Today I'm looking at Topps Stadium Club. I got a deal on a 2014 minibox at last week's card show in Mounds View. This week at the Valley West show, a vendor had a ton of "vintage" packs, including these 1995 Stadium Club series 1 and 2 for 50 cents each.
1995: 14 cards per pack, 4 packs (56 cards) for $2.00
2014: 5 cards per pack, 6 packs (one autograph card, 30 cards total) for $28.00
Not surprisingly, the new product is more expensive. I don't recall how much these packs cost in 1995, but it was definitely more than 50 cents. 2014 has an on card autograph in every box, though.
The only thing that can beat Stadium Club photography is more Stadium Club photography. While the gimmicky poses are fun, they are really cheesy and so '90s. 2014 is a cleaner classy look and the photography is top notch.
1995: Very 90s, video game style bar charts (Topps skills rating system), two more player photos, busy busy busy, and yet, no career stat line.
2014: A fairly clean look, with a background image of home plate, reminiscent of the first few editions of the product. Shows 2013 stats for active players and career stats for all.
1995: Virtual Reality, Best Seat in the House, Cover Story, Statistical Extreme
2014: Luminous, On Card Auto, Field Access, Legends
I only listed inserts that were in the packs I opened, I'm sure there are more. What is the difference between the "Virtual Reality" insert and a regular base card? Not much. "Statistical Extreme" is very 1995 Fleer. I kind of hate die-cut cards- I'm always worried they will get dinged up, but I do really like the Rickey Henderson card I pulled.
Advantage: tie, because inserts
Hall of Famers:
2014: Ozzie Smith, Rickey Henderson, Duke Snider, Lou Gehrig, Ernie Banks, Bob Feller, George Brett
Really not a fair fight, as 2014 has a ton of retired players from all eras. Projecting the active players I pulled from 2014, probably David Ortiz, Adrian Beltre, Clayton Kershaw are the most likely. The Wizard wins the no-prize for being in packs from both sets.
1995: Alex Cole - hit his first career home run in 94 (it was his 1,317th MLB at bat), was a decent speedy CF in 1994. He came up with Cleveland, was an original Rockie, wore turtlenecks and shades, but didn't last much longer after that season and a half with the Twins.
2014: Joe Mauer - That's kind of a stupid looking hat, Joe. Good thing you've won an MVP and three batting titles, because otherwise I was leaning towards the turtle.
Have to say that as much fun as it was to open the 1995 packs, I don't miss the '90s that much. The 2014 Stadium Club might be my favorite version of the product since 1992. The first few years of Stadium Club were a revelation. 1994 and 1995 seemed to be starting a slide of the whole hobby into some really unnecessary inserts and parallels.
Where would you rank 1995 Stadium Club?