Collectors find out about card shows in lots of places -- magazines, newspapers, fliers at shows and word of mouth.
When Merrye Atkinson got hooked on autograph collecting, she knew there had to be a better way to find out where the players she wanted would be.
"It was hard keeping track," says the veteran magazine worker. "I thought, 'Maybe this should be a magazine.' "
Three years ago, she started Pocket Pages, a monthly magazine devoted to show listings. At first it covered only California shows; now it is national.
Atkinson, the publisher, says the format has remained the same: show listings, an alphabetical listing of athletes and the shows they'll be doing, hobby news, news on freebies and six trading cards. An issue focusing on POGs included bottle tops instead of cards. In keeping with collectibility, each issue is printed with two covers. Subscribers can opt to receive both.
A year's subscription of six issues costs $19.95. Write to Pocket Pages, 19528 Ventura Blvd. #390, Tarzana, Calif. 91356.
Winston Cup preview
Action Packed begins the 1995 NASCAR season with an 84-card Winston Cup Preview set. A 10-card subset features rival drivers talking about seven-time Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt.
Bill Elliott makes his first appearance in an Action Packed series (although he was a 24-karat card as part of a special set on the Winston Select 10th anniversary) in a six-card subset.
The set looks back (at winners and pole sitters) and forward (hot rookies, new car designs, driver changes and the Busch Clash starting field).
Press Pass '95
For 1995, Press Pass is looking to the past with two subsets. Heroes of Racing highlights five drivers from the past, and Sportkings features retired stars Bobby Allison, David Pearson and Richard Petty in cards styled after the classic 1933 set. The set has 145 regular cards and four insert sets.
Among the inserts are five cards that can be redeemed for holoprisms of winners of major races.
Banking on the Babe
White Rose Collectibles of York, Pa., is honoring Babe Ruth's centennial with a bank in the shape of a 1938 Dodge truck. White Rose has limited production to 2,500, and each bank costs $29.95 plus shipping. Call (800) 710-8697.
Highland Mint, which has been producing silver medallions of baseball and football players, is offering the medallions in bronze. Among the players on the medallions are Cal Ripken, Ken Griffey, Frank Thomas, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, Dan Marino, Troy Aikman and Drew Bledsoe.
Classic phone cards
Classic puts Shaquille O'Neal, Aikman and Dale Earnhardt on prepaid phone cards in Classic Assets. The set has 50 premium cards of pros and draft picks in baseball, football, basketball, hockey and auto racing. Inserts include 10 die-cut cards, 24 cards with facsimile signatures and phone cards with values of $2, $5, $25, $100 and $1,000. Each pack contains five cards and one phone card.
Today, Bird Expo, with some proceeds to benefit Grant-a-Wish Foundation, Pikesville Armory, (expected signers include Al Kaline and Jeffrey Hammonds), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 574-4365.
Friday, sports card and memorabilia auction, Holiday Inn Timonium Plaza, 6:30 p.m. (inspection begins at 5:30 p.m.), (410) 435-2495.
Feb. 4, card show to benefit Arundel High baseball team, Arundel High, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (expected signers include Denny Neagle, Josh Bullock, Brian Rolocut, Zach Collins, Mark Foster and Kenny Pumphrey).
Feb. 4, card show, North Plaza Mall (I-695, Exit 30B), 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Feb. 10-12, card show, Harundale Mall (expected signers include Harold Baines, Walter Wilson, O. J. Brigance), mall hours.
CARD OF THE WEEK
One-third of the players in Upper Deck's 1995 minor-league set have played in the majors. There are 225 regular cards and 48 insert cards, including 10 of Michael Jordan. Each regular card will also be produced on thicker paper with a different color hologram, with one such Future Stock card per pack. (Shown is Mets prospect Paul Wilson.)