Upper Deck will be releasing its Series One baseball cards this month.
According to its press release, it hopes to "keep fans and card collectors involved in the 1995 baseball season."
It has signed Michael Jordan to an exclusive contract, so his only '95 baseball cards will be Upper Deck. And, although he seems to have forsaken the minor leagues for the NBA, Jordan will be playing something.
That's more than can be said for most of the people on the cards. They're major-leaguers on strike.
They're probably why Upper Deck is hedging its bets on the season.
The first series is down to 225 cards. Last year's first series had 285. Upper Deck says production will be one-third that of last year's first series, making it the smallest print run for Upper Deck baseball.
Jordan is featured on a regular card (No. 200) and an insert. According to Upper Deck's Rich Bradley, Jordan will also be in the company's SP basketball set, due next late next month.
Upper Deck is offering 8,000 oversized cards autographed by Roger Clemens in a mail-in program for baseball.
The company is half-gambling on a season played by familiar stars by bringing its Predictor insert cards to baseball. For each of five categories (MVP, Rookie of the Year and the three Triple Crown statistics), there are cards of nine likely winners. There is also a long-shot card, which stands for all other players. So, if replacements play the regular season -- and Upper Deck plays the game -- long-shot cards are winners. The prize is a special 20-card set.
A 15-card insert set features stars who were low draft picks or free-agent or trade "steals." Subsets focus on 15 players who could be top Rookie of the Year candidates, 15 top Single-A and Double-A players projected for the majors in 1996 and 10 major-leaguers whose numbers are compared to the league average for the first half of the '90s.
Detroit Pistons rookie Grant Hill is the subject of a five-card, hobby-only insert set in SkyBox Series 2. Cards have special embossing. The regular set has 150 cards, including 57 coach/player updates.
Stadium Club football
Topps Stadium Club is wrapping up the 1994 NFL season with this month's release of the 90-card High Number Football set. All players are shown in throwback uniforms. Bowman's Best makes its football debut as a 45-card insert set. The other inserts are redemption cards for the NFL's two expansion teams (each set of three redemption cards can be traded for a 22-card set of the new team's top players) and first-day cards.
Bobbing home and away
Larry Bird and David Robinson have new uniforms in their lives as bobbing head dolls from Sports, Accessories & Memorabilia. The 1995 models feature Bird in a green Boston Celtics road uniform and Robinson in a white San Antonio Spurs home uniform. Last year, Bird's had a home uniform and Robinson's a road one. Call (800) 4-TEAM-HDS.
CARD OF THE WEEK
Pinnacle is introducing hobby-only Select hockey this month. It will replace the second series of Score hockey. There are 200 regular cards plus three insert sets, including gold-foil versions of regular cards. Pinnacle says production will be limited to 3,950 numbered cases. (Shown is Capitals' Sylvain Cote.)