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THE INSIDE TRACK | The Hot Corner

A consumer's guide to the best and worst of sports media and merchandise. Ground rules: If it can be read, played, heard, observed, worn, viewed, dialed or downloaded, it's in play here.

November 30, 1998|ROBYN NORWOOD

What: USC-Notre Dame shillelagh and pin collections

Where: Classic Commemoratives (805) 259-0066 or http://www.classiccommemorative.com

Price: $16.95-$299.95.

What to get for the USC fan who has everything--except a victory over UCLA the last eight years?

How about a reminder of the Trojans' other great rivalry, against Notre Dame, the one in which the Trojans have a three-game winning streak?

This works for fans of the Irish as well. Classic Commemoratives, a Newhall-based company, produces replicas of the jeweled shillelagh--a club made of oak or blackthorn saplings from Ireland--that has been passed between the schools since 1952.

The tradition began when the Notre Dame Alumni Club of Los Angeles presented a shillelagh to the game's winner "to symbolize in part the high tradition, the keen rivalry and above all the sincere respect that these two great universities have for each other."

A replica of the shillelagh encased on a background of cardinal or green sells for $129.95.

The company also has produced a set of pins commemorating each game since 1952, with the score preserved on a shamrock for a Notre Dame victory or on a Trojan's profile for a USC victory. Individual pins are $16.95, and the nicely mounted and framed sets range from $149.95 for the USC pins to 299.95 for the full set.

One word of fair warning to Notre Dame fans: The owner of the company is Andy Iacenda, whose son, Ted, is a sophomore fullback for the Trojans.

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