30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Pure Gold

Outside of reading a few blogs, I haven really had the opportunity to do anything card related the past few daysLast week was the end of the third quarter, so I graded projects and worked on grades.  

Then over the weekend, I flew down to Las Vegas and hung out with Papa Fuji.  We did a little cleaning since he's going to have people over in a few weeks after my mother's services.  In between cutting up boxes, tossing old lumber, running errands, cleaning, and installing a new toilet seat in the guest bathroom... we ate a lot of food, played a few video slots, and shared memories of my mother.

When I came home, I decided to clear out my scan folder and write up this set review that was originally planned a few months ago.  Last November, I found a complete 1997 Stadium Club Member's Only set at the De Anza Flea Market and snatched it up for $30.

One of the insert sets sitting in the binder is called Pure Gold and since my mom loved wearing gold and has been weighing heavily on my mind lately, I figured I'd dedicate this post to her.

There are two versions of this set.  One of them was inserted into into Series 1 and 2 packs at a rate of 1:72 packs (8 card packs) and 1:36 packs (13 card packs).  The other version is the one we'll be looking at today.  It was offered to Topps Stadium Club members as part of a complete factory set.

Both versions look identical on the front:

1997 Stadium Club Member's Only Pure Gold #PG6

There's a colored action shot with a larger image embossed on gold foilboard in the background.  There's also an embossed gold bar that says Topps Stadium Club, Pure Gold, and the player's name.  When I first saw these inserts, I immediately thought of the 1995 Fleer Ultra Gold Medallion football and basketball parallels.

The difference between the regular set and the Member's Only set resides on the card's back:

If you look carefully, you'll see the words Member's Only running diagonally on my copy.  The pack version doesn't have these words.  Other than that, the cards are exactly the same.

Topps chose one season for each player in the set to highlight and labeled it their GOLDEN SEASON.  They also wrote a brief writeup which they titled the player's MIDAS TOUCH.  

The set's checklist is composed of twenty of the game's best and most popular hitters from fifteen different teams:

Top Row: Brady Anderson, Albert Belle, and Dante Bichette
Middle Row: Barry Bonds, Jay Buhner, and Tony Gwynn
Bottom Row: Chipper Jones, Mark McGwire, and Gary Sheffield

Top Row: Frank Thomas, Juan Gonzalez, and Ken Caminiti
Middle Row: Kenny Lofton, Jeff Bagwell, and Ken Griffey Jr.
Bottom Row: Cal Ripken Jr., Mo Vaughn, and Mike Piazza

Derek Jeter and Andres Galarraga

As of today, only seven of the players in this set have been inducted into CooperstownTony Gwynn, Chipper Jones, Frank Thomas, Jeff Bagwell, Ken Griffey Jr., Cal Ripken Jr., and Mike Piazza.  However, Jeter will get in next year and I'm assuming it's only a matter of time before Bonds does too.

Well I'm off to try and clear out a few more baseball card images that have been cluttering my scan folder.

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!


  1. Before I even read your text I saw that card and knew it was from the 90s. Must have been a law back then that mandated gold foil.

  2. Pure ‘90s! How many other HOFers played in 1997, but weren’t part of this set?

  3. the complete base set with inserts? Oh Fuj!!! Sweet tribute to your Mom as well. Sending an extra hug your way!

  4. I've never seen these before, which I guess isn't a total surprise if they're Members Only. Nice cards, and a nice little tribute to your mom.

  5. They look super nice. The scans show the cards really well. Nice acquisition.

  6. I don’t remember these at all. Looks more like a Danbury Mint set.

  7. commishbob - i think the card companies used up the surplus of gold foil in the 90's... that's why you don't see it as much these days

    johnnys trading spot - i'm not usually a fan of excess gold foil, but i do like the overall design too

    sumomenkoman - well... based on guys who might qualify for this set: edgar martinez, mike mussina, lee smith, jim thome, tim raines, ivan rodriguez, craig biggio, barry larkin, roberto alomar, rickey henderson, wade boggs, ryne sandberg, paul molitor, and eddie murray. i'm sure there are a few other guys i missed as well.

    acrackedbat - it was one of my best flea market finds in a long time. thanks for the support. truly appreciate it

    chris - thanks chris! there's also a regular "non members only" set, but they were semi tough pulls.

    peter k steinberg - my scanner doesn't always do a great job (it hates holograms), but i was happy with these scans.

    parts of my past - yeah... i really like this set.

    the lost collector - great call. they do look like those danbury mint cards from the 90's.