30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cheap Cool Cards #17: 1993 Stadium Club "Master Photos"

Are you a fan of oversized cards? How about 90's inserts? What about Stadium Club's premium photography? What about rock bottom pricing?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions... then you might just enjoy the oversized 1993 Stadium Club "Master Photos" inserts, which each measure 5" x 7".

According to Beckett... the baseball singles were available two ways. A redemption card was inserted into one out of every 24 packs, which could be redeemed for three Master Photos. In addition to redemption cards, these cards were inserted at a rate of one per hobby box. There were three different series of 10 cards to go along with the three different series of Stadium Club baseball in 1993.

The complete 30 card baseball set books for $24, but you can pick up one of these on eBay for under $17 shipped.

The football version of these were only available as redemption cards and came in both the first and second series. However, instead of 10 cards in each series, there were 12. Another difference between the football and baseball set is that the football set features an informative, numbered (not serial #'d), and fully colored back, while the baseball set's back was fairly plain.

Beckett currently lists the first series football set and the second series set at $15 a piece, but you can grab all 24 cards for less than $15 shipped on eBay.

I can't remember where or when I acquired these... but one thing is for sure... they were cheap. You might be wondering... how might I possibly know this. Well... there's a couple of reasons.

A. I didn't collect these in the 90's. I remember seeing them in my local card shop, but I never pulled one... nor did I ever buy any... so I never paid "top dollar"... whatever that may have been... back in the day.

B. They were most likely a flea market or Craigslist purchases. What does that mean? It means that they're cheap. I never buy things from either one of these places... unless it's something I'm really craving... or unless it's super cheap.

Oh... and if you're a fan of either basketball or hockey... they produced Stadium Club "Master Photos" for you too. The hockey set is similar to the football set. There are 24 cards in the set and both were available as redemption cards.

The basketball set is broken down into two team sets: the Houston Rockets & the New York Knicks. Each team set was the reward for pulling the respective Stadium Club "Super Team" insert card out of the 1993-94 series one packs.

Unfortunately... I don't have examples of either... but I do have an example from the 1992-93 Topps Archives "Master Photos" set.

Similar to the Stadium Club versions... they were found as a redemption card. The set highlights the #1 NBA draft picks from 1981 to 1991 (Topps missing years).

Well... what do you think of these? Are they your cup of tea?

More importantly...

What's your favorite 90's cheap insert set? Why?

Okay... time to add a little spice to the contest. If you want to play it safe... then just answer the question above and receive your point.

However... if you want to have a little fun... try to guess how many of these oversized "Master Photos" cards I own. Here's hint... it's between 5 and 20. If you guess the number correctly... I'll give you all of them except for the three I have shown (they're part of my PC). If there's more than one winner (yes, that means you copy someone else's guess), I'll enter your names into random.org and pick a winner that way. And if nobody guesses it correctly, then I'll choose the person who's guess is closest (doesn't matter if you go over... and I'll use random.org if that's a tie as well).

But there's a catch... incorrect responses will cost you two points (if you answer the question above, then I'll only take away one point... since things will balance itself out).

By the time this has been posted... I should have an updated contest post up too. And wow... those comments in the last post about rings and legacy were pretty amazing. Thanks for your participation!

Well... I'm headed off to work. Have a great day... and sayonara!


  1. 1993 Topps Black Gold. So nice looking.

  2. Hmm... I stopped collecting in early '92, so this is a tough one. I'd have to go with either the Joe Montana/Joe namath Heroes insert in '91 UD Football, or the 90/91 Russian Red Army team in OPC hockey.
    Thise would be my two faves.

  3. I didn't collect in the 90's but looking through endless sets on ebay & COMC.com I'd have to say 1997 Topps Baseball Season's best, 25 card insert set!


  4. I bought the oversized Master Photo set back in the day; I think I have two non-Twins that I haven't traded away yet. And I found a Beckett marketplace shop that has several Donruss Diamond King Super cards, including 3 Twins that I need -- yes, the old oversized are cool.

  5. The entire Fleer Pro-Visions series. Athletes done up like comic book heroes in a tasteful way!

  6. I really like anything oversized from the 90s, especially the Donruss oversized cards that they were doing for a few years. I've got a few Piazzas that are framed and look pretty cool.

  7. Topps Black Gold was definitely awesome, I have the Penny Hardaway and it's one of my favorite Penny Cards. Also love the 93-94 Famous Nicknames set from Fleer Ultra, still need the Michael "Air" Jordan from that set.

  8. I have some 84 donruss champions (although that is a little earlier than you were talking about)...nice cards of cobb, ruth, musial, etc..

  9. Fuji, I'm going to have to go with the Grand Slammers Insert from 90 Donruss. As a kid, I thought that was such a big deal for a guy to hit a grand salami.

    I'm gonna gamble and guess you have Lucky #13.

    Thanks Bro

  10. SpastikMooss - nice call... I think I have a few of these somewhere... or a least I used to own a couple.

    Captain Canuck - I loved the 1990-91 Russian Red Army set with the Irbe card.

    Martyn - I had never seen those before... but now I have my eyes on the Chrome refractor version of that card. Thanks for sharing the picture.

    mmmrhubarb - Super DK's? I just found some on eBay... can't believe these have slipped by me all of these years.

    Ryan G - Love those Pro-Visions!

    Markz - I'm still looking to buy a box of that stuff... one of these days I'll find one at a reasonable price, so I can build that set.

    jaybarkerfan - Then I can only assume that you loved those Denny's Grand Slam sets too ;-)

    By the way... you're the first one to make a guess. If nobody else does... the cards are yours!

  11. Honestly, I wasn't collecting AT ALL during the 90s, and for most of that time I was just a young tike under 11 years of age. But Topps Black Gold is pretty damn awesome.

    Pretty sure I have (or had) at least a couple of 'em.

    And what the hell. I'll guess 8. Gotta live on the edge sometimes, right?

  12. Going with 1998 Bowmans Best Mirror Image Fusion,these are the only 90's inserts I have.As for your bonus question I will have a punt and say 9.

  13. 1998 Topps Gallery Gallery of Heroes. Very cool looking cards.
    I'll take a guess at 14.

  14. 1992 Donruss Diamond Kings. I loved this set as inserts. For so long they were a subset but never worth anything. As an "insert" to a 12 year old you couln't pry these things away from me.

    I love the Master Photos, Still have a Cal Ripken proudly displayed on my shelf. Let's say 7.

  15. 90/91 Upper Deck Hockey holograms--for t he day, it was pretty amazing--bought a wack of them but I think they're worth less now--I've got some of the hockey Master Photos--my guess is 17

  16. Also in Stadium Club was an insert set called Triumvirate. These were really cool diecut cards that interlocked three cards together to form one.

    There are a few on eBay right now.

    These crossed over into different sports but I think the best example is the ones done for Basketball that interconnect planks of the court together. From a design level these look good, and honestly, not everything that came out of the 90's looks good from a design level. They are also cool cards to own individually and in sets.

  17. Thanks for the comments... I'm adding up the points right now... so this particular question of the day is closed. Feel free to continue commenting, but it won't be worth contest points.

    My next post should be up within the hour... along with an updated leaderboard.

  18. Oh... almost forgot. Kazi guessed the correct number of Master Photos I had... so he's the winner. I'll be shipping him all of them with the exception of the three I used in the post. Congratulations Kazi!