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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Guest Blogger - 1995 Stadium Club Series 1 Box Break

Reader Kevin recently busted a box of 1995 Stadium Club he found on eBay. The first pack break can be found over on A Pack A Day. Here's the whole box for your reading pleasure. I'll be adding scans from my collection for illustrative purposes.

A few weeks ago, I scoured eBay for a relatively cheap
(under $20) box of cards. I found a box of Topps
Stadium Club '95 Series One that fit my criteria and
took the plunge. You see, way back in 1995 I was a
scrawny, awkward middle schooler and a rabid card
collector. If I recall correctly, I'd already lost
some of my innocence as a sports fan thanks to the
horrors of the baseball strike, but I came back around
gradually. Although none of the basic 1995 sets did
anything for me, I was immediately drawn to the
beautiful photography and classy design on the front
of the Stadium Club cards...and I guess I overlooked
the butt-ugly clusterf*ck on the back. I never came
close to completing the set, so as a scrawny, awkward
mid-twentysomething I decided to jump back into it.
Let's rip some packs, shall we?

11 Carlos Garcia
28 Virtual Reality Paul Molitor
35 Barry Larkin
219 Roberto Kelly Best Seat in the House
122 Deion Sanders
232 Jose Lind
52 Denny Hocking
195 Eduardo Perez
193 Jeff Conine
245 Mike Bordick
72 Dennis Eckersley
22 Ken Hill

For a first pack, this is a real dud. I knew what I
was in for when I saw a Pirate looking up at me from
the top of the stack. I already had Molitor, Hocking,
and Conine. Eduardo Perez really amuses me on
Baseball Tonight. He sounds like his tongue is too
big for his mouth, but still, he just looks like he's
trying so hard to be cool and insightful. The Eck
card is great, though. No one takes an action shot
quite like him...that classic windup, the wild
mustache and hair frozen in motion, and of course the
ass-kicking squint.

105 Cade Gaspar Draft Pick
89 Virtual Reality Luis Polonia
198 Orlando Merced
255 Wil Cordero
235 Randy Myers
57 Raul Mondesi
139 Kirk Rueter
10 Roger Clemens
185 Craig Biggio
241 Ken Griffey, Jr.
9 Gary Gaetti
29 Shawon Dunston

Now we're talking! I guess all of the stars that were
missing from my last pack just migrated to this one.
Clemens, Biggio, and Griffey, that's three Hall of
Famers in a row. You've also got Ratface Gaetti with
his old-school helmet without the earflaps. Ben Henry
recently mused on all of the '90s prospects that
flamed out, and there's plenty of that in this pack as
well. A draft pick I've never heard of, and one of
the all-time head cases, Raul Mondesi.

132 Wilson Alvarez
48 Virtual Reality Danny Bautista
231 Hal Morris
132 Wilson Alvarez
256 Al Leiter
37 Orel Hershiser
21 Rey Sanchez
187 Kevin Gross
129 Todd Jones
165 Allen Watson
178 Dave West
78 Danny Bautista

NOOO! What the hell, Topps? Dupes in the same pack?
The Bautista base card and parallel being together
seems weak as well. I'm starting to get a bad feeling
about this box. It's a shame, too, because Alvarez's
photo is hilarious. He appears to be standing in
front of his Venezuelan palatial estate, sporting a
glorious dirt 'stache and a polo shirt from the Bill
Cosby collection. Another great photo has good ol'
Orel seemingly using telekinesis to suspend a baseball
in midair. What's more, he's wearing his specs.

240 Jeff Bagwell Cause & Effect
112 VR Mike Stanley
148 Larry Walker
231 Hal Morris
226 Matt Mieske
61 Jeff Kent
1 Cal Ripken
267 John Burkett
245 Mike Bordick
27 Mariano Duncan
190 Bernard Gilkey
158 William Van Landingham

Ripken saves another subpar pack. Five duplicates,
two of which I've already pulled in my first three
packs. You may have noticed that the Virtual Reality
parallel is slotted #2 in each pack, but I'm not sure
why you'd care. I never really understood the allure
of the VR cards. They're numbered as if they were
regular cards, and look practically identical to the
base set. All they had were the "Virtual Reality"
foil wordmark on the front and the computer projected
stats and bio on the back. However, there are only
parallels for half the cards in the base set. They
just sort of confused me, really. Larry Walker is
holding a hockey stick, which is the kind of pointless
gimmicky crap that you can blame on Upper Deck. I get
it, he's Canadian.

For my sanity and yours, I didn't blog the last 20
packs in the box. Take a look at this box break:

24 packs X 12 cards a pack = 288 cards

263 base cards: 164 originals, 72 doubles, 24 triples,
3 quadruples
(164 of 270 complete base set - 60.7% complete)

24 Virtual Reality parallels: 23 originals, 1 double
(23 of 135 complete parallel set - 17% complete)

1 Clear Cut Finest insert - Bobby Bonilla (odds 1:24)

Now I want to travel back in time to twelve years ago
and hit some Topps execs with a shovel. Over a third
of the base cards in this box were duplicates! Sure,
you might have to pay $40 or more for a decent-sized
box of cards these days, but at least they collate the
packs so you're not stuck with a load of doubles.

Oh, and as a bonus slap in the face, I got eight
Orioles cards in the whole box: Ripken, Ripken Cause &
Effect (x3), Sid Fernandez (x2), and Jeff Tackett
(x2). As a kid, I always assumed there was some sort
of distribution scheme that keep my hometown team in
higher demand in this region...but considering that
this box was shipped to me, I'll chalk it up to crappy

In other news...does anyone want to trade?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow. I forgot how beautiful the Stadium Club photography was.

What a shame they are gone.

-Wax Heaven