1994 Topps Stadium Club Series 1 Baseball Review

Since its debut in 1991, the Stadium Club brand has always been about great photography. 1994 Topps Stadium Club Series 1 Baseball tows the line, although it also shows signs of how the brand was shifting to a more complicated, insert-driven focus.

Series One boxes contain 24 packs of 12 cards. The set consists of 270 cards, which are primarily player cards but also include a couple of subsets: Topps Trios and HR Club. League leaders and rookie debuts are also noted on the regular player cards.

My box broke down pretty well, with 199 different base cards. Duplicates were a little on the heavy side with 55 doubles and six triples. However the frustrating part here was the fact that the glossy finish on many of the cards stuck together. When I pulled them apart they left noticable damage on about 50 cards so my wantlist for the set is much bigger than it might have otherwise been.

As always, the photography is stellar. Here's a couple of my favorites:

1994 Topps Stadium Club Baseball Base Kirt Manwaring

1994 Topps Stadium Club Baseball Base Omar Vizquel

Other than maybe his mamma, when was the last time anyone got excited about a Kirt Manwaring card? And the Vizquel? That card, my friends, tells the story of a double play. And these are just four examples of the great photography. While the set might not be stellar 100 percent of the time, I'd say it's at least "great" on 80 percent of them.

1994 Topps Stadium Club Series 1 Baseball card fronts offer something a little different. The only info you get about the player is their name written in a font akin to old label makers. Last names are accented with red foil.

I'm not a big fan of the card backs. All the different fonts make them look far too busy and the info is too confusing in the given format, although I always like a second photo.

1994 marks the first year Stadium Club had pack-inserted parallels. And in their infancy, parallels were boring. Every pack has a Golden Rainbow card that is the same as the regular base card except the red foil on the last name is, well, golden. Each box also has one First Day Issue card that has a small holofoil stamp at the top of the card.

Dugout Dirt is another basic insert that contains a similar style card front to go with a caricature cartoon on the back. Inserted one in six packs, I got the exact amount one would expect. The problem was all four were of Mike Piazza.

The final insert set are the Super Team Cards. This was an interactive program where each team was represented. If your team made it to the post season you could redeem it for a prize. The Grand Prize was a complete 720-card set with a special World Series stamp. Seeing as how these expired in January, 1995, I was very pleased to find a Baltimore Orioles card featuring a beautiful action shot of Cal Ripken hitting.

With the introduction of parallels, this was the beginning of Stadium Club starting to lose its focus. In doing what everyone else was doing, it was starting to acquire a new identity, one that followed a standard rather than setting it, one that would eventually lead to the brand's demise (at least for a time).

The story of this box was the damage caused by cards sticking together. It was more than an isolated case and I suspect it's probably pretty widespread among the remaining boxes that sit unopened. So beware, although seeing as how the boxes can easily be found for under $20, it's still a solid deal for a whack of gorgeous cards.

1994 Topps Stadium Club Series 1 Baseball Box Breakdown:

Packs per box: 24
Cards per pack: 12
Total cards: 290

Cards in set: 270
Singles: 199
Doubles: 55
Triples+: 6

Inserts: 30

  • Golden Rainbow (1:1): 24 (2. Rick Wilkins, 4. Gary Sheffield, 11. Luis Polonia, 18. Jay Bell, 36. Tim Salmon, 44. Rich Amaral, 72. Eric Young, 81. Felix Fermin, 95. David Segui, 146. Luis Alicea, 155. Danny Dautista, 156. Randy Velarde, 179. Aaron Sele, 191. Rich Gossage, 203. Will Clark, 211. Chuck Finley, 214. Tony Fernandez, 224. Kent Hrbek, 241. Greg McMichael, 243. Tim Pugh, 247. Kevin Baez, 259. Barry Bonds "HR Club", 260. Ron Gant "HR Club", 261. Juan Gonzalez "HR Club")
  • First Day Issue (1:24): 1 (115. Phil Plantier)
  • Super Team Card (1:24): 1 (15. Baltimore Orioles [Cal Ripken Jr.])
  • Dugout Dirt (1:6): 4 (1. Mike Piazza) (4)
1994 Barry Bonds Topps Stadium Club First Day Issue
1994 Barry Bonds Topps Stadium Club First Day Issue
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1994 Tony Gwynn Topps Stadium Club First Day Issue #151
1994 Tony Gwynn Topps Stadium Club First Day Issue #151
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1994 Barry Bonds Topps Stadium Club First Day Issue
1994 Barry Bonds Topps Stadium Club First Day Issue
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1994 Bo Jackson Topps Stadium Club First Day Issue
1994 Bo Jackson Topps Stadium Club First Day Issue
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1994 Topps Stadium Club Jumbo Packs Team Series BaseBall NEW Sealed #MA
1994 Topps Stadium Club Jumbo Packs Team Series BaseBall NEW Sealed #MA
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1994 BARRY BONDS STADIUM CLUB MEMBERS ONLY #532 PSA 10  GIANTS POP 6   (307)
1994 BARRY BONDS STADIUM CLUB MEMBERS ONLY #532 PSA 10 GIANTS POP 6 (307)
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FRANK THOMAS #267 TOPPS STADIUM CLUB 1994 BASEBALL CARD NRMT-MT
FRANK THOMAS #267 TOPPS STADIUM CLUB 1994 BASEBALL CARD NRMT-MT
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KEN GRIFFEY, JR. #85 TOPPS STADIUM CLUB 1994 BASEBALL CARD NRMT-MT
KEN GRIFFEY, JR. #85 TOPPS STADIUM CLUB 1994 BASEBALL CARD NRMT-MT
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MIKE PIAZZA #266 TOPPS STADIUM CLUB 1994 BASEBALL CARD NRMT-MT
MIKE PIAZZA #266 TOPPS STADIUM CLUB 1994 BASEBALL CARD NRMT-MT
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SANDY ALOMAR #144 TOPPS STADIUM CLUB 1994 BASEBALL CARD NRMT-MT
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BARRY BONDS #259 TOPPS STADIUM CLUB 1994 BASEBALL CARD NRMT-MT
BARRY BONDS #259 TOPPS STADIUM CLUB 1994 BASEBALL CARD NRMT-MT
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FRANK THOMAS #267 TOPPS STADIUM CLUB 1994 BASEBALL CARD NRMT-MT
FRANK THOMAS #267 TOPPS STADIUM CLUB 1994 BASEBALL CARD NRMT-MT
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