Today is the release date for 2021 Stadium Club.
The cool kids are already showing their loot, procured through means unavailable to me. Or maybe I just won't jump through the hoops required.
I'll get my hands on some of it -- probably just the Dodgers team set -- next month or three months from now, whatever. It's always a favorite and has been since the beginning.
One of my favorite parts of Stadium Club during the '90s is all the chaos on cardboard. SC was an expert on showing dirt on cards and often bodies were flying through it or above it. Here's a few examples:
Great stuff. Dust flying. Equipment flying. People flying.
That pattern held firm through the initial era of Stadium Club, from 1991-2003.
There are a few basepaths photos in Stadium Club's return in 2008. But the name banner kind of gets in the way of the action on some of the cards.
SC took another sabbatical after the semi-disaster of '08 and when it returned in 2014, and each of the yearly sets since, I've noticed a whole lot less chaos in the baseline.
That's no doubt due to the Buster Posey rule in 2014 and the Chase Utley rule in 2015/16. Stadium Club has found different ways to make the photos interesting, going for outside-the-game shots, wide angles, etc. They're still great photos -- and there are still shortstops retiring runners at second -- but SC is a little different now than back in the '90s.
When I think of particular baseball players who have shined in Stadium Club, I think of one player. Appropriately, he was a middle infielder.
Until 2018, he had been in every Stadium Club set except 2008 (he also isn't in the 2014 set but has a card in the autograph set). Here are his cards:
That is some kind of body of work.
I really like that 2016 card (and I'm lucky to have it, I don't have all of the above, as you probably noticed by the quality of some of the scans). It reminds me of something from the old Dodgers' Bell Brand potato chips sets from the early '60s.
I don't know which player has appeared in the most Stadium Club sets but Omar Vizquel has to be near the top. It makes me wish he was in the 2018-2020 sets.
I just looked at the 2021 checklist and he doesn't appear to be in this year's set. This is the 30th anniversary of the first Stadium Club set. I think maybe the king of Stadium Club should've gotten a card in the set to recognize all he's done for SC.