Later this month, a lost piece of hockey memorabilia goes to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. It's something with two Baltimore connections.
The Atlantic City Boardwalk Trophy had disappeared, along with the Eastern Hockey League, in 1973.
The trophy was first awarded to the AAU champion, which was the Atlantic City Sea Gulls in 1932. It went to the EHL champ beginning with the 1937-38 season and to the Northern Division titlist from 1964 on. The Baltimore Orioles were champs in 1940-41 and the Curtis Bay Coast Guard Cutters in 1942-43.
Chuck Miller, a correspondent for Hockey Ink newspaper, discovered that it was in a Syracuse, N.Y., bar. He had been checking on the status of Syracuse's bid for an American Hockey League franchise. One of his calls was to Brian Elwell, a former player and coach of the EHL Syracuse Blazers, who was on the AHL franchise organizing committee.
"He mentioned that someone had dropped [the trophy] off at his restaurant," Miller says. "Both of us . . . agreed it should go up to the Hall of Fame if they wanted it."
Miller says Elwell told him that he'd gotten a call in 1987 from a man who said he had a hockey trophy and asked if Elwell would be interested in it, no questions asked. Elwell found it at his restaurant the next day. He kept it in his office for three years. When he moved, he put the trophy in storage.
Miller says he checked with the Hall of Fame, then mentioned to Elwell that he was going to be in Toronto in July for his honeymoon and offered to deliver the trophy.
In March, he went to Syracuse to collect "this musty, rusty trophy that looked like it had been in a tool shed." Miller says it is 2 1/2 feet tall with three eagles, whose wings are holding a globe, and an angel with laurel on top. He says he used five rags and a bottle of polish to clean it.
Highland Mint has put Cal Ripken and Barry Bonds on silver medallions. Suggested retail price is $19.95 each. It has added seven stars to its lineup of silver and bronze replicas of Topps rookie cards -- Deion Sanders (baseball and football), Jerome Bettis, Pavel Bure, Ernie Banks, Doug Gilmour, Ray Bourque and Rick Mirer.
Topps' super premium Bowman line is coming out in late July. There will be 682 cards in one series, with 12 cards per pack, including one foil card. The 52-card foil subset will include 28 top
prospects and 17 minor-league MVPs.
Fleer is bringing back its super-premium Flair baseball cards and describes the two-series, 500-card set as "investment-quality." Series I, with 250 cards and three 10-card insert sets, is due in late July. Fleer says it has put more gold foil on the extra-thick cards. The 10-card packs have a suggested retail price of $4. Look for Series II in September.
Aug. 6-7, card show, Carrolltown Center, Eldersburg, Aug. 6 10 a.m. to 9 p.m, Aug. 7 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
CARD OF THE WEEK
Upper Deck brings Collector's Choice to football this month with a 384-card set in one series. Each card will also be produced with the player's name in silver or gold. One "silver" card is in each 12-card pack, and gold cards are inserted every 35 packs. There are also randomly inserted cards redeemable for Upper Deck and Upper Deck Authenticated items (shown is Joe Montana).