Friday, January 15, 2016

Eye Candy

One of the fascinating things about collecting sports cards... is the variety of ways to collect.  Some people enjoy collecting specific players, like Bo Jackson:


While others focus on favorite teams, like the very popular Los Angeles Dodgers:


Then there are those who prefer to target cardboard of hall of famers:


Would it really surprise you to find someone out there who collect cards featuring athletes in tuxedos?


Or pitchers at the plate?


But whatever tickles your fancy... I'm sure most of us can agree that quality photography makes things better... most of the time.  And that's exactly what Topps brought to the table back in 1991 when they introduced their Stadium Club line to collectors.

Back in the day, collectors went wild over this product.  I remember everyone chasing Jeff Bagwell and Phil Plantier rookie cards.  Even stars like Nolan Ryan and Frank Thomas fetched top dollar.  If I remember correctly... packs were selling at my LCS in the $2 to $5 range, which was insane for the time.

These days you can find unopened boxes for $10 to $15 on eBay... which in my humble opinion seems like the bargain of the century.  After busting these six packs, I was left with a smile that resembled The Cobra's:


On a side note... if you are interested in busting packs of 1991 Stadium Club... there's one thing you should be wary of.  Whatever Topps used to laminate these cards sometimes causes them to stick together.  And when you pull them apart, it can cause the cards to be damaged.  I knew this fact before I purchased these packs... but figured it was worth the risk at 25¢ per pack.

I ended up opening all twenty packs and pulled a cool hit out of the 1999 Fleer Sports Illustrated packs:


You can't really tell by the scan... but this card is made out of acetate and is embossed.  According to Beckett... the hitters in the set were inserted at a rate of 1 per 180 packs.

Overall... I wasn't really impressed with this product, because it seemed like half of the cards had cluttered subset designs.  However one card really stood out...


This photograph appears to have been taken right after McGwire launched home run #70 in his final at bat of the season against Carl Pavano and the Montreal Expos.  I personally define an amazing baseball card as one you can hold in your hands, stare at in awe, and it takes you back in time to a happy place.  This card fits those parameters.

Off the top of your head...


Are there any specific cards you enjoy staring at every now and then?

Happy Friday and sayonara!

3 comments:

  1. I went to the McGwire 69 & 70 home run game back when I was in college. I don't care if he was on steroids, it was awesome to see in person. Also saw 60 and 61. The last game was by far the best. Overall, I think I saw about a dozen of his home runs that summer, team was terrible, but McGwire made seeing Manny Aybar starting games tolerable.

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  2. Card to stare at? Benchwarmers.

    Hahaha. Kidding. Not really.

    I honestly find myself looking at the 1989 and 1990 Upper Deck quite a bit for the photography and wondering what differentiates the photos from then from the photos on the cards these days.

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  3. snorting bull - that's flippin' awesome. that race between him and sosa was so much fun to watch. very good times.

    tony - i'll have to dig through my 89 and 90 upper deck singles. i know that the 93 set has some of the best photography around. my main complaint about many of today's cards really targets the poor cropping. topps if you're reading this... please stop chopping off players' arms and legs.

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