Thursday, October 16, 2014

Stadium CLub 2002 : Stick to your flaws

Ok, first, I need to check something.

let's see :

1991 Stadium Club : 2 series, 600 cards
1992 Stadium Club : 3 series, 900 cards
1993 Stadium Club : 3 series, 750 cards
1994 Stadium Club : 3 series, 720 cards
1995 Stadium Club : 3 series, 630 cards
1996 Stadium Club : 2 series, 450 cards
1997 Stadium Club : 2 series, 390 cards
1998 Stadium Club : 2 series, 400 cards
1999 Stadium Club : 2 series, 355 cards
2000 Stadium Club : single series, 250 cards
2001 Stadium Club : single series, 200 cards

And finally, here we are, with 2002 Stadium Club (24 packs, 6 cards per pack) : single series, 125 cards, including 25 short prints numbered to 2999

So we went from a 900 card set with amazing photography to a 100 card base set + SPs. Ah well.

That's not the only problem with that set. The main problem is that the cards must have been stored  in a very humid warehouse, as all the cards really stuck to one another, damaging them all. I don't really care about what state my cards are in, dinged corners and all. I love them for who they are, all flawed and imperfect. But I don't really like opening pack after pack of cards and hearing them being ripped up with the gloss disappearing. You'll understand when you see the scans :

So no, those traces are not from my scanner. They're on card. Not too sexy.

Speaking of sexy, here's the back of the Junior card. I like what they did with the blurbs. Not sure I need all those grass vs turf stats, but it's a SC thing.

This was in the very first pack I opened. And since odds are 1:24, it pretty much spoiled the rest of the box as far as game used cards went. It took me a while to understand that I had to open it. My first impulse was to open it, of course, it's a passport and I don't even know who the player is. But the glue wasn't yielding an inch and it felt more like it was ripping and damaging the card (if you can call that a card) than opening up beautifully like sunflower in the summer.

But I took a chance, yanked real good, and tadah, a half-cool half-ridiculous card of Robbie. I take it back, it's really pretty cool.

Some inserts (yay, Delgado, hooray Piazza, woohoo Griffey !) that work well enough.

 You'd think that since they only needed to chose 125 photos, they'd go all in and find the most amazing shots ever assembled. But nope, not really. And remember that 99 SC of Nomar ? Well, apparently someone over at Topps HQ really likes him in that pose.

Even though it's not amazing, there's still the nice photo quality that makes Stadium Club the second best brand behind Upper Deck. Full bleed, nothing to crowd it, and even though the grey doesn't do it for me, the team logos look nice.

And sometimes you find a really nice shot. Probably an early game judging by the empty seats.

And sometimes there's an amating shot, one of the best ever, courtesy of Jason Kendall.
That's what I choose to remember from that set. With the cards all damaged, which makes them even more lovable.


  1. That Passport card is cool! I've never seen them, but I think they are really unique.

  2. I loved the early 1990s Stadium Club sets, but I think I'm glad that I messed the last couple when I got back into collecting. Still, that Alomar passport insert is pretty nifty.

  3. Probably the most underrated Stadium Club set of them all.