Thursday, September 29, 2011

1998 Stadium Club One of a Kind

Set size: 400 cards

Front Design: The cards parallel the 1998 Stadium Club set. A high-quality full-bleed color photo is interrupted only by the player's name in the bottom left corner, and a small Stadium Club "One of a Kind" baseball seam design in the lower right corner. The cards have a metalized foil finish.

Back Design: The backs are identical to the 1998 Stadium Club set, with another color photo filling most of the card. The player's name and card number is in the upper right corner and a baseball seam design fades most of the photo in one of the lower corners. A triangle with arced corners holds the player's vitals, statistics, and a short biography (the amount of information varies by player). On veteran players, a career highlight appears at the bottom of the card, aptly named "The Bottom Line." Cards are serial numbered in the upper-right corner.

Parallels and Similars: This set is a parallel of the 1998 Stadium Club set. There are two other serial numbered parallels in this issue; First Day Issue had a 200-card print run, and printing plates.

Distribution: Cards in this set had a 150-card print run. Cards were randomly inserted into hobby packs at 1:21 to 1:24 odds, and HTA packs at 1:13 to 1:14 odds.

Thoughts: I'm not sure why Topps felt the need to include a second parallel so closely numbered to the traditional First Day Issue set. I'm also not sure why a set called "One of a Kind" isn't a one of a kind issue (thus numbered 1/1). For a set that features some of the best photography seen from year to year, the foil treatment detracts from the card image.

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