Baseball card collectors who were around in the 1990s probably have fond memories of Topps Stadium Club, a premium product known for its great photography. Of course “premium” in the early 1990s meant something entirely different than it does now – when you could still get some packs of baseball cards for less than $1, spending $3 to $5 for Stadium Club seemed extravagant. Now it’s just the cost of buying a pack of whatever new cards you can find at Target.
After an absence of several years, Topps tried to revive the brand in 2008 with a poorly-received set that included an autograph (from someone you’d probably didn’t care about) in each hobby pack that sold for around $25. You could also buy normally-priced blasters at Target and WalMart, where you could probably expect to find one autograph per box. The cards were still gorgeous, but there was a confusing short-print scheme that made set collecting more trouble than it was worth.
Stadium Club is back again this year as a hobby-only release. Boxes will sell for around $100 and include three autographs. (The autograph checklist doesn’t look too bad, but I would not be surprised if Mike Zunino and Yangervis Solarte are a lot more common than George Springer and Gregory Polanco.)
Since I don’t have any easy-to-get-to hobby shops or sports card shows anymore, and I don’t have $100 to blow on random baseball cards even if I did, I won’t be trying to put together a Stadium Club set this year.
I will absolutely be looking for the Mets players, and I will probably check the eBay prices for the full 200-card set once the case breakers get their product.
According to the checklist published at The Cardboard Connection, the Mets have seven cards in the base set, three inserts and three autographs.
5 Curtis Granderson
14 Travis d’Arnaud
58 Zack Wheeler
86 David Wright
88 Wilmer Flores
142 Matt Harvey
194 Tom Seaver
SCA-RM Rafael Montero
SCA-ZW Zack Wheeler
BT-10 David Wright
Beam Team Autographs
BTA-DW David Wright
FA-7 David Wright
T9C David Wright
(Is anybody else getting tired of Matt Harvey showing up in 2014 products? Everybody knew last fall that he probably wasn’t going to pitch this season, so why do we need dozens of 2014 Matt Harvey baseball cards? Jacob deGrom probably wasn’t on anybody’s radar yet when the checklist was finalized, but I would have rather seen Bartolo Colon, Juan Lagares or Daniel Murphy.)
Are you excited about Stadium Club’s return this year?