Tuesday, August 05, 2008

1997 Stadium Club Baseball Series 2

As far as sets go, 1997 Stadium Club isn't very significant. The design is solid with the brand's trademark great photography but there's little that pops out and makes you go, "Wow!" But that's the "big hit" mindset speaking. As far as set-building goes, it still wallows in the "Eh!" range. Spread over two series, the checklist tops out at only 395 cards - fine for a single-series release but too small for a double dip.

If the set as a whole is bland, then Series 2 on its own is even weaker. The base set checklist offers only a handful of HOFers or future HOFers like Maddux, Boggs, Gwynn, Sandberg and Guerrero. There's no rookies to be had. Not a single one.

How's that for a stellar introduction. I know I'd want to take the stage after that one. Time to tear in.

321. Robb Nen - One of the dominant closers for the era. Pictured in a solid action shot, albeit one that's been done many times over.

214. Greg Vaughn - Never lived up to the hype, although when he was on his game Vaughn was quite the slugger.

228. Alex Fernandez - Another over-hyped prospect from the same time. Injuries'll get ya' every time. But at least he gave us this boring posed portrait.

350. John Vander Wal - Bor...Wait a second, what's that I see in the top corner? Let's zoom in for a closer look.

This is what I loved about Stadium Club. There's a lot of good action shots out there on cards. But how many tell a story? This one's all about the fans. The kiddies have a "Holy, cow I might get a ball." fear about them. The lady, well I think she's yelling something else I won't write here. And Mr. Sunglasses Around the Neck, I can't see the face but the hands flung up in the air make me think you're on the verge of peeing them there shorts. Classic stuff.
381. Gary Sheffield - Stadium Slugger - This is definitely the pack for the Marlins fans out there. Eleven years ago this would have been a sweet pack seeing as how the Fish would go on to win the World Series then proceed to be dismantled. The Stadium Slugger subset is the easy-to-find shortprint subset in the series.
So far it's all National Leaguers. But not so fast
200. Ivan Rodriguez - Nice action shot, poor framing. I'm wanting to see more of the play rather than the field.
369. Mark Loretta - Trivia tidbit from the back of the card for all you Loretta stalkers - "Swatted .356 after the sixth inning" [presumably in 1996]. Give the stats guy a raise.
334. Mark Langston - Man the Angels have changed their official name in the last decade. Take a peek on your 2008 Upper Deck cards. They're simply referred to as the Angels.
357. Orel Hershiser is a classy guy.
Well the melodramatics of the Vander Wal saved this pack from being a routine mix of great photos, solid design and boring most everything else for Stadium Club. Hopefully the remaining couple of packs I have sitting here will be a little better.


Steve Gierman said...

That kid in front of Mr. Sunglasses looks like Gollum.

dayf said...

I needs that ball, my presssiousss!

Andy said...

You seem to have missed the fact that we can actually see some nice through-the-shirt boobage to the right. I mean--as boobage goes it's not all that special, and doesn't hold a candle to what my wife has going on, but it's certainly an odd thing to see on a baseball card.