Tomorrow Cal Ripken's perfect-attendance mark reaches 2,000.
And, for the first time, his consecutive games streak will be officially recognized by a piece of memorabilia.
Crown Central Petroleum Corp. has produced 150,000 posters commemorating the event. They will be sold at Maryland, northern Virginia and southern Pennsylvania stations for $1.69 with an eight-gallon purchase.
Each poster is numbered on a gold-foil sticker and shows Ripken in action, throwing the ball to first base.
The Orioles shortstop is donating his proceeds to the Kelly and Cal Ripken Jr. Foundation.
"With the charity component, we thought it would be a nice way to celebrate the game," says Mark Rowe, manager of advertising and sales promotion for Crown Central Petroleum.
Rowe says the idea came up early this year when the company was looking for baseball promotional ideas. "Someone said, 'Isn't Cal going to break the record in '95?' " Rowe says, adding that he calculated that game No. 2,000 would occur this year.
The planning involved has intensified the cheering for Ripken at Crown.
"We were knee-deep into production 60 days ago," says Rowe, "so we keep our fingers crossed for him."
Bill Haelig, who has compiled a checklist of all things Ripken for the past nine years, says the poster is the first licensed item he knows of related to the streak. "What's nice is that it's affordable for everyone," he says.
Not that people haven't been trying to merchandise the streak.
"We have not counted [the requests]," says JoAnn Peroutka of the Tufton Group, which handles requests for Ripken's time and use of his name and image. "The interest probably started last year . . . but probably more of a general interest starting with spring training this year."
Sticky magazine stuff
Tuff Stuff will give readers a bonus -- a special issue in August. The cover goes 3-D with a die-cut image of Ken Griffey that can be pulled off and restuck elsewhere. The magazine, 125 Years of Baseball Collectibles, can be seen as a preview of Ken Burns' 18-hour documentary to be shown on PBS in September. It will focus on memorabilia that will be seen in the documentary.
Gold, chocolate and cards
Yoo-hoo's second 10-card set of Rawlings Gold Glove Award cards features two former Orioles, Luis Aparicio and Brooks Robinson. Cards are available with proofs of purchase and a shipping charge. Information is printed on packages of the chocolate drink.
The second set will be available through Oct. 31. The first set will be available until the end of the baseball season.
Frank Robby bat
Orioles Hall of Famer Frank Robinson will be honored by Cooperstown Bat Co. as the 1995 subject of its Famous Player series. Waiting list orders will be taken beginning Sept. 1 for the $250 bat. Call (607) 547-2415. The company's new bats include Negro Leagues ($55) and Roberto Clemente ($195). New Hall of Famer Steve Carlton has autographed 329 commemorative bats made by CBC. Each is $299 plus $8 shipping.
Call (800) 72-LEFTY or write: Game Winner Sports Management, 555 S. Camino Del Rio, Suite B-2, Durango, Colo. 81301.
Upper Deck phone cards
Upper Deck's first prepaid phone cards appeared at Upper Deck All-Star FanFest in Pittsburgh. Global Telecommunication
Solutions Inc. (GTS) produced 2,000 three-minute cards that feature a replica of Upper Deck's card of the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings. Half were distributed at All-Star FanFest in Pittsburgh. The remaining cards will be available in August as part of Upper Deck's and GTS' first officially licensed baseball product line.
SkyBox starts its engine
SkyBox will bring out its first auto racing cards in August with a 27-card Brickyard 400 set. The cards will be oversized (4 1/2 x 2 1/2 ), and one of the cards will be redeemable for a card of the winner of the race. The cards will be available at the Brickyard 400 and at hobby and mass market outlets beginning Wednesday. In November, SkyBox will issue the rest of its inaugural set, 72 regular cards and four insert cards in foil packs.
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.
Saturday-next Sunday, card show, Carrolltown Center, Eldersburg, Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m, next Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., (410) 781-6648.
Aug. 27, card show and auction, Arbutus Volunteer Fire Hall (5200 Southwestern Blvd.), 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (expected guest is the Green Ranger), (410) 437-9927.
CARD OF THE WEEK
Classic's 1994 NFL Pro Line set will include one autographed card per box. Cards of the NFL expansion teams feature newspaper headlines and team logos. There are 405 cards plus MVP exchange cards and an Emmitt Smith Super Bowl MVP card.