Now that I've confused myself, I've taken the time to do some research. A month ago, Capewood posted that there were about 30 short prints numbered to 999 and the rookies from 101-150 also had numbered short prints. Why I didn't pay attention to this back then, I don't know. Albuqwirke went nuts and bought fourteen blasters, so he's got a pretty good handle on the set. He found that base cards with a card numer that is a multiple of three just didn't exist unless they were numbered to 999 or had a first day issue stamp on them. His want list is really interesting, check out which cards he needs for the first day issues and the non-first day issues. Albuqwirke just sent me a few out of those 14 blasters, which I'll show off tonight. Finally PAB figured out a neat way to determine if a card is the base or a variation. Look at the photo on the front and compare it to the back. If the photos match it's a base card. If they don't it's the variation.
So here's what I've figured out through my own blaster rips and through looking at other blogs:
- Non-numbered base cards divisible by three are impossible to find
- All first day issue parallels I've pulled are either a number divisible by three or a rookie.
- I've pulled regular and variation 1st day rookies.
- I've pulled three cards numbered to 999, two (Dice-K and Ty Cobb) are base cards divisible by three and the other is a rookie variation.
All cards divisible by three are short printed to 999.
All the short prints can be found as first day issues in retail packs.
The non-short printed set consists of 100 cards and is skip numbered.
The first day issues in hobby packs I'm not so sure about, but I do know they are thicker than normal and are serial numbered to 699. I also haven't figured out if base rookies are any more difficult to find than normal base cards.
So now I feel really stupid for buying two blasters when the odds are against not ending up with a pile of doubles. At first I was mad at Topps for screwing up Stadum Club, but it's actually my fault for not paying attention and figuring out how the short prints work. Lesson learned. Chris Harris has some nice blackmail e-mails from me defending this stuff, let's hope he doesn't demand too much to keep 'em quiet. I wish I'd done this a month ago!
So... to sum up, 2008 Stadium Club looks really good, but if you're a set collector it's a colossal pain in the ass. It's the high-maintenance girlfriend of base sets. Forget about this mess and just work on your Upper Deck base set instead. It looks just as good and isn't nearly as frustrating.