The formula for card products has changed a ton over the last decade, and that's a shame. As bad as some points of the 90's were for cards, some incredible innovations swept in. In 1989 Upper Deck presented the first "premium" card set with higher quality stock, ink and photos. Topps freaked out and introduced 1991 Stadium Club, a product similar to Upper Deck, but taking it a step farther. They introduced gorgeous photography without card borders. For the next decade plus, Stadium Club and Upper Deck battled it out.
Stadium Club revolutionized the "Swing" shot.
They made routine plays a thing of art.
Web gems became something to behold.
They didn't do much to improve pitching shots, so they largely ignored pitchers.
Stadium Club gave us insane looks at players turning two.
And it began Topps infatuation with the celebration.
With Upper Deck out of the business and Stadium Club long dead, there isn't much hope on the horizon for collectors who appreciate photography. The current business model Topps has is genius. They've learned that they can reuse stock photos over and over in releases throughout the year. By stamping a worthless number on the back of some cards, collectors buy the products up like it's cocaine. Borders and backgrounds are a must so that we can have three dozen parallels. None of that formula can be applied to a product like Stadium Club.
My favorite edition of Stadium Club will be ripped in the upcoming charity break! It's crunch time and I need just a few more teams claimed before I can give the break the green light and place the order for the boxes. Click here to find your team and claim them. Whether you can pay today or can't pay until the break goes down in a couple weeks, it's fine, I just need some heads up so you can get dibs on your favorite team. The break even point will be around 15 to 16 teams, so anyone who joins after that will be putting money in the pocket of Childfund International as they try to feed, clothe and shelter the thousands of children in the Philippines who remain in desperate condition after Typhoon Haiyan. BUT we can't do that until we hit the break even point and we're getting soooooo close!