30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Friday, February 17, 2012

Cheap Cool Cards #23: 1991 Stadium Club Nolan Ryan Bronze Card

Last Saturday, I wrote about my less than memorable flea market experience... where I ended up taking $47 out of my pocket and had nothing to show for it.

Well... almost nothing. While my buddy watched our stuff, I took a quick stroll around the flea market and found this sitting in a box:

It's a 1991 Stadium Club Charter Member Nolan Ryan Bronze card that I picked up for $1. The card is a solid piece of metal and is surprisingly heavy. A gentleman had a box full of matchbooks, postcards, and random "junk wax" era commons that were in top loaders. I sifted through the cards and came across this heavy chunk of metal... that made me flash back to the early 90's.

When Stadium Club baseball, football, and hockey first hit card shops in our area, the stuff was on fire and was definitely on most collector's HOT list. At the time, it was considered a premium product with borderless, glossy photos. Topps inserted a "club membership" advertisement card into their Stadium Club packs and those who joined received a special Stadium Club Charter Member box.

(image borrowed from: www.blujay.com)

The contents in the box included the following: a special 50 card set, a key chain, and the Nolan Ryan Bronze card.

Back in the day, I signed up to be a member and somewhere at my parent's house there's a black Charter Member box with my name on it. But... I figured if the price was right, I could always use another one in my collection.

In my head, I figured the vendor would want $5 for the card, but I'd counter with $3. So when he said, "a buck"... I was all over it.

Vendors on COMC, sell these for $6.95 and $9... while a quick eBay "completed" search shows that these cards still fetch between $6 and $14 (shipping included).

Although this card doesn't begin making up for last weekend's losses... I guess my flea market adventure wasn't a complete failure.

It seems like I haven't done this in weeks... but here's today's question:

Do you miss Topps Stadium Club?

I'm one of the collectors who feel that card companies should limit the number of product releases... but there's not a doubt in my mind that Stadium Club should be one of those. Sure... the concept of high gloss, borderless photos may have run it's course in the hobby. But what if they released this product once every three or four years? If they marketed it as an "entry level" product with a $1 to $2 price tag... I'd actually consider busting a box or two.

Have a great holiday weekend everyone. Stay safe & sayonara!


  1. I do miss Topps Stadium Club. Some of the best photog in hobby.

  2. I thought Stadium Club was pretty cool when it was first out, and loved it when it returned in 2008. Unfortunately, Topps short-printed like every 3rd card and had two versions of some rookies' cards so that it was way too confusing to collect.

    So if they kept to the '90s model, then yeah, I'd buy it.

  3. charles - there photography was second to none... definitely made the product.

    night owl - agree 100%... they would definitely have to use the 90's model. although had topps left off those silly stickers on their 2008 beam team cards, those stained glass acetates would have been a work of art.

  4. As others have said, I miss classic Stadium Club. The first year of Stadium Club baseball was huge, but it was the first year of basketball that really exploded. Between the Shaq rookies and the Beam Team cards, that product really took off. I miss that kind of excitement in the hobby.

  5. offy - can't argue with that. one day i hope to add that beam team set to my collection.