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The king of Stadium Club

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.


buckstorecards said…
I'll be sending some Stad. Club Dodgers your way in my next mailer, so don't go out and go too crazy trying to get one, since I think I have a team set here. I just have to do some collation, and await my next COMC shipment to fatten the package (due on the 5th!).
Some numbers for you (this was fun). Top 10's.

All Stadium Club baseball issues:
Trout-461 cards.
Ripken- 331
Thomas- 327
Bryant- 313
Chipper- 308
Jeter- 307
Kershaw- 291

Flagship Stadium Club:
Jr- 345
harper- 331
Cal- 304
Thomas & McGwire- 298
Bryant- 278
Chipper- 274
Jeter- 209
Kershaw- 261

Base card/main set only:
Thomas & Jr- 39
Bonds- 38
Maddux & Cal- 36
Bagwell- 33
Ryan- 31
R. Johnson- 30
Ozzie & Canseco- 27

Vizquel had a total of 121 cards, and in the base/main set 24 cards.
night owl said…
I only care about that last category. The star stuffing with the inserts and such skew the numbers. Also, something's out of whack when there are players with 30-plus base cards and Stadium Club has issued only 20 or so sets in its existence.
Anonymous said…
Doctors without borders is a good thing. Baseball cards: Not so much.
Doc Samson said…
I have always loved Stadium Club. I am also glad that Topps has its flagship and SC, so that they are two separate entities. What do I think is the greatest SC set of all time? 1995 Upper Deck. Take a look at that set to see how I came to that conclusion.
The chaos on the field cards sparked a new appreciation for the early 90s Stadium Club cards for me. The designs never did much for me, but some of the photos are awesome. I'm glad the sets came back and enjoy the new cards, too, especially the wide angle stadium shots and the vintage players.

And I agree, Omar had some great Stadium Club cards.
Fuji said…
A. Stadium Club is usually my favorite base set each year (unless the Topps flagship design is awesome like in 2015).

B. That 1994 Vizquel is really cool. In 1994 my focus shifted to hockey and basketball, so I don't think I opened any Stadium Club baseball.

C. The 1999 to 2003 stretch of Omars is fantastic.
Kin said…
I would have been 12 when 1991 Stadium Club came out. I remember wanting it because it was the "new" set and at that pack price it had to be awesome, right? I never truly appreciated the photography as a kid.
Chris said…
I hadn't realized that Vizquel was in so many Stadium Club sets. I've probably got two or three of the card you showed, at most.

SC is definitely the highlight of the card collecting calendar for me. Topps flagship hasn't interested me since 2018 (though I did finish the 2019 set) and Bowman doesn't interest me as I gave up on chasing prospects.

I'm guessing you'll have some 2021 Stadium Club Dodgers cards coming your way within a week or two. Can't wait to see 'em.