 922-8366.

Saturday-Sunday, card show, Catonsville Community College, Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (expected signers include Steve Barber, Brooks Robinson, Boog Powell and Cal Eldred), (410) 265-7200.



Post's fourth annual collectors' set has 30 cards, which come three per box. Collectors who can't eat that much cereal in a baseball season can send in for a set. Look for Barry Bonds, Cecil Fielder, Ken Griffey, Eric Karros, Nolan Ryan and Frank Thomas. Lack of a license means logos are air-brushed.