AHL's return also brings that of hockey card dealer Benton picks up where he left off with Jacks

For the past two seasons, there was no professional hockey in Baltimore and Gary Benton was in hibernation.

Benton sells hockey cards -- and only hockey cards -- as All Hockey By Mike in baseball-crazy Baltimore.


Hockey is back at the Arena with the American Hockey League Bandits, and Benton will be back at his part-time pursuit this week, too.

He had an agreement with the Skipjacks to sell his cards at the team's home games. He now has an agreement to do the same at Bandits home games beginning Wednesday. That won't disrupt his routine. "I've been to all the games," he says.


Benton says he will be selling IceEdge minor-league cards as well as NHL cards.

During the past two hockey-less seasons in Baltimore, Benton did "card-wise, really nothing." He says he has added to his collection but was not buying to sell to others.

"There was too much out there," he says of the proliferation of baseball and football cards, "and Baltimore is more of a baseball/football market."

But people didn't forget All Hockey By Mike. People who had picked up his card at shows or Skipjacks games have kept in touch.

"I'm still sending out commons to people," he says of his particular way of responding to collectors.

Classic images

Classic brings back its NFL Images with two versions, Limited and Live. Each has 125 basic cards plus inserts. A Limited insert set features "fabric" cards. Look for them in mid-November.

Hall of Fame sign-up


Eight baseball Hall of Famers, including new inductee Rich Ashburn, will sign autographs Dec. 8-10 at Essex Community College. "Hall of Fame Weekend II" also will feature Robin Roberts, George Kell, Billy Williams, Rollie Fingers, Fergie Jenkins, Red Schoendienst and Enos Slaughter. The show also will have a display of vintage cards and memorabilia. Call (800) 542-3976.

Hockey E-motion

SkyBox brings its E-motion format to NHL cards with a 200-card set and four insert sets due Nov. 22. The theme is the emotions players and fans experience during NHL games. A SkyMotion card, in which three seconds of game footage puts Chicago Blackhawks center Jeremy Roenick in motion, is available by mail.

World Series duo

Enviromint is offering a World Series set: a silver medallion commemorating the Atlanta Braves' victory and an official Series baseball. It also is selling silver and gold select medallions and baseballs. All baseballs come in a display case. Call (800) 997-9845.

Coming events


Through Dec. 31, "The Faces of Baseball," exhibit featuring more than 40 photographic portraits of baseball's most famous faces, Babe Ruth Museum, 216 Emory St., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (410) 727-1539.

Today, card show, Pikesville Armory (expected signers include Pete Rose), 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., (410) 682-4375.

Today, Vince Bagli will autograph copies of his book "Sundays at 2:00 with the Baltimore Colts," 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.; exhibit of Colts memorabilia, Babe Ruth Museum, 216 Emory St., (410) 727-1539.

Nov. 24-26, card show, Talbot Community Center (Route 50, Easton), Nov. 24-25 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Nov. 26 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Dec. 1-3, card show, Hunt Valley Mall (I-83, Exit 20A), (expected signer is Boog Powell, Dec. 2 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.).

Card of the week


Upper Deck's 180-card NBA Series One includes eight first-round draft picks. There is also a Michael Jordan insert set, which continues the set begun with Collector's Choice Series One. (Shown is Dunbar graduate Reggie Williams.)