Anyone who has been following the baseball labor negotiations might have gotten the impression that the Major League Baseball Players Association and Major League Baseball can find no common ground.
Last week, the players association and Major League Baseball Properties, MLB's licensing arm, did. They, with the six trading card licensees, have teamed to produce a star-studded, 18-card set called National Packtime. Each card company will produce three of the set's cards.
Cal Ripken appears as card No. 10, produced by Pinnacle. Pinnacle will also do the cards of Bob Hamelin and Kenny Lofton. The other producers and their subjects are: Donruss (Frank Thomas, Barry Bonds and Will Clark); Fleer (Matt Williams, Tim Salmon and Fred McGriff); Pacific (Juan Gonzalez, Jose Canseco and Tony Gwynn); Topps (Mike Piazza, Raul Mondesi and Deion Sanders), and Upper Deck (Ken Griffey, Alex Rodriguez and Jeff Bagwell).
The catch is that it's available only by mail order, and collectors need to save 28 wrappers from 1995 cards (any combination from the six manufacturers). Order forms will be printed in hobby magazines on sale in March, April and May. Collectors can send the wrappers and a check or money order for $2 to: National Packtime, P.O. Box 460614, St. Louis, Mo. 63146. All orders must be received by June 30. Sets not purchased will be destroyed.
Griffey's wish list
Megacards features Griffey in a 25-card set, "Ken Griffey's Wish List Collection." Proceeds will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The set focuses on Griffey's aspirations on the field (winning a World Series and a Triple Crown) and off (to provide baseball facilities and opportunities for underprivileged children). Statistician Bill James projects Griffey's career numbers, and he is compared to players past and present. Look for the set this month.
Call it a miracle
Global Telecommunications Solutions is issuing a set of five phone cards to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the U.S. hockey team's Olympic gold medal. Each card has five minutes of calling time, and each set will cost $30. Call (800) 280-1166 to order.
New metal cards
Highland Mint's newest issues are bronze cards of Jeremy Roenick, Natrone Means and Mike Modano, silver medallions of Eric Lindros and Heath Shuler and bronze medallions of Emmitt Smith and Ken Griffey. Call (800) 544-6135.
Centers on metal
Metallic Images and Classic Games have produced a 20-card set of metal cards featuring five of the NBA's top centers: Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo and Shaquille O'Neal. There are four cards of each player, and production has been limited to 12,500 hobby sets.
Payroll checks from the New York Yankees of the 1920, the Babe Ruth funeral diary, Joe Louis' championship belt and a T-206 set in excellent-mint condition are among the highlights of Superior Stamp & Coin's March 18-19 auction. To order a catalog ($15), call (800) 421-0754 or write to Superior, 9478 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills, Calif. 90212-4299.
Rookie phone cards
Signature Rookies is putting NFL draft picks on phone cards. Each pack contains five trading cards and one autographed phone card. The set has 40 cards, and phone cards are in denominations of $2, $5 and $25.
Through Sept. 5, "Babe Ruth: An Artistic Perspective," Babe Ruth Museum, 216 Emory St., (410) 727-1539.
Today, card show, White Marsh Mall, mall hours, (216) 581-3546.
Today, 14th annual Lake Placid Olympic Collectors Show, Lake
March 18, card show to benefit Cape Saint Claire Elementary School, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Cal Ripken/Babe Ruth biographer Lois Nicholson will sign copies of her books), (410) 757-2457.
CARD OF THE WEEK
Action Packed's minor-league baseball set, The Scouting Report has 83 cards. There is a three-card subset featuring Max Patkin, "The Clown Prince of Baseball." Inserts are an autographed card of Derek Jeter with a real diamond chip and 24-karat gold cards. Orioles prospects are Alex Ochoa, Jimmy Haynes and Armando Benitez. (Shown is Pawtucket's Jose Malave on a Franchise Gem card.)