Saturday, September 19, 2020

A Retail Box Break of 2020 Stadium Club


I'd forgotten that Topps released Archives and Stadium Club so close together. So when I got a box of Archives last month, I essentially took up SC's purchase space in my budget. So...when the preorder came closer to release, I was still post-Archives, and...I figured I'd try my hand at retail.

Well...I've yet to see any 2020 Stadium Club at any retail stores. The retail fiends keep stealing them all the second they come out and not leaving any for the rest of us. It's insanely unfair. So, I had amazon money from the holidays, and saw a retail box at an alright price, so I leapt. Just so I could have some Stadium Club at all.

It's a different box arrangement, 24 packs but 5 cards per, so less base and more inserts, arguably, as well as lower auto chances,'s Stadium Club, and I needed to have some cause it's apparently great this year.

Pack 1-
I really like the base design this year. The tri-color insignia has a very minimalist but fun feel, and adds a rare bit of color to the SC design, which I'm all for. I also love this set's degree of photography, and the Hoskins and Acuña cards are very fun shots. It's also awesome to get a Hank Aaron card in any product. The Marcus Semien card is my 1-4 red parallel. 

Pack 2- Almost all horizontal shots. Mondesi and Paddack are pretty traditional, but Trout's is a nice, multi-emotion sort of varied shot, and I love the group celebration of Matt Thaiss'

My red parallel in this pack is of the excellent Ken Griffey Jr. card. Wouldn't expect anything less.
Pack 3- Solid horizontal shots. Luke Voit is the most dramatic, but I love the sun baking into Joey Lucchesi's shot. 

Two insert-esque things here. A chrome parallel of HIDEKI MATSUI, looking cheerful after becoming the 2009 WS MVP. And a Bash and Burn insert of Shohei Ohtani, which is pretty nice. 

Pack 4-
WALKER BUEHLER BUNTING! Yeah, this set is awesome. And Rod Carew's late-career majesty also helps this pack. 
And my 1:8 sepia parallel is of Michael Conforto, with a really cool shot as well.
Pack 5-
2003-ERA KERRY WOOD IN THIS SET? Cool! He's the only veteran-like thing in a pack full of rookies.

Although...this postseason night shot of Gavin Lux, a black parallel, is pretty damn cool.

Pack 6- Lots of subtle bits in the base, like the water in Arenado's. Ted Williams' card is awesome. I like pulling an Emperors of the Zone card of Noah Syndergaard, but I wish there was a bit more thought put into the design. 
Pack 7- Well, there's that awesome Toronto shot in Bo Bichette's. Additionally, the slide on Robel Garcia's works for me, as does the graininess of 80s George Brett. 

My In the Wings insert, which comes 1:24, so one-per-box, is of Shane Bieber. Kinda sad that they'd make the best-designed insert in the set one-per-box, know, Topps logic.

Pack 8- Buster Posey's shot is nice even if he's not playing this year. I like the awesomeness of Bryce's shot. 
The Mike Yastrzemski card, pictured with his legendary grandfather, is a solid pick for the best card of the year.
Meanwhile, my first Power Zone insert is of similarly-legendary Frank Thomas. Idk, I kinda like the Power Zone design this year. 

Pack 9-All base stuff. Brusdar Graterol's might be the best shot, but I love the coolness of Tony Gwynn's, and I love the Citifield apple appearance in McNeil's red parallel.

Pack 10- Another all-base pack. I adore both the Edgar Martinez card and the Ozzie Smith card. Both are worthy of these HOFers. But also...there's not a bad image in this pack. Will Smith's is a cool catcher's shot. Moose's is a great spring training shot. Ozuna's red parallel is cropped just tight enough, and the glint of his neon sleeve is a nice touch.

