Saturday, July 25, 2015

Semi-Nostalgic Box Break: 2014 Stadium Club

I broke a TON of hobby boxes of cards while I was at college. Just getting around to posting most of them. This one yielded some really nice results, so I'll do this one today.

I know it's a stretch to call a set that was released less than a year ago 'nostalgic', but dammit, I'm doing it anyway! Besides, this set is very 90's-at-heart, with unconventional pack-grouping and full-bleed photos. It's a very young set that wants more than else to hang out at the adults table. So, I will treat it as such.

To any newcomers to this time period, let's remind us all how this fun lil' product worked in 2014. Instead of getting 18 packs, you get 3 mini-boxes containing 6 packs a pop, with 5 cards per back. If you do the math properly, which I am not in the mood to do, you can justify a single base card in this set being worth more than a single base card in the 2015 edition. Because technically, 2014 Stadium Club is a PREMIUM product. As in 'one autographed card per mini box and priced quite a bit higher than your average 1990's SC hobby box. So, all of y'all complaining about really bad pricing and card-per-pack ratios in this year's set, be thankful, at least, that they're selling it retail this year.

Anyway, 3 mini-boxes, one auto per, 6 packs per. Yada yada yada. Let's dive into the first mini box.

Pack One- Base cards are fairly straightforward. It is, however, nice to see Yoenis Cespedes in his brief appearance in a Red Sox uniform.

Pack highlight is this base card of Jackie Robinson, regarded by many bloggers as one of the best cards of last year.

Pack 2 started with these two stars, one a legend, the other a modern legend.

Also, it had these two rookies. One of which has been doing really well for Boston, the other hasn't had too much time above the minors this season.

Our insert in this case was a Legends insert, which is probably one of the more boring inserts in SC that year. I mean, you don't really need a set showcasing legends when you pepper them into the base set. Anyway, it's of George Brett, who's still a great pull. Besides, it's a die cut. I can't be too mad about die-cuts.

Pack 3 had these nice shots. My favorite is the Pence. Just the right angle. The Gwynn is pretty nice too.

This pack, however, had a bit of a steroid addiction, as I received both a base card and a Field Access insert of Mark McGwire.  Again, the photography on both is crisp, but...I don't collect McGwire. He cheated his way out of my books awhile ago.

Pack 4- I think all five of these were doubles for me.

Pack 5- Fairly simple base cards. Castro's is probably the highlight, for that throwback.

Funny, the more I rip of this set, the more I realize that the 2015 version kicks the pants off it.

Now THIS is more like it. This is an insert I can get around, a Luminous insert of Yadier Molina, looking pretty awesome, and die-cut as a puzzle piece, probably waiting for Matt Holliday and Adam Wainwright to join him.

Pack 6- three base cards I have already, though the Mays is still pretty nice.

Definitely a picture highlight. Wide enough that it works, especially with the filtering. It works too because it's Jordan Zimmermann.

Four cards into the last pack means we've gotten to the first hit.'s a good one.

The guy who saved the Braves rotation from crumbling, the only thing that's keeping it standing right now. This is a pretty nice auto, and I'm glad I pulled it.

Onto Pack 1 of mini box 2, and it's a great start. Two hall of famers, a near-HOFer, and a knuckleballer that I love collecting.  I love the detail on the Schmidt one.

Pack highlight is another Hall of Famer, one of the best ones to pull, a Field Access insert of a really crisp, cool looking Hank Aaron. great card.

Pack 2- Two awesome Mets arms, and a stellar shot of Carl Crawford looking for a catch.

Onto the 'black-and-white' portion of the pack, two legendary stars, Ty Cobb and Joe DiMaggio. I think, in the case of Cobb, the black-and-white photography really suits it.

Pack 3- The big mojo pull of Jose Abreu's rookie card, as well as an awesome double play shot of Jose Altuve.

AWESOME SHOT! Roy Halladay throwing out the first pitch at a Jays game. Mounties in the background and everything. THAT is how Stadium Club is done.

And another nice insert, a Beam Team insert of Miguel Cabrera, always a nice player to pull.

Pack 4- A really nice throwback-rookie, and a really well-filtered Carlos Santana card.

I love this shot. Especially the decision to focus on Napoli, and sort of semi-blur everything else around. The jubilation on his face, and the shine on the trophy, is pretty great. A shame that Napoli might get traded in the next few days.

We end the packs with two Puigs, a base Puig and a Future Stars die-cut Puig, both of which are pretty cool.

Pack 5- Love the Molina. That is a pretty awesome slide.

And of course, the two most famous sideways shots in the entire set. I still love both of them, and I might give a tiny edge to the Ortiz, for the jovial expression on both Papi's and Obama's faces.

Pack 6- Two more awesome shots. Again, I still think the 2015 set trumps this one, because there are too many photos that seem plain and boring by comparison, as cool as they are.

Two sideways shots.

And, of course, the auto.

Sure, it's a Cardinal, but it's a pretty nice Cardinal, in Matt Adams. He's been injured for a bit this year, but he's still a great bat, and will be a big piece of what will inevitably be the 2015 Cardinals playoff run.

Again, not as good as Teheran, but it could have been worse.

Onto the third and final mini-box:

Pack 1- Kind of hard to compare these two, one being a guy just starting out, the other being one of the greatest ballplayers of the last 30 years. But...they both, uh, wear orange?

Two awesome shots. The Clemente must be a classic. The black-and-white, the wide shot, the stands. It just seems so cool.

Annnd our Field Access is another nice one, of a very young looking Stan Musial. I think here the B/W is a little off-putting, but I can definitely deal with it.

Pack 2- The Sale is the only one I didn't have. And that's a really nice one, too, throwback and all.

Two sideways shots. The Pujols is the better of the two, as it gets the catcher and the umpire in there too.

Pack 3- A guy that might be traded this week, Johnny Cueto.

Three really cool horizontal shots. The Victorino is the best one, as it's got a whole ton of happy Red Sox celebrating with Shane.

Nice, another Luminescent insert of Andrew McCutchen, a guy who I love pulling cards of. Excellent stuff.

Pack 4- A trio of rather subdued base cards.

Two highlights, including an incredible shot of Johnny Bench, and a foil parallel of Mike Piazza.

Pack 5- The Choo does the job better here, not to discount the Myers.

Annnd three hall of famers, including a gold parallel of Willie Mays. The Banks is a really good one.

Pack 6- As this is the auto pack, it is a bad omen for it to begin with a Cardinal.

Three more great shots. The Kinsler is the best, as there's a ton of depth in that crowd of Tigers. The Johnson is a nice one too.

And now...the auto:

Junior Lake.

Eh. If he was hitting better, I'd react with more confidence. Not a lot of appeal to this one. I would have preferred a Jorge Soler.

Anyway, that's the box. Two decent autographs, and one Junior Lake. Plus, a host of great base cards and inserts. Not as good as the 2015 version, but still a fun rip altogether.

One of these days I'll post a box that actually counts as nostalgic.


  1. Nice break, especially some of the inserts and the Teheran auto! The 2015 set looks amazing, but this one wasn't a complete bust, from everything I've seen.

    1. I mean, this is still a great set, and does a lot of things really right, but the 2015 set came around and did a lot of those things even better (like the photography and the card stock). It's like comparing Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back. Saying one is better than the other doesn't particularly diminish the other one's status.

  2. I busted four (maybe five) boxes of this product last year... and loved every minute of it. Great product. This year, I went the cheaper route and bought a complete set on eBay, instead of spending big $$$ for autographs of guys I didn't know. At least I've heard of Julio and Matt. Those two signatures are better than anything I pulled out of all of my boxes combined.