People who play in fantasy sports leagues have their own magazines, cable TV shows, radio shows and computer hookups. Soon they'll have football cards, too.
Action Packed has a little high-tech fun with its 42-card "Fantasy Forecast" subset. The card back presents pertinent statistics and an analysis of the player's career. The card front shows the player in action and a football in the corner covered with heat sensitive ink. Touching the football reveals Action Packed's draft advice.
It's all part of Action Packed's 204-card 1994 NFL set. The 120 basic cards feature a streamlined design, borderless with the player's name in gold. Card No. 120 features quarterback Troy Aikman front and back to commemorate the Dallas Cowboys' back-to-back Super Bowl titles.
There are three other subsets: 12 running backs, 10 receivers and 20 members of the NFL Quarterback Club. The Quarterback Club also includes non-QBs Michael Irvin and Jerry Rice, and its card fronts are silver-foil head shots. Again, Action Packed is producing Braille versions of 12 cards. The company says the players it chose for Braille cards are active in their communities and that it will donate Braille cards to more than 400 schools for the blind.
Gold is back, too. All subsets except the Fantasy Forecast will also be produced as 24-karat gold cards. The Quarterback Card fronts will be gold foil instead of silver. Gold cards are randomly inserted.
.' Look for them late this month.
Upper Deck is again doing a boxed All-Star set, but the cards measure a hefty 3 1/2 x 5 1/4 inches. There are 49 cards, including six commemorating events in baseball's 125-year history and 42 featuring the photography of Walter Iooss Jr. The set will be available at hobby dealers as well as at Upper Deck All-Star FanFest in Pittsburgh. Orioles Cal Ripken, Mike Mussina and Chris Hoiles are included.
Pacific brings back Prism
Pacific is upgrading the paper for its football Crown Collection Prism set. There will be 126 reflecting foil cards, including top draftees. Pacific says production will be limited to 16,000 of each silver card and 1,138 of each gold card. Cards come one per
pack, either a silver or gold card.
Upper Deck Series Two
Mickey Mantle is back on a 10-card insert set in Upper Deck's baseball second series. There are 270 regular cards and inserts for the hobby (SP preview cards by region, including Cal Ripken in the East) and retail (20 cards, including Jeffrey Hammonds). Each card will also be produced by holographic foil stamping, with one such card inserted in every pack. There are also cards autographed by 1993 top draft pick Alex Rodriguez and exchange cards redeemable for the complete 20-card retail insert set.
Through Oct. 31, "Sheriff and His 'Boys,' " exhibit on Sheriff Fowble, who helped develop major-leaguers Al Kaline, Ron Swoboda and Tim Nordbrook, Babe Ruth Museum, 216 Emory St., (410) 727-1539.
Through Dec. 31, "The UnFOURgettable Years" exhibit opens, featuring events from years ending in 4, Babe Ruth Museum, 216 Emory St., (410) 727-1539.
Through Tuesday, Upper Deck All-Star FanFest, Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh.
CARD OF THE WEEK
Upper Deck's 90-card USA Basketball set includes subsets of all-time greats and of six members of the 1994 women's national team (the first female athletes on Upper Deck cards). There are ** insert sets of Michael Jordan highlights, coach Don Nelson talking about his players and cards that can be redeemed for prizes, depending on how the players do in the tournament. (Shown is Tim Hardaway.)