Friday, January 4, 2013

2008 Stadium Club

Set Size: 184 cards (50 SPs and 35 autographs)

Design Notes: In traditional Stadium Club manner, the fronts contain full-bleed photos. Team colors are used at the bottom where the player's name, team, and position appear in a horizontal banner. Backs are vertical with biographical information, statistics, and a highlight paragraph.

Parallels and Similars: Photographers Proofs in blue, gold, and platinum were issued for all of the cards except for the autographed rookies (variations exist for the short prints in Proof version). The short printed cards all have photo variations where the photo on the front does not match the photo on the back. First Day Issue parallels were issued on regular stock (retail) and/or foam stock (hobby). Additionally, printing plates are available for all cards.

Distribution: Card #1-100, divisible by three (3, 6, 9, 12, ..., 99) are serial numbered to 999.

Thoughts: Stadium Club had disappeared for five years before it came back in 2008. Unfortunately, it is one of the most-confusing releases ever, with short prints, divide-by-three short prints, variations, autographed base cards, and some strange way of determining two different types of the same parallel set. The hobby boxes, with one autograph per pack, cost over $200 each. While the base set photography is pretty solid, the cost and confusion turned collectors off pretty quick. I miss Stadium Club, but Topps should bring it back with a more traditional pack format.

I am trying to build a franken-set of this issue, using the retail First Day Issue cards in place of the #/999 divisible-by-three base cards in many cases. If you have anything on my want list (near the bottom of this page), I'd love to work out a trade. Know that I am currently living in Japan and don't have a lot of options when it comes to trade bait...

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