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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Stadium Club Short Prints and such

Ok, I promised myself at the beginning of the year that I wouldn't do this and I did it. I decided to do some research on all new products I was interested in and not go off half cocked and buy a buttload of something without being informed. Well, buying abunch of packs without understanding what the set was all about is just what I did. I got all mesmerized by the cool photography and didn't take the time to figure out the short prints. So now that I have two blasters and a handful of packs opened, I'm utterly bewildered over the strange synchronicity in the weird collation that Night Owl and myself have gotten. That's a lot of doubles.

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.
So with that in mind here's my theory on the Stadium Club Short prints, at least for the retail version:

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.


FanOfReds said...

I decided to do my set as follows:
1 of each "regular" card (the non-three base), 1 of each of the "divisibly by 3" cards (either the /999 version or the first day version) and (hopefully) one of each of the rookie cards and their parallel. There's no way I'm going to collect the serial numbered cards only for the multiple of threes.

night owl said...

I might have to do what FanOfReds is doing, although I'm not sure if I like it very much. I guess I'll just have to decide if getting all those cool cards is worth it. (But I'm not getting any more blasters -- I'll have to pick up the rest through trades, card shows, etc.)

Sooz said...

I'm so confused.

dinged corners said...

Further evidence that you are a card genius. This is good. However, in a comment on another post, you are 'covered with Smoltz.' This is, at best, neutral. Overall, we can't determine whether 2008 has been a good year for the Junkie.

dayf said...

'covered with Smoltz' means I have the Smoltz coming in trade no matter how dirty is sounds. To be honest I think I have it already, but I like extra Smoltz.

Overall, 2008 has not been a good year for the Junkie. I am one day and one hour from living through it however, and I learned stuff along the way. 2009 stands to be much better as long as the economy and the Yellowstone caldera don't blow up.



madding said...

Well, as you might have seen, I ended up opening four blasters and I now officially hate the set. I'm going to concentrate on getting the Cardinals and dumping the rest. I already exceeded my limit of sets to collect for 2008 (one) by trying to collect both Heritage and A&G, so oh well.

Topps should include a throwaway card in some packs explaining what the hell is going on in sets like these.