Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Mid-'90s Revival

You heard it here last: Andre Dawson is in the Hall of Fame. And that's it. I'm strongly considering opening up a Cards on Cards Hall of Fame, where the only entrance requirements are that you have to be at least 5 years removed from professional baseball and that you cannot be a member of that "other" Hall of Fame.

I'll save that for another day, however. Today we're here to talk about the 1995 Stadium Club High Series box that was given to me as part of a birthday present. As many have assuredly notice, The Collective Troll has been on a mid-'90s box busting binge and I felt there was no better time than to talk about this box. Unfortunately, I just can't bring myself to recount the gory details of all 24 packs of this box, so I'm going to do a dreaded summary post instead. It's something I swore I'd never do, but trust me... it's for the best. You can see one of the packs that I pulled over at A Pack a Day.

The breakdown: Each pack contains 13 cards. Multiply that by 24 and you get 312 cards. There are no common inserts and no parallels in these packs (I'll get to that in a sec) so we're talking about 300+ base cards. There are only 135 cards in the high series set, but with typical '90s collation, there is probably no way I even got close to completing a set, let alone two. For instance, I know for a fact that I did not get a card of coverboy Shawn Green.

The "hits": Each pack carries a stated 1 in 24 chance at pulling a "Power Zone" card as well as the same odds for pulling a "Crystal Ball" card. As you can see, the Crystal Ball cards are not extremely impressive (and neither was Cordova and his career.)

This is impressive, however! Or... some other word that escapes me right now. I can't think straight. Too many explosions! I received the expect one Power Zone and one Crystal Ball card in the box - no more, no less.

The Cardinals: I only grabbed a total of four unique Cardinals cards, though including dupes there were eleven in the box. I haven't yet scrutinized the checklist, but I would not be surprised if I fell short of the team set. Ken Hill is featured on this "Trans Action" card which depicts players that were recently traded in rather eye-gouging red and silver foil that detracts from the photo. This commemorates Hill's return to the Cards after a few productive years with the Expos.

Tom Henke was near the end of his career when he in St. Louis, but he was productive in his time with the Cards as closer. He helped bridge the gap between Lee Smith and Dennis Eckersley, both Hall of Famers in some respect (hopefully Lee will get there.)

Tripp Cromer had a weird name. I remember his name being striking when he was a minor leaguer but have no recollection of ever seeing him play for the Cards. I also paid less attention to sports during this time than any other time in my life.

More bad red and silver foil here. Topps opts for the ransom note style font on these not-so-"extreme" cards. Is the brick wall behind Lankford in the photo a sign that this picture was taken at Wrigley Field? I am not very good at picking up on what stadium is what.

The base cards: Here's a sampling of some notable cards. I ended up pulling as many as 5 or 6 copies of a lot of these and I'm sure a lot of this stuff will end up in padded envelopes of various sizes and addresses.

Dave Winfield is trying to convince the camera guy and anyone who might have this card fall into their laps that he is an expert at bunting the ball. He doesn't really look like he's convinced himself, though.

I wonder what happed to Eric of The Pettitte Pursuit. Maybe he finally caught the guy?

Extreme Larkin! I always found a way to resent Larkin because he was always threatening to dethrone the Wizard and even found time to steal a lot of his All-Star votes. He made it to plenty of All-Star Games and even snagged a league MVP award, so he's a likely Hall of Famer... I guess. Grr.

Rivera looks so young and small here.

This one commemorates Larry Walker's move to the Colorado Rockies where he spent the bulk of his career. Walker retired as a Cardinal, of course, and I hope he makes it to the Hall someday.

Who would win in a fight: Kirby Puckett, Kirby the Nintendo character or Jigglypuff from Pokemon?

This is a pretty cool shot of skinny Larry.

More good photography... I'll try and breeze through these.

Why does Gant have his eyes closed? I wonder if this play led him to be moved to the Cardinals.

Hard Hittin' Mark Whiten in his post-Cardinals days.

And Lee Arthur Smith. Remember what I said about the Hall of Fame?

And finally, here's Tony Gwynn, who is apparently playing in front of one teammate in the dugout and some sort of ghost in the stands.

As I mentioned, these cards will likely start finding their ways into the stacks of cards I trade out in the near future. If you're someone that I trade with regularly and do not want anything to do with cards from this set, please let me know. I promise I won't send any pixelated blobs or the ghost of Kirby Puckett after you.


kevincrumbs said...

I laughed out loud at that Albert Belle explosion card.

Collective Troll said...

I actually have that Belle card in my dusty Albert PC... I'm glad someone else has the mid-90s box breaking fever! oh, Jigglypuff wins all!

Erin said...

Jigglypuff. Duh.

ttyl2535 said...

I think Topps should have stop with 1991 when making Staduim Club.