All-Star shoppers: bring your wallets


The collector who has to have one of each will need more than one shopping bag -- and a lot of money -- to do a proper job of All-Star Game merchandise.

Nettie Kirkland of ARA, which supplies the Orioles Baseball Stores, estimates that the stores have between 150 and 175 different All-Star logo items for sale. Kirkland says some things are exclusive to the Orioles stores, and these items will be marked as such.

"Hopefully," she says, "by the eighth, we'll have all the stuff we ordered."

There are souvenirs for every price range, ranging from two models of pencils for 48 cents each to $99 jackets.

There are, of course, collectibles that can be worn (T-shirts, shorts, bibs, nine styles of caps, jackets, shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts and clothes for fans of all ages, including newborns).

Others are for comfort (teddy bears, seat cushions), decoration (bumper stickers, decals, pins, buttons), toasts (shot glasses, mugs, steins), play (yo-yos, Matchbox trucks) and work (desk sets, pens).

All-Star collectors can do their shopping elsewhere, too.

The Babe Ruth Museum has T-shirts and commemorative balls.

Balls are popular with hobby dealers such as Bob Fickus at Baseball Unlimited in Baltimore and Mike Tanner at Baseball Card Outlet in Dundalk.

Tanner's customers also have been buying a lot of bats in anticipation of getting autographs.

At Robbie's First Base in Timonium, Robbie Davis has All-Star commemorative bats. Bud Williams at Bud's Starting Lineup in Baltimore has stocked up on balls, pennants and pins and created his own All-Star bears.

Tim Collins at Larry Beck in Baltimore is selling balls, mini and full-

size All-Star bats and pennants.

Jay's Sports Connection in Towson has balls and pennants.

Prices vary. For example, balls range from a low of $6.95 at the Babe Ruth Museum to around $15 elsewhere and a silver medallion is $60 at the Orioles Baseball Store but $34.95 from the manufacturer.

Sweet deal for autographs

Nabisco snack fans can order autographed cards of Hall of Famers Ernie Banks, Don Drysdale, Catfish Hunter, Brooks Robinson and Willie Stargell and probable Hall of Famer Phil Niekro.

Each card comes with a certificate of authenticity and requires two proofs of purchase and $5. The program, co-sponsored by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association, also includes sweepstakes for autographed balls and bats.

Major League Baseball is not involved, so team logos and cap insignia are airbrushed. Check the snack aisle.

Lithograph offer

Photographer Michael Gustafson's 23rd major-league park photo is of Arlington Stadium. It is a tribute to the last seasons of the park and Nolan Ryan. There will be 500 lithographs signed by Ryan.

Collectors attending Upper Deck FanFest can see it at the Tuff Stuff booth and also receive a coupon for a discount on a lithograph purchase.

Celebrate the big 5

Upper Deck is celebrating its fifth anniversary with a 15-card insert set featuring reprints of favorite cards. They can't be passed off as originals because they have a logo, black borders and gold stamping. They're found in foil packs sold by hobby dealers.

Denny's holograms are back

For the third straight year, Denny's restaurants are offering hologram cards from Upper Deck with qualifying purchases. The set has 28 cards, with the Colorado Rockies and Florida Marlins added. The cards will be available from tomorrow until Aug. 31, a span three weeks shorter than last year.

Three players are making their third appearance: Will Clark, Cecil Fielder and Cal Ripken.

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.

Friday-July 13: Upper Deck All-Star FanFest, Convention Center, a.m. to 10 p.m., (212) 339-7900.

July 11: card show, Towson Quality Inn (I-695, Exit 26S), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., (410) 239-7446.

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