Stadium Club is my favorite brand with Upper Deck. From day one, they brought impeccable photography and some unique shots. You paid a little more, but you had nice glossy cards, full bleed with a simple design. An instant winner. In 1993 they were at the top of their game, but the 96 set is real nice too.
I'm not sure what they tried to do with their inserts, though. I guess it's simply not their thing (even though in basket ball, the Beam Team insert is one of the best ever).
Those Extreme player cards were very confusing at the time. It was Topps' version of Predictor, but with their own rating system. And good luck finding out who won what. While looking at the back of the cards (yes, I look at the back of cards, even those), I noticed something I'd never seen before. "Canadian residents must also include the answer to this skill testing question :" and then you have several numbers to crunch (96 / 6 + 64 x 3 , or 27 x 6 + 50 / 4 - 13). There's obviously a legal reason to that, but I really wonder what it is. Were they trying to avoid Canadian bots ?
1996 was the year card companies comemorated Mickey Mantle. Which is fine by me. I even bought those 1996 Topps mini cereal boxes because I thought they looked great on paper (remember, I can only mail order, I can't just go buy a product in a tore). The Prime Cuts is actually not that bad. I'm just disappointed I got Palmeiro (even though he was a great player, don't get me wrong), considering the rest of the lineup for that insert appealed way more to me (there was a Griffey in there, for example). I like the Power streak one, mainly because it's so bad.
I selected a few of my favorites from the base set :
You have players sliding and others jumping (and nice Molitor cameo). Stadium Club loves the double play.
More players sliding or jumping head first (I used to like Royce Clayton a lot. My kind of player)
Players just being cool. Kirby Puckett should be in my PC. And not just because he had such a great sounding name.
Players running and pointing (Jay Bell was also a favorite of mine)
Didn't anyone at Stadium Club realize that those fronts are impossible to read ? The typo on top of another typo, with that blue...very confusing. This could be my neighbour, for all I know. If he wore cleats and a Reds uniform and put up MVP numbers. But still.