Friday, July 8, 2016

2016 Stadium Club: Hobby Box Break (Part One)

Yeah. We're doing this. You're not stopping me.

As the (arguable) Stadium Club aficionado of the blogosphere, it was my prime duty to pick up some 2016 Stadium I did, and loved it so much that I needed more as soon as I could.

This, is more. It's a lot more. I wish it cost a lot less and HAD a lot more, but I imagine these things cost a lot to make, judging by the thickness of the cardboard, and the millions of cc's of pure awesome that Topps has pumped into every card this year. So, I can forgive it.

I'm gonna try to contain myself. Key word try. Because this set has so much to love that I might occasionally lose it.

16 packs, 8 cards per pack, which, again, isn't ideal, but it's a ton better than retail stocking. So, we'll open 8 today, and 8...when I have time, and when you folks have time to breathe.

 Pack One- Annnnd we're already off to a nice start. Justin 'Hagar the Horrible' Turner is in the midst of a nice throw, and that's all well and good. But the Edgar Martinez card is a CURRENT card of E-Man coaching...which is pretty cool. One of those cards you don't see everyday.

 Two guys from my teams that aren't playing a great this year. Howard because his career's basically over. Sanchez because McCann's blocking him.
FYI- Sanchez is Card #1 in the set. Hell of a choice.

 Standard NL West base cards. Bumgarner's is great, for the blurred ball in the front, and colorful alternates in both the Drury and LeMahieu are pretty great to look at.

 Not only is this a phenomenally fun card of Chris Archer, but this is a 1:4 gold parallel.  So, equally awesome.

 Pack 2- The top two I already have, but the bottom two are some great Spring Training shots. Mesoraco always has that look of intensity, on every card he's got. I forgot Micah Johnson was on the Dodgers, actually.

 That Willie McCovey shot is pretty legendary. Not just for McCovey, but for the old catcher's gear, the nearly-vacant backstop rows, and the general awesome 60's feel of the whole thing.
Ethier's is nice too- a lot going on in the background.

 I love the Mauer shot- the light coming into the dugout is pretty impressive.
Hector Olivera's is another gold parallel.

 Pack 3- I already pulled these three, but they're all still really cool, especially the Babe Ruth.

 Melancon is the sole Pirate on the All Star roster. At least his cards still look cool.
And Mark Teixeira, seen here blasting the shit out of some Twins pitcher, is our 1:8 black parallel. Pretty great shot of him, too.

 That Willie Stargell is pretty impressive. His helmet's got a dozen or so Stargell gold stars on it, and he's just chilling in those amazing 70's Pirates uniform.
Even Ketel Marte's 90's Mariners uniform looks great.

Up. We've hit one of our two guaranteed autographs, and...

 ...You know, I could have done a ton worse, all things considered.
Carson Smith is currently injured, but he's one of those guys that could absolutely DOMINATE the Red Sox pitching staff the second he comes up, so I'm not exactly calling this one a bad hit. The auto's on card, and it's someone I've at least heard of, so I'm not complaining, even if he DOES play for Boston.

 Pack 4- Derek Norris' catcher shot is a pretty great one, even if it's a bit dark for my tastes. I don't know much about Peter O'Brien, but that's a pretty cool slide card.

 Requisite 90's legends. Luis Gonzalez should really be in a Diamondbacks uniform, but I'm not complaining. Marquis Grissom's looks pretty damn badass. I'm actually really impressed.

 Rupp I already have, but it's still a great card. Roughned Odor's is a really nice in-progress celebration card, that does its best to humanize the guy that just knocked out an all-star outfielder.

 Yeah, I pulled this a pack ago, but this is the black parallel version, so it's good enough reason to show it again.


 This one's quite frankly not as great.

Trevor May's not getting a ton of playing time this year, and the Twins are tanking. Even last year he wasn't one of the best arms on the team. So...I really have no choice but to deem this a shit hit. It's just not a very good pull, sad to say.

 Okay, now that we've gotten the suspense of getting hits out of the way, here's Pack 5- Two DEFINITE Future Hall of Famers. Pujols has an amazing 'signing autographs' card, and Cabrera just does what he does best and hits one Frankie Cervelli watches in abject horror.

 Two more definite superstars. Goldschmidt's is a great, subtle yet emotional posed shot, probably from Photo Day. Altuve is just a portrait of pure joy, jumping into the arms of Colby Rasmus in awe. So much awesomeness.

 Josh Hamilton, reminding everyone that he still exists even if he won't be playing too much this season. Meanwhile, Colin Rea's shot is actually kinda cool, especially with the ump behind him.

 A wonderful shot of John Smoltz, in what had to have been one of his last years on the Braves. Also, our (I forget the name of this) insert is of recently-demoted Michael Conforto...which is reassuring, I guess.

 Pack 6- Top two are pitchers in hard-luck uniforms. Bottom two are great cards I already have.

 NL West awesomeness. Corey Seager's is a wonderfully poignant posed card, almost evoking memories of last year's Kris Bryant. Hunter Pence's, meanwhile, is his THIRD straight amazing card in Stadium Club, and reassuring fans that you don't need a shot of Hunter Pence playing baseball to make an AMAZING Hunter Pence card.

 Our (I forget) insert is of Nolan Arenado, which is a MUCH BETTER pick that Conforto, I think. Meanwhile, that Roberto Clemente card is something really special. Just the amount of detail, even in black and white is worthy of praise.

 Pack 7- A pair of Red Sox rookies. How pleasant.

 Three pretty nice shots of 2015 standouts. Vogt's is probably the best, but I still enjoy Steven Matz' one.

 Sano's is amazing because of the lights coming from the top of the stadium, and the fact that it may have just narrowly avoided being included in 'Perspectives'. Hardy's is a nice one too.

 Our LEGENDS insert, even if it's not one of my favorites, is still a really impressive Willie McCovey card.

 Pack 8- Both of these people used to play third base for the Yankees. Neither do anymore. Just don't tell Alex Rodriguez.

 Three pretty impressive stars. Nelson Cruz in mid-bubble, which is pretty great, as well as a great hatless running George Springer and a well-lit Joey Votto.

 Our 'legends' portion of the pack. Reggie's looks great because it's a more unorthodox mainly-white A's uniform, rather than the more-famous ALL GREEN/YELLOW ones. Looks great here. Aaron's is pretty wonderful too, even in black-and-white.

What's better than pulling a pretty sweet Beam Team insert of one of the best players in baseball? Not too many things, actually.

Next 8 packs will be covered sometime soon. Do I get anymore autos? No...I MEAN...WAIT AND SEE...

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