Sunday, January 26, 2014

Nostalgic Box Break: 1993 Stadium Club Series 1 (Part 1)

I know it's very risky to compare something to the Beatles, especially a baseball card series, but I'm comparing the entire Stadium Club brand to the Beatles. Now let me explain.
  • Like the Beatles, Stadium Club started out clean, crisp, and polite, and fans everywhere loved it. Those first three years of Stadium Club are like the 'hey, let's go around the world and play twelve more refrains of Can't By Me Love' era of the Beatles. The crowd pleasing days, that is.
  • Also like the Beatles, they tried some experimental things with the brand mid-decade, and it still looked cool, but it was a far cry from the early stuff. 1994 and 1995 Stadium Club are like the one-two punch of Rubber Soul and Revolver.
  • From there to the end, they're just revolutionizing everything, not caring about what anyone thinks, just putting out release after release of new, original, up-to-date stuff, that's so original and outlandish that by the end you can't help but wonder how the original stuff from the early days went into that. Even if the stuff by the end was still good, like 2002 Stadium Club and Abbey Road.
  • They tried bringing it back after a hiatus. One guy in particular was the forerunner, and it came close, but it wasn't the same. And yes, I am comparing Chris Harris to Lorne Michaels. Hell, these days you could say that Chris is funnier. But I digress. It never came back the same way, and it never will, yet fans still remember the old stuff, and still collect.
There. Analogy over. Let's get into the box. 24 packs. Here are the first eight.

Doubles: 0/14
Cards I actually need: 14/14
Hall of Famers: 1/14
Best photos of the bunch, including a batting practice Geronimo Pena, a clubhouse Bryan Harper, and an auto-signing Dan Plesac.
Three people who I would have definitely put into my binders in 1993, with Wells and Bonilla still being considered stars. However, Alomar is still a big star, and will always be a well-known figure, now that he's a hall of famer.
Pack 2
Doubles: 0/14
Cards I need: 14/14
Awesome shades: 1/14
Man/bat love: 1/14
Three great set-up shots, that include Pedro's brother Ramon Martinez on a nice background, Wayne Kirby behind the backdrop of Progressive Field (I think), and Oscar Azocar, famous for...this card, hugging his bat.
Pack 3-
Doubles: 0/14
Cards I need: 14/14
Hall of Famers: 1/14
Awesome shots of catchers: 3/14
Two of the aforementioned catchers. Benito Santiago looks awesome in this one. Maybe it's the mustache. Also, Mike Scioscia, whose tragic illness made us smile, poses as a member of the LA team he played for, as opposed to the one he ran into the ground managed. And Albert Belle, pre steroids, steals a base.
And no pack would be complete without an appearance from Eddie Murray, this time sporting a Mets uniform.
Pack 4-
Doubles- 8/14
Cards I needed: 6/14
Cards featuring the same expression I had once I saw the doubles: 1/14. You know the one.
Two generally okay cards. A star card of Doug Drabek, and a nice catcher shot of Joe Oliver.
And our nice star card is of Craig Biggio, who will probably end up in the Hall of Fame, after everybody who's evidently more qualified gets in.
Pack 5-
Doubles: 0/14
Cards I needed: 14./14
Hall of Famers: 1/14
Castmembers of the movie Kingpin: 1/14.
Jose Offerman, Mike Timlin, Juan Guzman and Rich Wilkins give four pretty nice shots. I'd say the Wilkins is my favorite, as that's a great play at the plate.
Ten years ago, if I told you that Roger Clemens would still be on the ballot for the HOF after two years, I'd get astonished gazes. If I told you Dawson got in, you'd be like 'oh, that makes sense.'

Pack 6-
Doubles- 0/14
Cards I needed- 14/14
Hall of Famers- 3/14 (!)
Deceased ballplayers- 1/14 (R.I.P., Rod Beck)
Three generally nice shots, including Jeff Montgomery.
Three Hall of Famers. One of them played for my team. One of them didn't. The other...well, I'm glad he got out of Boston while he could. Seriously, all three are terrific players, and all have my respect. Though...I do have a soft spot for Winfield.
Pack 7-
Doubles- 0/14
Cards I needed- 14/14
Hall of Famers: 2/14
Seinfeld Guest Stars- 1/14
Two great photos up top. One is of Ricky Bones, who is incapable of making a bad baseball card. The other is of Danny Tartabull, who just flat out pisses me off. The bottom is lined with good players from the 90's.
Two Hall of Famers, though one of them was already three years from retiring. Poor Kirby. Meanwhile, Cal was still at the top of his game, and would still BE at the top of his game for another 8 seasons.
Pack 8-
Doubles: 10/14
Doubles of Hall of Famers: 1/14
Cards I needed: 4/14
Future Phillies: 1/14.
The lone highlight from this pathetic pack, a Red Sock. This Joe Hesketh is actually pretty nice.
That's enough for today. Part 2 will likely be up tomorrow.


  1. That's a lot of cards but I'll try to keep my comments short. Dawson in front of the ivy that he's now famous for being pulled out of by Kerry Wood in a State Farm commercial. "What year is it. Caught it. Whooo!" Love all the full bleed color. Regarding Oscar and his bat, Steve Rushin in his great new book, "The 34-Ton Bat details the long history of players loving and being photographed with their "wood".

  2. I forgot how nice 1993 Stadium Club cards were. The backdrop of the Wayne Kirby card is actually old Cleveland Municipal Stadium.

  3. Some great looking photos they used for these cards!