I've never really turned my nose up at Stadium Club. It's always been a great product; the photography is second to none, the player selection is usually solid and the no borders is always a winner.
So why do I usually shy away from collecting it? The price.
This notoriously frugal collector can't fathom trying to build a 300 card set when each pack of 5 cards costs $3. Even the 12 card pack that I'm about to show cost me $6, so in a perfect world 25 packs of 12 cards would build the set (assuming perfect collation). That's $150 right there. Add in the inserts and the duplicates, and well you know where I'm heading.
Leaving the price aside, as I said before, this is a quality product, and this year's release is no different.
What always impresses me about this set is the photos. What struck me immediately is the Randy Johnson card, top left. That is how I will remember him, the tall imposing figure on the mound staring in for the sign with his glove covering half his face. Love how Topps managed to catch the Circle K's above his head as well. Miguel Cabrera's smile as he's about to tear apart another pitcher is also a quality shot.
I opened two packs of Stadium Club, and pulled a Scoreless Streak insert in both. Chris Sale was in the other pack.
There's quite a few collectors out there I've seen that show appreciation for bat rack photos. Seeing Whitey Ford resting on a rack of bats is a great shot. Buster Posey's photo is a good one as well in my opinion, it looks as if he's heading to the bullpen to warm up that night's pitcher with his gear in hand.
Power Zone is a 25 card insert set featuring some of the great power hitters of the past 3 decades. As you can see I pulled the Griffey Jr. card, there's also other great names from the past such as Bo Jackson, Andres Galarraga and Frank Thomas.
The odds listed for Gold foil parallels listed on the packs say 1:2. I managed to pull a gold in both packs that I opened (the other one was Gavin Cecchini), so I believe I managed to beat the odds there. There may be a Brave collector or 3 that wouldn't mind this John Smoltz gold parallel. Just let me know.
It was definitely fun ripping these two packs open and getting to see first hand what others have posted on their blogs. The photography is first rate as always, but the price point is what will deter me from putting together this set.
That doesn't mean I may not rip another pack or 2 down the line, maybe get lucky and pull an autograph or something else cool!
Thanks for reading, Robert