While browsing Amazon Prime this weekend, I stumbled across A Bridge Too Far which stars legends like Robert Redford, Gene Hackman, Maximilian Schell, Anthony Hopkins, Sean Connery, Laurence Olivier, James Caan, and Michael Caine. With that many Academy Award winners featured in this film, I was shocked that I had never heard about this movie. But with so many movies released each year, it's bound to happen. Some movies slip through the cracks.
The same thing applies to baseball card sets.
1997 Stadium Club Patent Leather #PL13
In 1997, Topps created a really cool insert set for its Stadium Club product called Patent Leather. The die-cut cards which were printed on faux leather card stock are truly beautiful. The first time I saw one of these was over on A Penny Sleeve For Your Thoughts less than a month ago. I was blown away. In fact, I knew right then and there that I wanted one for my collection.
I immediately headed over to COMC, but there weren't any good bargains to be had. A week later, I stumbled across this binder at the De Anza Flea Market:
The Baseball Card Gods were smiling down upon me. Inside was a complete 1997 Stadium Club Member's Only set, which happened to include the entire Patent Leather insert set as well. Collectors could obtain these inserts in one of two ways. Pull them out of Series 2 retail packs or become a Stadium Club member and purchase the Member's Only set.
The cards are identical in appearance with the exception of the Members Only watermark on the back.
Here's the set in its entirety:
Obviously this set is centered around guys who were known for their fielding ability.
Barry Bonds - 8 Gold Glove Awards
Ken Caminiti - 3 Gold Glove Awards
Ivan Rodriguez - 13 Gold Glove Awards
Craig Biggio - 4 Gold Glove Awards
Greg Maddux - 18 Gold Glove Awards
Ken Griffey Jr. - 10 Gold Glove Awards
Barry Larkin - 3 Gold Glove Awards
Kenny Lofton - 4 Gold Glove Awards
Andres Galarraga - 2 Gold Glove Awards
Roberto Alomar - 10 Gold Glove Awards
Rey Ordonez - 3 Gold Glove Awards
Mark Grace - 4 Gold Glove Awards
Derek Jeter - 5 Gold Glove Awards
The thirteen players on the checklist combined to win a total of 87 Gold Glove Awards during their careers.
As of the right now, only six of these guys are hall of famers. However it's only a matter of time before Jeter gets enshrine... and hopefully Bonds will too.
But honestly... the thing that makes this set so intriguing isn't the checklist. It's fact that it took me over twenty years to discover one of the coolest looking inserts from that era. But that's the beauty of our blogosphere. Every day we're blogging about our favorite cards... and sometimes we discover cool stuff that have slipped through the cracks of our collections.
Happy Tuesday and sayonara!