Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Nostalgic Box Break: 1995 Stadium Club Series Two (Part One)

A while back I made an insanely ambitious goal.

I was going to attempt to collect every Stadium Club set ever made. I was going to do this solely by breaking boxes, like the Mayans used to, and try and trade my way towards completion if needed.

Now, with sets like 1992 SC and 1993 SC, this was relatively easy, as despite the bad collation, the set was collectible enough that I'd only need one or two extra cards in the end. But as the set grew, it became increasingly difficult to yield an entire base set through ripping a wax box. And by 1995, it was pretty tough, though not impossible.

I'd already ripped a box of Series 1 a few years ago. And now, as I'm ridiculously stupid, I'm going for Series 2. Like its predecessors, 24 packs per box, as well as 14 cards per pack. That's pretty nice. To give a brief spoiler, I didn't exactly get the full set her, but I still enjoyed myself, which is what matters with products like Stadium Club.

Enough talk. Let's dive in.

 Pack 1- As you can see, there's one in-pack dupe, which is lovely, but the card quality more than makes up for it.
Cards I needed: 12/14
Dupes: 1/14

 These are your base cards- the design is probably the least intrusive and most minimalistic in a while, although it's still pretty flashy, especially with that new, flashy TSC logo.
Jimmy Key was a Yankees standout in 1995. He even gets a 'league leader' emblem. Gregg Jeffries is left hanging there.

 I'm showing the Abbott because I love those teal uniforms.
The Roberto Hernandez is a VIRTUAL REALITY insert, which sims stats to the end of the 1994 season. These are annoying because they have different numbers than base cards and you have to pull the regular one of these to actually feel like you've accomplished something.

 The rookies, like with the '94 set, have a huge rookie card emblem on them. The selection in this set's not terrific, but there are some relatively nice ones, like this Garret Anderson.

 The horizontals are probably the best part of this set. Leo Gomez' is a full on rundown, with every detail in the picture. Fielder's is a static shot of the power-hitter at BP. Just oozes coolness.

 Pack 2-
Cards I need: 12/14
Dupes: 1/14
Hall of Famers: 1/14
Current MLB Managers: 1/14
 For some reason the A's cards are pretty cool in this set. What the mid-90's A's lacked in results they made up for in quasi-futuristic uniforms.

 I believe that Turner Ward card was a part of Nick from Dime Boxes' Tournament. It looked very familiar when I pulled it.
DiSarcina's a nice, well-zoomed field shot. I love that the photography in this set is really clear, polished looking.

 Ventura's congratulating Ron Karkovice. Dante Bichette's the VR insert, and it's at least a cool enough photo.

 I promised a Hall of Famer, so here he is. This awesome Mike Piazza is part of PART 2 of the Best Seat in the House subset, featuring more in-depth stadium shots of players (like Field Access).

 Pack 3-
Cards I needed: 11/14
Dupes: 2/14
Future Yankees: 1/14
Former Yankees: 1/14
 McRae and Greer get some truly awesome action shots. Tavarez' is scaring me.

 This is a comparatively-tame Jose Rijo card. Yeah, it's still kind of cool, but it's been trumped by other, more awesome Rijo issues. Fleming gets the VR treatment.

 Our two star cards are mega-hitter Joe Carter and mega-closer John Wetteland.

 Pack 4-
Dupes: 1/14
Cards I needed: 12/14
MVPs: 1/14

 Castilla is what feels like the umpteenth Rockie in this set, while Kevin Stocker's auto-signing card is pretty nice, especially angle-wise.

 Munoz is here because it's a cool one, but...not only is this Jeff Cirillo's rookie card, but this is a freaking awesome card. The sky is just dark enough, and the lighting is just right. Look, the Brewers of the 1990's were a pretty paltry bunch, but some of the more impressive photos from the 1990's came from those groups. Mostly just Ricky Bones cards, but also...most of those teams led to fantastic cards.

 Robin V's VR card, which is...the same as his base, but with silver foil. Plus, Kevin Mitchell as he was trying to salvage his career, and Marquis Grissom as he was trying to pave his path.

 Another subset in '95 SC was 'Cover Story', obviously trying to recreate Sports Illustrated, but still leading to some pretty nice shots, even if the players weren't always cover-worthy, like Jose Valentin here.

 Pack 5-
Dupes: 2/14
Cards I needed: 11/14
Guys I Hope Get to the Hall of Fame: 2/14

 A couple of standard shots, but I really dig the lighting on Swindell's and Rodriguez, almost giving them an old-timer feel, with grey emphasis.

 J.T. Snow, who'd already been used as trade fodder for Jim Abbott, was the VR for this pack, while Fred McGriff is also here and it's about time- he's one of my favorite players to collect.

 And then there's Trevor Hoffman, absolutely mowing 'em down in the ninth. I don't care, I still think he's a Hall of Famer. Him and Lee Smith.

 Pack 6-
Cards I needed: 12/14
Dupes: 1/14
Dead People: 2/14
People Who Are Dead to Me: 1/14 (Barry)

 Chuck Carr was one of the first big stars in Miami, and this was a great card for him, alongside Brent Gates bunting (I don't know why, but those A's uniforms look kinda cool), and Darryl Kile.

 John Olerud, master of the headgear, in the process of hitting one out. Plus, our Best Seat in the House highlights Veterans Stadium, and Lenny Dykstra.

 Two of the best overall photographs in the set.
Valentin's is...something to be beheld. I know the VR logo is in the way, but it's a definite standout, and something that belongs in a museum, again going back to the trend of great Brewers photography.
 Wilson Alvarez' miscolored golf shirt does not top Ruben Sierra's Indiana Jones phase, but it still makes for a great color story.
This...monstrosity...is a Ring Leaders insert, and I believe it was devised to give people a seizure. It's a cool insert, busy but cool. but I wish I would have pulled someone other than Bonds.

 Pack 7-
Cards I needed: 10/14
Dupes: 4/14
Borderline Hall of Famers: 3/14
Guys Who Were With One Team For Just About A Decade: 3/14

 Phillips' is a nice DP shot, but I liked Appier's, for at least giving a better, more unusual view of a standard pitching shot.

 Mike Mussina throwing fire, Mike Greenwell going for an outfield throw, Lou Whitaker making a fantastic catch. Three 1990's standouts.

 Somehow I got THREE 'Best Seat' cards here, Greenwell surprisingly being the most bland of the three. The others are zoomed out, landscapes using, well, the stadium aspect to its best aspects. Galarraga's is a nice wide shot, and Bonilla's is a good slide portrait, especially with the crowd in the background.

 Pack 8-
Cards I needed: 11/14
Dupes: 3/14
Hall of Famers: 2/14
Borderline Hall of Famers: 1/14
Steroid Abusers: 1/14

 Another surprisingly AWESOME shot of the A's uniforms (I have no idea why all of these look so cool).
Plus, there's a really cool sprinting shot of Reggie Sanders.

 Barry Bonds was the first card of this series, and this is a nice static shot of him. Shame I stopped collecting him.
Pedro's is pretty damn cool, though.

this pack's Best Seat insert was Cal Ripken, on his way to Gehrig's record in this photo. Plus, Omar Vizquel trying to do his best Cal impression.

I'll do the next 8 sometime soon, but this is a pretty fun box, and it'll keep on giving.


  1. That Bonds Ring Leaders. You sure that's not a Pacific card that sneaked into the box?

    1. it belongs at the bottom of another kind of pacific...