Wednesday, July 6, 2016
A Semi-Nostalgic Look at 2014 Stadium Club
I know we're all in 2016-SC-Mania (and yes, in the next week or so I will be partaking in some more), but while we're all talking about how amazing that set is, I want to look back at the 2014 set, the inaugural release of the new relaunch.
I remember when the '14 issue was announce, midway through 2014 without any prompting, I was shocked and not exactly sure what to think. Sure, the Bryce Harper card they showed us was impressive, but this was post-independence Topps. They had already screwed up the 2008 incarnation of the set by turning it into a hit-friendly premium-esque set, and taking the emphasis away from what had always been the strongest part of Stadium Club, the base set.
However, in 2014 Topps gave us a small, hobby-exclusive set that gave much attention and detail to the base set, as well as crafting a definitely memorable box-opening experience.
And then, over the next few years, Topps refined the Stadium Club brand into a well-oiled machine that gives the most impressive photography any baseball cards have had in YEARS. Yes, the 2016 and 2015 sets are MILES ahead of where the 2014 set was, but we gave it a ton of praise because we hadn't seen anything like it in a while. It was refreshing- overpriced and a bit understaffed, but still refreshing.
So, even two years later when the standard has been surpassed, I'm gonna look at the 2014 set from this distance, and judge it on what it's ended up as.
I'm noticing that the '14 set has a lot less filtering and fading, in comparison to the later two. There's a lot more shadow, a lot more darkening, and a lot less grain. Just an observation.
I'll say that Legends is still the weakest of the Stadium Club inserts, die-cut aside, but even then it's still a pretty cool one.
Each mini box comes with an autograph. I've pulled Julio Teheran, Matt Adams, Chase Anderson and Junior Lake out of these boxes. This one....
That was 2014 Stadium Club, folks. It was good, but it's been outdone by Topps' subsequent offerings. One of which I'll be taking a more in-depth look at...later this week.