Friday, June 25, 2021

Box Break: 2021 Topps Stadium Club [Part One]


You can see where my priorities lie. I haven't even found any Series 2, but Stadium Club is an opening day break for me.

I'm lucky in the fact that I've come to identify more with the Topps sets that the dudebro massive of 2020-on collectors don't always go for. I like Stadium Club, Big League and Archives. The chuckleheads who pull out firearms at Target could care less about that shit. Yes, it comes with 2 autos, but generally Stadium Club base cards sell for less than Topps flagship base cards [generally, I have to see what the Bryant RC is going for these days]. 

So...while Big League takes its sweet-ass time getting pushed because of random bullshit, I went and preordered a box of Stadium Club, it arrived on the day of its release, and I busted it. Was this box as good as last year's tremendous SC hobby box? No, no it wasn't. wasn't bad AT ALL.

You know the drill: 16 packs a box, 8 cards a pack, I'll do 8 packs per post. 2 Autos each, though that's not why I buy Stadium Club. 

On we go:

My box-topper was, sadly, a Boston Red Sox. Yes, this is a very good photo of a rookie Red Sox, but I'm not of the opinion that Bobby Dalbec's gonna have much legs as a Sox power bat. Maybe I'm wrong, but...I'm not seeing many dimensions here.

Pack 1- Okay, I like this base design a lot. Of the entirety of the new-SC run, this design might be the closest to the previous era of Stadium Club, and this design fits right in with the 2000 and 2003 designs. It's minimalistic, but not quite as minimalistic as a few earlier designs, and it's striking enough to really grab me. These are some pretty standard base cards, though seeing Khris Davis in a now-outdated Rangers uniform is a nice touch. Brandon Nimmo's is a red parallel, those are the most popular of the box.

Obviously this set's strength is in its horizontals. Aguilar's is the most normal here, but that Daulton Varsho diving catch one is excellent, and the amount of elements in Freeman's is very fun and impressive. I'm glad the photography in this set has remained as good as it was when we started.

And rest assured, there is still legends representation in this set. I am a bit puzzled by the colorization of Ted Williams' card, and think the bill's a bit orange for my tastes, but it's still a great card. And I'm never gonna say no to a Randy Johnson issue. 
Pack 2- Luis Patino, a very smart addition by Topps, is our red parallel. Bregman and Anderson have standard shots [Anderson previews the return by Topps to the field play shots that Night Owl was just talking about earlier], and Robles' is another winning diving catch.

More winning horizontals. Perez's is a great hero shot, Olivares' has a lot of depth, and Griffey's works because it's a solid early-era Griffey card.

Lord almighty I love this card. Might be my favorite in the set so far. 
Pack 3- We already have two doubles, and this pack also illuminates one of the main developments with this set- A SHITLOAD OF ROOKIES. Some, like Spencer Howard, Alex Kirlloff and William Contreras, seem appropriate, but a lot of these are making up for a 2020 season where a lot of the rookies used are already back in the minors. So a lot of these guys aren't great choices for base anymore.

Of course, I did get some much-needed faves content. Didi still looks great as a Phillie [even if he's still hurt], and I'm never gonna pass up a Lou Gehrig card. 

Pack 4- Some pretty standard base here, but I did really enjoy the photo for Donaldson's card.

This is more like it. Both those Mariners shots feel like classic Stadium Club. Conforto's gives enough field depth. I'm down with all 3 of these.

Oddly enough, Pack 4 came with a ninth card, and it was a decent ninth card to pull:

Yes, a Pete Alonso Triumvirate insert, the middle piece. I haven't pulled one of these in a few years. Alonso is a pretty cool choice, too [I always seem to pull Mets Triumvirates for some reason]. I will say that this is one of the duller Triumvirate designs that I've seen, but I'm not complaining. 

Pack 5- Here is where the rookies began to tick me off more and more. It's almost half the pack. And yes, pulling a Jazz Chisholm rookie is fine by me, as well as a very suggestively placed Jo Adell catch [that's quite a third, um, appendage he has there], but Adell's still in the minors, and Lewin Diaz isn't much of a factor either. 

These three are cool, though. Muncy looks ecstatic. Votto looks royal. 

These two dugout shots caught my eye the most. Ryu just looks dramatic there, but Buehler's came after a...HIT? THAT DOESN'T LOOK LIKE THE 2020 SEASON...

Pack 6- Another dupe, two moderately good rookies, and the AL MVP. 

GIO. Gio looks great here, as does the wide Franimal pic. Madrigal's is the coolest, most poignant card here, and I think they knew they needed to make a NickMad rookie card look good.

At long last, another insert. This was a staple of some of the 90s sets, a Superstar Duos card. The front is, of course, the legend, Mike Trout,

While the back is a fairly boring Shohei Ohtani static shot. I could have used a second action shot, like the old Superstar Duos cards
Pack 7- Two dupes and an Ian Happ red foil.

Again, this photography is just as good as ever. Miguel Rojas's is another one that'll satisfy Night Owl's need for plays in the field. Flaherty and Paddack's are just good mound shots

And these two are solid legends issues. I prefer the Larkin, just for that 90s grain feel to it.

Pack 8- MORE ROOKIES. Other than Singer, I wasn't really asking for any of these.

So, this pack was our trade off for the 9-card pack in Pack 4. Cause we only got 7 here. I checked for any variation codes or any misplaced mojo, but it was just a 7-card pack. The box giveth and the box taketh away. These three were decent base cards, though I still don't understand Topps' infatuation with Will the Thrill. 

Tomorrow night, you'll get to see the remaining 8 packs. Both hits are in there, as well as some more fun stuff.


  1. I hope I'm able to get my hands on some of this stuff at some point. It's always fun to flip through the cards and see the great photography.

  2. Very likely not to get any cards of these this year so thanks for showing them off!