Score is at it again.
The pace-setting company that first made card backs worth looking at and brought studio photography to the common card is turning its attention to statistics.
The first series of 1994 baseball cards will be out early next month, and Score is joining the pack by coating its cards. The cards have been redesigned but retain color-coded borders.
On the back, stats for batters will add slugging percentage, on-base percentage and total bases. For starting pitchers, there will be base runners per nine innings, starts and opponent batting average. For relievers, there will be holds, save percentage and opponent batting average. Not your typical statistical lineup.
But that's typical of Score.
In 1988, Score's premiere issue brought color photos to card backs and more modern design to card fronts. It was a step up from Topps, Donruss and Fleer.
Upper Deck took the concept a step further the next year as the first premium card with improved card stock and a sleeker design.
In 1990, Score issued the card with the memorable black-and-white photo of Bo Jackson with football shoulder pads and a baseball bat. That was also the first year of the Dream Team. The next year's Dream Team included Annie Leibowitz's American Express photo of Jose Canseco. Since 1991, Leaf has taken the idea and made a set of it (Studio). Score also dressed players in historic uniforms before the Leaf's Studio Heritage subset.
Pinnacle Brands chairman and CEO Jerry M. Meyer says Score 1994 will be "the most limited mainstream product since the introduction of Score baseball in 1988."
The 330 cards of Series One will also be produced as gold cards, and each 14-card pack will include one gold card. The Dream Team returns as a 10-card insert set with players in uniforms from the 1930s.
Cars for your walls
Maryland Motorsports in Annapolis sells limited-edition automotive prints. According to owner David Treffer, one of the most popular has been artist Garry Hill's "Super Bowl 500," which is autographed by car owner Joe Gibbs and driver Dale
Jarrett. For information, call (410) 263-RACE.
Finishing the set
Last season's SkyBox draft pick insert set didn't include Jim Jackson and Doug Christie because they signed fairly late. Since SkyBox promised collectors all first-round picks, it is retroactively issuing their cards, DP4 and DP17, randomly included in foil packs of Series 1 for 1993-94. The cards' design is that of 1992-93 SkyBox. Chances of getting either card are 1 in 36.
Barry Wolfshimer is opening Ball 4 Sports at 109 Thomas St. in Bel Air Saturday. It will carry baseball memorabilia, including uniforms, helmets and bats, with many items autographed. Hours are Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Call (410) 879-2040.
Stadium Club hockey
Topps' Stadium Club hockey Series I, which will be shipped to dealers this month, will have 250 cards and include some members of the expansion Florida Panthers. Series II, which will be shipped in mid-January, will include members of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. Cards come 14 to a pack plus one insert. Series I inserts feature the 1992-93 All-Star Game, specially stamped first-day issue cards and master photo redemption cards. Each box contains one each of these insert cards, while the other 21 packs have Stadium Club information cards.
Many hobby shops are selling comic books, and trading card companies are making cards based on comic books. Wizard Press, a long-time authority on comic books, is turning its attention to sports cards with Collector's Sportslook. The first issue, with Nolan Ryan on the cover, is slick, with color reproductions in the price guide section and ads from major manufacturers. There are articles on the NFL Properties-NFLPA licensing settlement and memorabilia shopping by TV.
Coke, Santa and Honus Wagner
Coca-Cola has introduced a 110-card set featuring advertising and memorabilia from the late 1800s to the present. There will be a 10-card subset of Coca-Cola Santas drawn by Haddon Sundblom, which first appeared in 1931. Each eight-card pack includes one of eight "Coke caps," similar to the milk caps popularized in Hawaii. There are 1,000 random coupons for one of two gold-embossed cards -- Honus Wagner or the 1949 Sundblom Santa.
The future gets bigger
Classic Games' newest line, Classic Future Trading Cards, is a bigger-than-normal premium card. Collectors won't have storage problems because it's the same size as GameDay, for which sheets and sleeves exist. The 100-card basketball set includes Chris Webber, Anfernee Hardaway, Isaiah Rider, the Washington Bullets' Gheorghe Muresan, former Maryland star Evers Burns and former Dunbar standout Sam Cassell. Top Bullets pick Calbert Cheaney is not included. Classic says the cards will be available only through hobby dealers.
Stadium of the Month
For fans who want 12 months of baseball, there's a calendar featuring 12 of Michael Gustafson's baseball park photographs.
Included are Cleveland Stadium and Arlington Stadium, which featured baseball for the last time this past season, and Joe Robbie Stadium and Mile High Stadium, which opened to baseball. Oriole Park at Camden Yards is not featured for 1994. Calendars are $12.50 each, plus $4.50 shipping. Call (800) 554-0153.
Coins for champs
Chicagoland Processing/Enviromint's newest silver medallions honor the National League champion Philadelphia Phillies ($29.95 plus $5 shipping) and a baseball all-star set. The set, which features Roberto Alomar, Barry Bonds, Frank Thomas, Ken Griffey, John Olerud, Cal Ripken, Darren Daulton, Matt Williams, Juan Gonzalez and Jack McDowell, come in an acrylic frame ($450 plus shipping). The all-star coins come only in a set. Call (800) 299-MINT for information or to order.
Today, card show, Cromwell Bridge Holiday Inn (I-695, Exit 29 south), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., (410) 239-7446.
Friday, All-Star memorabilia auction to benefit Orioles Children's Charities (items include autographed All-Star baseballs, locker nameplates and Orioles jerseys with All-Star patches), Oriole Park at Camden Yards, preview at 6 p.m., auction at 7:30 p.m. Admission charge. (410) 547-6140.
CARD OF THE WEEK
Pinnacle's 360-card NFL set features a 13-card Team Pinnacle insert set. The Team Pinnacle cards have one player on front and another on back, such as Emmitt Smith and Thurman Thomas on Card No. 2. Subsets focus on the 1993 Hall of Fame class and hometown heroes.