Baltimore basketball fans are proud of their NBA players.
The Bullets left after the 1972-73 season and the city's population has slipped to 13th, but Baltimore is one of the big cities in the NBA.
Just ask Topps. One of the subsets in the 1994-95 Finest Basketball Series I is Finest City Legend. Its 30 cards feature players from six cities. New York (No. 1 with 7.2 million people) is represented by 10 players, including Chris Mullin and Kenny Anderson. Los Angeles (No. 2 with 3.4 million) has five players, as do Chicago (No. 3 with 2.7 million) and Detroit (No. 7 with 1 million).
Dunbar is Baltimore's best-known basketball name, and Topps has gone with four former Poets -- Muggsy Bogues, Reggie Williams, David Wingate and Sam Cassell. Had Topps remembered Calvert Hall graduate Duane Ferrell, Baltimore (736,014) could have had its own five without any help from Sherman Douglas of Washington (No. 19 with 606,900).
There are 165 cards in Series I, plus 30 insert cards in two insert sets. The inserts recognize players who appeared in all 82 games last season and those who logged at least 3,000 minutes. All cards will come out of their packs in mint condition -- covered in a peel-off laminate.
The card show scheduled for Saturday to benefit the Arundel High baseball team will not be held.
Ruth commemorative envelope
The Oriole Advocate Charitable Foundation has created a cachet to commemorate Babe Ruth's 100th birthday. It is the only cachet approved by Ruth's family and the Babe Ruth Baseball League Inc. under license authorized by Curtis Management Group. The envelope features the Ruth family's favorite sketch, which was done by Robert Riger for the Sports Heroes Series for Equitable Life.
The cancellation is a sketch of Ruth's Emory Street birthplace, and one of the stamps is the 20-cent Ruth commemorative. The cachets, whose sale will benefit the foundation and the Babe Ruth Museum, will be on sale at the museum on Feb. 6, Ruth's birthday. They can be ordered by sending $8 and a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Oriole Advocate Charitable Foundation Inc., P.O. Box 2295, Baltimore, Md. 21203-2295.
Premier Hockey II
When the NHL lockout ended, Topps issued Premier Hockey Series II. There are 290 cards: 198 regular player cards, two checklists, 75 subset cards and 15 insert cards.
NBA Hoops has redesigned insert sets and subsets for Series 2. The 82 insert and 150 regular cards include new Washington Bullets Juwan Howard and Chris Webber.
Food for collecting
A 15-card set based on Ken Burns' "Baseball" documentary, produced by Upper Deck, is available through on offer on specially marked packages of Little Debbie Snack Cakes for $3.99 plus shipping.
Today, card show, Holiday Inn-Cromwell Bridge, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.Thursday, sports card and memorabilia auction, Holiday Inn-Cromwell Bridge, (410) 795-0033.
Saturday, card show, North Plaza Mall (I-695, Exit 30B), 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.Saturday-next Sunday, Baltimore Colt Reunion Show and Auction, Holiday Inn-Cromwell Bridge, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., (expected signers include Jimmy Orr, Art Donovan, Lenny Moore and Jim Parker, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.).
Next Sunday, card show, Baltimore Hebrew Congregation (7401 Park Heights Ave., Straus Social Hall), 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. (admission $1.50 or 2 cans of food), (410) 653-2762 nights.
CARD OF THE WEEK
Topps' Stadium Club baseball returns Feb. 20 with Series I. There will be 270 regular cards plus four insert sets. One prepaid phone card is inserted in every 24 packs. There are 39 phone card designs, each depicting one of 13 rings of All-Star Games since 1980, in gold, silver and regular. Look for Series II in May. (Shown is Paul Molitor.)