Cal Ripken seems to be everywhere -- at the ballpark (naturally), on the cover of virtually every publication, on T-shirts, on a lithograph and on baseball cards.
Fleer/Skybox International is honoring the Orioles shortstop with a pair of 10-card insert sets, in the premiere edition of E-Motion Major League Baseball and in Series 2 of Flair.
The Ripken insert sets feature highlights selected by Ripken. The E-Motion set is called "Timeless," and the Flair set is "Enduring."
Both sets will be augmented by five cards highlighting the 1995 season, available by mail. Collectors should send their name, address, 10 UPC codes from E-Motion Major League Baseball and $4.95 (check or money order payable to Cal Ripken Jr. E-Motion Offer) to: E-Motion Special Offer, P.O. Box 4185, Chestertown, Md. 21690. Or, send 10 UPC codes from 1995 Flair 2 and $4.95 (check or money order payable to Cal Ripken Jr. Flair Offer) to: Enduring Flair Offer, P.O. Box 4175, Chestertown, Md. 21690. Orders must be received by March 1, 1996. Cards will be shipped beginning in November.
E-Motion, which first appeared as a 1994-95 NBA set, has 200 basic cards and four insert sets and makes its debut in September.
Flair 2 is scheduled to be shipped in early September, and odds of getting an "Enduring" card are one in 12 packs. Flair 2 has 61 rookies, 55 traded players and free agents in their new uniforms. There are 216 basic cards and 32 insert cards in three other insert sets.
Ultra mail-in offer
Fleer is putting 20 rookies in an Ultra Gold Medallion Rookie Set, available by mail.
Half the players have been named (Vaughn Eshelman, Julian Tavarez, Bob Higginson, Marty Cordova, Darren Bragg, Brad Clontz, Jason Bates, Edgardo Alfonzo, Tyler Green and Andres Breumen), and the others will be named in September.
Sets, which cost $5.95 plus 10 1995 Fleer baseball wrappers, will be shipped in late September.
Drag racers are signing
Action Packed's first product as a Pinnacle brand will be a 42-card set of NHRA Winston Drag Racing cards. Seventeen top drivers will be autographing cards, inserted at a rate of one per 48 packs. Other insert sets feature top racers in 24-karat gold and juniors.
Press Pass VIP
Press Pass' super premium line, VIP, is back for a second season with 30,000 autographed cards. The 64-card basic NASCAR set is supplemented by three insert sets. Subsets feature stock car legends, NASCAR Super Trucks, engine builders and drivers who dominate tough tracks.
Score football will be out this week with 275 cards and two parallel sets. One, called Red Siege, is a metalized, all-foil version of the regular cards. The other is the popular Artist's Proof. There are three other insert sets and special logo cards for the two expansion teams.
Calling four Hall of Famers
AmeriVox has put Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson, Duke Snider, Harmon Killebrew and Yogi Berra back in their old haunts. Each is featured on a $10 phone card that fits in a black-and-white photo of his home ballpark. The photos form a fold-out album, and there is a short blurb about each player's achievements. The phone cards have simulated autographs as well as a total of 2 hours, 13 minutes of domestic long distance time. AmeriVox says it is limiting production to 5,000 albums at $50 each. Call (800) 767-4421.
Today, National Sports Collectors Convention, Cervantes Convention Center at America's Center, St. Louis, (713) 780-2252.
Saturday-next Sunday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Street Fest (card show, panel discussions, children's activities, entertainment), Babe Ruth Museum, 216 Emory St., (410) 727-1539.
CARD OF THE WEEK
NBA Hoops Series 1 for 1995-96 features 250 basic cards and 71 insert cards. Players in two insert sets "jump out" from their backgrounds if viewed through Grant Hill 3-D glasses (available by mail). Cards will be available in mid-August. (Shown is Dunbar grad Sam Cassell of the world champion Houston Rockets.)