Sunday, January 04, 2015

Group Break: Time for the Stadium Club Box! (Mini Box #1)

We've completely busted the 2013 Panini Triple Play box and so every team has some new cards.  We also have opened a number of bonus packs - some better than others but hey, cards are cards!  Now, it's finally time to move on to the main event.  We have one box of 2014 Topps Stadium Club to rip open and then two boxes of 2014 Topps High TEK.

I actually ripped and recorded videos for all three Stadium Club mini boxes already - BUT in the interest of running this break like I usually do I will first post the scan posts for the three boxes and then I'll post the videos at a later date.  In that way, those that prefer videos will be in luck (you'll just have to wait a bit - don't scroll down)!  Those that prefer scans (and reading) will also be in luck.  We all win!

I should also note that the order that I'm showing the boxes is NOT the order that I opened them.  I'm going to keep our gold autograph for last.  Oh, a hint!

Alright, let's get to the box:  Here's what I'm calling Mini Box #1 (even though it was actually the third and final mini box that I opened)!

I think everyone is most excited about the return of Stadium Club because of the awesome images.  The hits in this product really aren't nearly as good as advertised (as you'll see in a moment).  However, that's quite alright since the photography is top notch.  Case in point?  Here are just a few of my favorite base cards from this mini box.

I think everyone who gets one of the above cards will be quite happy.  Why did those six cards draw my eye?

Taking it from the top:

The Anthony Rizzo is a great shot of a player signing autographs.  I also love the young boy's expression (behind the girl's head).  You can tell he's excited to meet a real ballplayer and get an autograph.  There's also a lady in the background who is as red as a lobster - someone should have given her some sunscreen.

The Derek Jeter card is really a "core four" card.  Caitlin claimed the Yankees and I know she's a Core Four collector so this card couldn't be more perfect for her.  For me, as a non-Yankee fan, even I can (begrudgingly) admit this is an awesome card of what made the Yankees...well...the Yankees for the last two decades or so.

The Rickey Henderson card is wonderful for its simplicity.  Run Rickey Run!

The Stan Musial card is awesome because it reminds me of the legends cards from the 2008 Stadium Club set (a set that I love despite its goofy set-up).  Also, you have to love the stirrups!

Moving to something completely different (a true strength of this year's Stadium Club set by the way), the Matt Kemp is awesome for its bad-assery.  I'm a sucker for locker room shots - and Kemp looks ready to beat someone's brains in with that menacing glare into the camera.  Good stuff.

Finally, last but definitely not least, the Jayson Werth card is simply gorgeous.  It's everything baseball should be - blue skies, green grass, great infield, patriotic colors, and good old fashioned happiness!  Love, love, love this one!

Besides the standard base cards, we also nabbed a couple of the better rookies in the set in Tanaka and Ventura.  They aren't the most exciting photographs but Topps didn't have nearly as much time to find great shots for the rookies so I'll accept what we got.

Now, let's move on to the parallels and inserts.

To my eye, we had one parallel in this mini box - an Andrew McCutchen rainbow parallel.

I have to admit, I could have easily missed a parallel because these look awfully similar to the regular base cards.  You guys (and gals) can check your own cards when you receive them to see if I did miss anything else.

Our inserts begin with a nice Mike Trout Field Access card.

I have to admit, I don't know what that bat is that Mike is holding.  It appears to be glass or plastic...some sort of see through material.  Is it a batting trophy?  It appears it was something that he was awarded after a game (notice the dirty uniform).  Where are my card sleuths?  Figure this out for me!

Our next insert is from the Beam Team set and its of new Yankee Jacoby Ellsbury.

Of all the inserts, the only ones that I think are true swings-and-misses are the Beam Team cards and the Future Stars Die-Cuts.  The Beam Team cards are suitably shiny so I should like them but for some reason I just don't.  I think the design is too spider webby for me...

The final regular insert is a die-cut Legends card of George Brett of the Royals.

It's certainly nice to see Kansas City get some love in a Topps' set - and this is a great looking card.  I happen to love these die-cuts even though they aren't much different than many of Topps' other designs lately.  What can I say?  I'm strange in my likes.

All that brings us to the big hit of the box - an on card autograph of Mario Hollands of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Woo?  According to Basebal Reference, Hollands went 2-2 last year for Philadelphia.  He pitched 47 innings in 50 games which suggests to me that he was some sort of specialist out of the bullpen.  With a 4.40 ERA, I think his specialty must have been giving up runs.

Oh well.  You don't buy 2014 Stadium Club for the hits (as evidenced by the precipitous price drop shortly after release).  You buy the set because the base cards are among the best from ANY set in the last twenty years and because most of the inserts are pretty cool too.  That said, congrats to Deal for landing our first autograph of the break!

There will be more from the Stadium Club box in the next couple of days - then we'll move on to Topps High TEK (which I have NOT yet opened as of the time I am writing this post).


RAZ said...

The Mike Trout card features him with the All-Star Game MVP Award.

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