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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.

July 12, 1999|HOUSTON MITCHELL

What: "The Cooperstown Collection" motion baseball cards.

Price: $12.95 for each card; available in select stores or direct from Kodak: (877) 239-5664.

As a kid, I envied my father for being able to see Mickey Mantle play. That was one thing I always wished I could do, and now, almost, I can.

Major League Baseball has teamed with Kodak Dynamic Imaging to present a series of amazing baseball cards that are like watching a film of your favorite player.

The Mantle card shows Mickey at bat. The catcher and first baseman are also in view. As you tilt the card, Mantle swings, the first baseman moves, ready to field a grounder, and the catcher's mitt also moves with the pitch. It is as if you are watching a scene from a Yankee highlight film. Words simply cannot do justice to this card. There are also two other views of Mantle, one shows him in full extension after hitting a homer, and one is a profile of him, which moves along with you as you tilt the card.

The first series of cards, which became available this month at stadiums and baseball card shops, features Hall of Famers Mantle, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron and Reggie Jackson. Each card features two moving images and one still shot.

Jackson's card has one image of him taking a curtain call, which seems appropriate. In fact, Jackson seems out of place in this set. Where's Willie Mays? Ted Williams? Sandy Koufax? Also, there are no statistics listed on the back of the card. This should have been included.

Each card comes with a holder that will rock the card back and forth several times with a simple tap. I've only done that about 12 times while writing this review.

My advice is to head to your nearest baseball card shop and check out this set. The cards are a little pricey, but well worth it if you admire one of these players. After all, why pay $12.95 to go see the Dodgers play, when you can buy one of these cards and see what good players look like?

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