The Walmart in my town, the only place in the city limits that sells baseball cards (well, besides the Dollar Tree, but they just sell repacks), is still suspiciously void of Stadium Club in it's card aisle. It's been pretty late to get the new stuff in this year, but this is by far the longest wait for a new product.
Fortunately, I found myself in a neighboring town yesterday, and put myself within striking distance of the closest Target, which is usually pretty well stocked with new cards. It didn't disappoint.
The first card of the pack was the Marcus Stroman, which also turned out to be my favorite of the pack. Stroman is injured this year, but he seems like he has a promising future (and his injury isn't to his arm). I like seeing his cards, if only for the sole purpose of seeing my first name on a baseball card.
The next best cards were this pair of Tigers. I like seeing the "National Anthem" pose on baseball cards, and from the look of the patch on V-Mart's hat, it looks like this might be a post-season game. The "cover your mouth with your glove when talking to your pitcher/cater" pose is pretty rad as well, and at first, I thought this was a Justin Verlander card instead of a James McCann. I wasn't aware that there was a catcher named McCann in the majors besides the Brian in New York.
It seems pretty fitting that a set called "Stadium Club" has a picture that you could probably only get if you had a Stadium Pass to get. This is the Stadium Club I remember. Well done, Topps.
While the photos look great and the card stock is solid, the player selection wasn't great, at least for this collector. The only retired player I got was Dusty Baker ("great a Dodger"). I'm not sure how kids feel about all these old guys in every release, but it's pretty obvious at this point that they're not really catering to that younger demographic. I guess I like it enough. Always good to track down new Gwynn cards. The backs aren't really anything special, nothing as cool as they were (at least to me) in '92 or '94.
Here's the lone insert I got. Don't hate it, but don't love it either. Still getting used to seeing the J-Hey kid in a Cardinal uniform.
All of these except for maybe the Stroman are up for grabs, so if you've got some Stadium Club Padres (I didn't pull any, and would like to put together the team set) or a Tony Gwynn card that I don't have, leave me a comment or shoot me an email.
Anthony Rizzo / Cubs - 263
Nick Swisher / Indians - 155
Ryan Howard / Phillies - 199
Kenley Jansen / Dodgers - 133
Maikel Franco / Phillies - 116
Jason Heyward / Cardinals - Contact Sheet insert
Starling Marte / Pirates - 73
Dusty Baker / Dodgers - 91
Mitch Moreland / Rangers - 134
Victor Martinez / Tigers - 120
James McCann / Tigers - 70
Like I said, the player selection wasn't great for me, but everything else, I really like about this product. Like every Topps product, there are parallels, in the form of different types of foil. These seem pretty lame to me, but what I really like are the black and white parallels (different from some of the cards that are just black and white photos - easier to distinguish by the orange foil they use). While black and white parallels aren't serial numbered, Topps posted on it's website that they have a print run of 17. That's pretty rare.
On the same day that I finally found a pack of TSC, I also had this card arrive in the mail. While Yonder Alonso isn't a player I'm really stoked about, this still looks pretty good, and a minimum bid and cheap shipping brought this to me for less than $4. I'll take it.
While it'd be hard for me to place this year's offering of Stadium Club above the inaugural '92 set (IT HAD A 900 CARD CHECKLIST) or the '94 set (EXTREME LABELMAKERS AND RAINBOW FOIL), this is still my favorite release of the year so far. Well done, Topps.