It’s been awhle since we’ve had a release of Topps Stadium Club baseball and Topps decided to make the return another in their line of high end products. Each box contains 12 packs and each packs contains one autographed card. So out of each box you’re guaranteed 12 autos, 1 Yankee Stadium relic, 12 #’d rookie cards, and 12 #’d parallel cards. So it seems like you’re getting a lot of good cards for the high $230 price tag, but let’s take a closer look.
Autograph Cards – The autograph rookie cards look really good. They have nice pictures and the design of the cards is good. Don’t get your hopes up, autographs are yet again on stickers. If you want my opinion (and I’m guessing that if you’re reading this then you’re semi interested in it), after this is where it all starts to go to crap. The rookie autographs are good, but the checklist is still somewhat blah. Do we really need that many rookies in the checklist? And then there are the other autograph cards…
To the left you can see a John Lackey autograph card called “Beam Team” that is a stained glass type of card. Cool, right? Ehh…they look kinda neat but the players that were chosen for this line leaves A LOT to be desired. Why Felix Pie??? Did they just have too many Pie stickers laying around?
Relic/Auto-Relics – Ok, and here is where it gets weird for me. Topps chose to include their own Yankee Stadium card similar to what Upper Deck is doing with the Yankee Stadium Legacy set. Ok, that’s fine. But for Topps, they are including relics of things like the outfield wall, dugout seats, and bunting. Ok, that could be neat. But then they pair these relics up with players who never played for the Yankees. What?!? Why? To the right you can see a piece of the Yankee Stadium outfield wall on an Ichiro relic card. I’ve seen Ty Cobb cards with a Yankee Stadium piece. Sadly, someone will grossly overpay for a card like that because they don’t realize that while the card may show Cobb, the piece of fabric in the card may have been installed 3 months ago.
Topps did include triple relic autographs in the product but they don’t get pulled enough for my tastes. Plus, they look exactly like Triple Threads. The autogrpahs are stickers yet again and the relic pieces that I have seen have all been single color swatches. There may be some patch relics out there, but I haven’t seen any. I’ll likely chase a Morneau card down but I don’t see these pulling the premium price that a 1 per case card should bring.
Sketch Cards – Those of you who collect non-sports items are well aware of the sketch cards. This is new to sports products though. Topps introduced the sketch cards in Updates & Highlights and continues it here with Stadium Club. These also fall 1 per case and your luck will be hit and miss with them. For every really cool looking card like the Chase Utley below, there are some lame cards that look like the artist whipped them up in 5 minutes.
So far the Topps sketch cards haven’t brought in the same premium price that non-sports sketch cards have brought. They are interesting looking, but I don’t know if baseball collectors are all that into them.
Big Hits? – That’s a tough one to answer with this set. You would think that with a product that costs $230 per box, it would be easy to pick out some cards that would be big chase cards. With this product, I’m not sure what those would be. There are various 1/1’s in the product but what product doesn’t have those? So I guess the autographed triple relic cards or sketch cards that are seeded one per case would be your big hit cards. It is sad that Triple Thread knockoffs are the case hits.
Overall Opinion – Sometimes I wonder what goes through the minds of the marketing team at Topps when they sit down to price out a product. Granted, for one box you are getting 12 autograph cards and 1 Yankee Stadium relic, but is that worth $230? Seeing some of the autographs that are featured in this product, I would lean towards no. Now if you’re guaranteeing one of those triple relic cards in each box, I could possibly see it, but it is still a stretch.
This one gets a BREAK AT YOUR OWN RISK grade. If you have money to gamble then go for it. Don’t be shocked though if you lose your ass on a box though. Singles of the players you want should be VERY affordable in a month or so and I expect to see box prices drop quickly.