Early Ruth centennial items swing into view


Next year is Babe Ruth's 100th birthday, and the Babe Ruth Museum has issued its first centennial collectibles.

The rarest is a hand-dipped, silver-plated Babe Ruth model bat. There will be 100 produced, and they are $2,900 each. Centennial Babe Ruth model wooden bats from Hillerich and Bradsby are limited to 1,000 and are $150. Each bat is numbered and features the 100th birthday product seal of the Babe Ruth Birthplace.

For ball collectors, there are gold- and silver-plated baseballs with replica signatures. There are 714 gold balls in teak holders at $629 each and 2,500 silver ones in oak holders at $395. All limited-edition items come with a certificate of authenticity.

Baltimore's biggest hometown hero also is being honored with caps and shirts. The museum is offering wool ($18) and poplin ($14) caps in a variety of colors, T-shirts ($18.95 and $16) and polo shirts ($32). For information or to order, call (800) 432-3770 or (410) 744-2992.

Only at Classic

Classic Games has signed Jason Kidd and Glenn Robinson, projected as top NBA draft picks, to exclusive contracts for non-NBA cards. They will appear in the five-card preview set randomly inserted in Classic's NFL draft set as well as the NBA draft set, due in early August.

World Cup sheets, trades

Collectors who buy Upper Deck's 40-card packs at Toys "R" Us get a free U.S. team commemorative sheet. There are four sheets, each featuring four players. Columbia's Desmond Armstrong, who was recently cut from the team, is on the red sheet. Upper Deck also is offering a trade-in card that can be redeemed for a 10-card World Cup Superstars set. The trade-in card is inserted once every six packs in the World Cup Contenders set. Also, Upper Deck will be selling a special commemorative set at all World Cup venues.

Shaq for your shelf

Kenner, which makes Starting Lineup figurines, has a Shaquille O'Neal lineup. There's everything from a life-size Shaq replica that weighs 1 pound to 6-inch figurines. The seven figurines come in two sets. There's also an indoor basketball set with breakaway rim, light switch that doubles as a basketball game, a pocket basketball game and a 9-inch mechanical Shaq that shoots layups or three-pointers.

Always -- for collectibles, too

Coca-Cola, which sponsors many sports events, is offering sports collectibles in a catalog. Prices range from $12 for caps and T-shirts to $38,000 for one of Kyle Petty's old race transporters. There are also World Cup pins and Coke bottles. To get a copy, write: Coca-Cola Sports, 2515 E. 43rd St., P.O. Box 182264, Chattanooga, Tenn. 37422.

From cards to coins

Highland Mint, which has been producing silver and bronze replicas of Topps trading cards, has started a line of medallions. The first one-troy-ounce silver medallions honor Frank Thomas, Ken Griffey and Mike Piazza. Each coin costs $19.95 and comes with a numbered certificate of authenticity. Call (800) 544-6135 for locations of dealers.

Kerrigan on cards

Nancy Kerrigan, figure skating silver medalist in the recent Winter Olympics, is the subject of an 88-card set from Topps.

Coming events

Through Oct. 31, "Sheriff and His 'Boys,' " exhibit on Sheriff Fowble, Babe Ruth Museum, 216 Emory St..

Through Dec. 31, "The UnFOURgettable Years" exhibit opens, featuring events from years ending in 4, Babe Ruth Museum, 216 Emory St., (410) 727-1539.

Today, card show, Eastpoint Mall (expected signers include Luis Aparicio, Jeffrey Hammonds and Lee Smith), 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Call (410) 665-9729 for signing times.

Saturday, Olympic memorabilia show, meeting room of New Weave Building at Savage Mill, Savage, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., (410) 290-7953.


Fleer's 480-card NFL set will be out this month. There will be 137 insert cards, with one in each pack. Fleer says a "Hot Pack," which has 15 insert cards, appears about once every two boxes. There is also an exchange card redeemable for a 12-card set of 1994 rookies. All card fronts feature gold-foil signatures. Shown is Rookie of the Year Jerome Bettis.

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