As the blogosphere's resident Stadium Club expert (according to me) I find it only fair that the first major box break of 2019 Stadium Club happens on this blog. It just makes the most sense. Plus, it's the third year in a row that I've celebrated the start of SC season by breaking a hobby box on the blog. I was not expecting this box to get here so early, but...lemons from lemonade and all.
16 packs, 8 cards per pack, and guaranteed hits. Brief disclaimer...we are not here for the hits. They're nice, but...original Stadium Club was not about hits. It was about amazing base photography and state-of-the-art inserts. And both of those are definitely gonna be here, regardless of satisfying hits.
Oh, before we get to packs:
Alright, on with packs:
Okay, so...already I feel like this set is back on the right track. I didn't realize it until breaking 2019's set, but...now 2018's set feels a bit disappointing in comparison. This design is minimalist, but last year's was...too minimalist. This brings us right back to the style of the 2016 and 2017 sets...granted, that means it's slightly Fleer Ultra-esque, but it's still good.
And photography-wise? Come on. These four are awesome, and yet they might not even factor into my Top 10 on the set. Even the Ichiro. EVEN...THE ICHIRO.
Relatively standard horizontals for this set, though I appreciate the new uniforms on Donaldson and Realmuto. Albies' shot is probably the coolest one here.
Plus, rest assured, this product still has fantastic legends base cards. I can't decide which of these I like better, though...those clouds in Kaline's are pretty awesome.
A return appearance from George Springer, a cool throwback from Carlos Rodon, and a gracious salute from Jonathan Schoop.
We have hit our first hit. At best, I've gotten a Julio Teheran or a Darryl Strawberry out of this product. At worse, I've gotten a Philip Evans or a Tim Cooney. Let's see where this first one falls...
For those unaware, Beeks was a crucial piece of the trade that brought Nate Eovaldi to Boston. Somehow, Tampa ended up winning that trade though, as Beeks has become a reliable, at times scary, relief pitcher. So far this season, Beeks has been used as the long man to relief opener Ryne Stanek, and is doing Ryan Yarbrough's job from 2018 better than Yarbrough did it. I see some promise with this guy, so...yes, this sort of counts as a good hit.
I mean, it's better than either of my hits from last year's hobby box.
Lots to love here. Suarez's expression, Braun's throwback, and the entirety of Murphy's. I feel like contemporary SC has picked from this photo shoot before, but not this shot. That's a nice one.
That Jake Lamb card would be awesome if he was able to stay healthy.
And...glad to see Topps is embracing multiple-exposure shots again with that Richards card.
And we get to hit #2:
Reid-Foley had an alright come-up last year as a starter in Toronto, but so far has been used to fill holes. He started a game, and that didn't go to well, so now he's a bullpen piece? Unlike Beeks, I can't really see where Reid-Foley fits into this pitching staff. So, definitely not as good as the Beeks auto, but...I mean, he could get better?
Infielders in action. Jeter's is probably the best, but Bogaerts' is a cool one too.
So that's half the box of Stadium Club. Tomorrow is the other half. We've gotten through both our hits, so all that remains is just...base and inserts. And with SC, sometimes that's enough.