Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Remember a year ago at this time?
Remember what the card shelves were like?
A few rack packs of Series 2. Boxes and boxes of football and basketball and stuff that is of so little interest that it didn't even register with me, but no baseball to be found.
It was like that for MONTHS. From June to the end of the year. No Allen and Ginter. No Archives. No Chrome. No Stadium Club.
I had to order the final seven cards I needed to complete the 2017 Stadium Club Dodgers team set nine months after it first appeared in stores because not only couldn't I find any packs to open but neither could anyone else. Stadium Club cards just weren't showing up in trade packages.
For awhile I thought that's just the way things are going to be for retail buyers in this new hobby world. People are so obsessed with making a little cash off the latest hot rookie that we would go through this year after year before everyone collectively realized that the name of the game is enjoying the cards, not cashing in on them.
Well, maybe people have come to their senses already. The Ohtani craze wasn't nearly as fierce or long as last year's Judge craze. That's probably because Ohtani got hurt (or that he wasn't a Yankee), but I'm willing to believe that 2017 was all a terrible card buying nightmare that won't be repeated until the next Yankee rookie figures out how easy it is to hit bombs in his home ballpark.
That's because I've been reassured with a recent deluge of Stadium Club Dodgers from the 2018 edition. If the cards continue at this rate, I'll have the team set finished in no time. I certainly won't be embarrassingly ordering them up next year. I even received a Clayton Kershaw Stadium Club red parallel recently from GCA of The Collective Mind.
Three recent card packages all contained a notable Stadium Club theme.
These three Stadium Club Dodger Blues arrived from Peter of Baseball Every Night. He was actually giving away Stadium Club cards (imagine that happening last year) and found a couple of base card needs to go with my request for the Cody Bellinger Special Forces insert.
You'll be seeing more Cody Bellinger inserts in this post. He's in virtually every insert this year, which shows you how lame inserts have become. Build the insert around the concept, Topps, not the player.
More Stadium Club inserts, this time from madding at Cards On Cards. It's more Bellinger and more Kershaw. It's not difficult to see how I've gotten to more than 600 Kershaw cards with Topps' insert mentality the last few years.
But the real stars of the show were the Stadium Club base cards that Kerry sent. I really like the card of the Dodgers' own Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Austin Barnes, and the terrific Kenta Maeda card. Also, keep an eye on that Kyle Farmer card. You'll see it later.
Kerry also sent some non-Stadium Club cards, including quite possibly the best-looking scanned card I've ever scanned in that Onelki Garcia x-rfractor. And major bonus points to Honus Bonus for creating a Pedro Baez card, even though no Dodger fan really wants a Pedro Baez card.
The final Stadium Club-themed package actually contained quite a few other cards, including one of SC's annual card rivals, Allen and Ginter. These cards are from Commish Bob from The Five Tool Collector (I haven't solved the Commish's recent changes for commenting -- I believe it has something to do with Google-Plus? I am hesitant to sign up).
Here is a mini of cheese rolling, from one of my favorite A&G mini sets this year, Exotic Sports. I wish I had the time to chase a rolling wheel of cheese down a hill.
There's another Cody Bellinger insert. Bowman updating you on Bellinger's progress here, as if you didn't know.
The Commish also threw in a couple of 1989 Score Dodgers, perhaps knowing I recently saw the MLB Network 30th anniversary show of the 1988 Dodgers?
It does kind of want me to collect the whole 1989 Score set, which I've always irrationally enjoyed. But before you send me hundreds of unwanted 1989 Score cards -- I AM NOT COLLECTING IT. MY CONSCIENCE IS CLEAR. ALL THE 1989 SCORE CARDS CAN BURN IF THAT'S WHAT IT TAKES.
Well, that turned ugly.
But now you're wondering where the Stadium Club is in this package.
There we go.
The hero of the most memorable game of the Dodgers' 2017 regular season. This is my first Kyle Farmer autographed card.
That's how you know this is a different collecting season.
No one was pulling Stadium Club autographs out of retail packs last year.
Because there were no Stadium Club retail packs.