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Skybox series on NFL to include top Buc draft picks

Production of football cards is rolling along in earnest, and although a few 1995 issues already are on the market, SkyBox has released some details of an upcoming product that is updated through the NFL draft.

Expected to be released July 12, the 200-card SkyBox Impact Series will have a premium look. Included will be foil stamping and UV-coated fronts and backs. In addition to the color action photo on the front, the back will have action photos as well as plenty of statistics and commentary.

The player section includes a few stars from each team and 30 top draft picks featured in an Impact Rookies subset. Buccaneers in the set are Horace Copeland, Trent Dilfer, Hardy Nickerson, Errict Rhett and first-round selections Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks. Also in the Impact subset are Ki-Jana Carter, Steve McNair, Kerry Collins and Tyrone Wheatley.

Other subset and insert sets include:

Sophomores: This subset takes a look at top second-year players such as Rhett, Marshall Faulk, Bam Morris and William Floyd.

FOX More Attitude: One of five insert sets, this 15-card issue contains players who "represent the fresh new attitude of SkyBox and The NFL on FOX." Randomly inserted at a rate of one in nine packs, the cards showcase rookies such as Carter, J.J. Stokes and Rashaan Salaam, and top players including Faulk and Drew Bledsoe.

Future Hall of Famers: Randomly inserted at a rate of one in 60 packs, this set spotlights eight superstars on track to a place in Canton, Ohio. Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Dan Marino and Emmitt Smith are among the players filling out this set.

Jordan caps: Michael Jordan Milk Caps produced by Upper Deck are available at Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores. A complete set of 54 Jordan caps features a variety of action photos in both his No. 23 and No. 45 jerseys. Each cap also is available in a silver foil version.

Injured stars: The baseball portion of the sports card hobby remains in a funk. Dealers nationwide report that sales remain extremely slow. The hope was that they would pick up as the season progressed, the feeling being that many stars would be piling up the stats and all else would be forgotten.

But outside of a lot of interest in Cal Ripken Jr. cards _ due primarily to his consecutive-games streak _ that has not happened. What's worse is that huge hobby star Ken Griffey Jr. and top slugger Matt Williams are out of action for extended periods. It's players such as these who were counted on to pull the hobby out of its hole.

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