Pack 11- Lots of nice contrast here. The throwbacks and exaltation of Yelich's, the well-captured action shot of Dubon's, and the dramatic quality to Ryu's.
On paper, Ronald Acuña Jr.'s Bash and Burn insert should be my most notable card here, but...THAT IS RANDY JOHNSON WAVING FROM A FIRETRUCK. THAT IS AWESOME. 
Pack 12- Standard base fare, and I do love Syndergaard's shot, but Sevvy and Thor both sat this season out. Trea Turner, our sepia parallel, did not, though. 

Pack 13- That Matsui makes a second appearance. The combo of both the Eddie Rodriguez and the Charlie Blackmon cards make some awesome symmetry. Also, Eddie's our red parallel.

Pack 14- Something about awesome Toronto shots this year. Vladdie's is second to Bichette's, but still good. Laureano's is a black parallel. I absolutely love that Bob Feller card, and the old-timey quality to it. And I also adore the number of layers of Blake Snell's Fenway-set card.

Pack 15- That is a Fernando Tatis Power Zone insert, and it's kinda cool to pull Tatis cards knowing that people on the internet go crazy for them. Nick Solak's rookie means more than Dario Agrazal's. I love the Brantley shot, and I love pulling that Tanaka. 

Pack 16- Mattingly's AND Torres' are great for me. Two different types of exciting Yankee action. I wish Rendon's had been an infield shot, but they did what they could with the deadline. Snell's Emperors of the Zone insert is still very basic. At least add some foil like Power Zone did.

Pack 17- AT LAST A MIKE SCHMIDT CARD IN A MODERN STADIUM CLUB SET. Took AGES! I'm here for it. I love the zoom contrasts on Edman's and Ramirez's.
Pack 18- Lots of standard shots,  but Stanton's entrance shot is pretty cool.

Pack 19- Lots of big stars here, like Bellinger, Flaherty and Turner, but the coolness of the Rafael Devers shot, even in our third sepia parallel, gets me. 

Pack 20- I adore that Jacob deGrom shot. A full picture of a deGrom start. The Nola and Soto shots are equally cool.

I'm still very uneasy about pulling cards of Jose Altuve post-cheating, but this Bash and Burn insert isn't bad. 

and now the crazy bit..

According to packs, I had a 1:148 shot of pulling an autograph out of this box. So even if it was a redemption it'd still be beating the odds.'s a redemption of Kyle established star with awesome pitching credentials. Normally I pull someone I've never heard of, a third-string prospect, someone who never gets any major league numbers.'s an auto, a base auto, of Kyle Hendricks, one of the best pitchers in Chicago. I am perfectly fine with this hit, then. It'll probably arrive after I've forgotten about it, like my previous auto redemptions [I pulled a Schwarber Beam Team auto out of 2017 SC and a Benintendi base auto out of Gallery], but it's still a great hit.

Pack 21- More standard base fare. Good that they got Padres Grisham. Altuve's a black parallel. I love the angle of the Strasburg and the depth of the Chapman. 

Pack 22- I love the angle on the Max Kepler card. It almost distracts from the Astros presence. 

This I did not expect, especially after beating the odds with the auto.

This Manny Machado base card is a MEMBER'S ONLY parallel, which is seeded...1 in 193 retail packs. So getting the members only AND the auto in the same box means I beat a 1:28,564 odds. I...don't know how this happened, my box-break luck used to be so much crappier.

Pack 23- Some Nats love with Kieboom and Corbin, and some Reds love with Geno and the Emperors of the Zone Sonny Gray insert.
Pack 24- The Mark McGwire shot that made the sell sheets helps finish us up, as well as a wishful thinking shot of Corey Kluber as a Ranger, and my last Power Zone insert of guy I don't collect but at least admire, Darryl Strawberry. 

So that was a weird box. Lots of cool base, solid inserts, and two hits that should not in their right mind have landed together in a retail box. Glad I ripped it, wish I could rip more but that'd take Target getting themselves in line. 


  1. Congratulations on pulling the Hendricks redemption out of a retail box. That's pretty cool.