Stadium Club returns with tradition it is known for — strong photography




By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor | Commentary

Tradition is one thing that, for whatever reason, resonates heavily in the sports world. The past and the present are always together in baseball, for example, as the record books can seemingly always be altered any given day or season. Times change, but certain things seemingly stay the same.

One tradition that we have come to expect in the hobby has been the strong photography found in ToppsStadium Club brand. For the last 25 years or so, collectors have cited the imagery used in the brand as iconic and memorable. Why? Because that’s what it’s always been known for, and, oddly, that hasn’t seemed to stick elsewhere — even though a strong photo can make or break any design.

This year’s Stadium Club set officially arrives today with the newest batch of photographs destined for a double-take — and it’s a set that even includes my struggling favorite player, Nick Swisher, with a photograph so Stadium Club that I feel like I might even have picked it for the brand.


While I have only seen a handful of images from this year’s brand — at least so far — it’s easy to say that the legacy that is Stadium Club is found in the new release. From the battling Griffeys on Junior’s card, to Dr. K in Shea or FernandoMania, there look to be many examples of fine photography from the past and present in this brand.

It’s ludicrous to not get out of the way of a great photograph when it comes to card design, but clearing the deck to let a great photograph power a card just doesn’t seem to happen as much as it should.

It seemingly always happens in Stadium Club, and that’s why I’ll be ripping into some packs sometime soon.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazines. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

Collector Question: Do you have a favorite Stadium Club card from this year or a past year? Tell us in the comments below …


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  1. Richard 24 June, 2015 at 11:57

    OK, where’s the rookies?
    On card autos are always nice.
    Price is something that can’t be ignored though.

  2. chrisolds 24 June, 2015 at 12:09

    Price is reasonable this year since box is 16 packs. Around $65 a box online.

    There are 44 cards of rookies in the product.

  3. David D 24 June, 2015 at 13:22

    Chris- are they sticking with “Hobby only” again this year, or is a retail version also included?

  4. Mike Pereira 24 June, 2015 at 13:45

    Usually I’m not impressed by much of what is coming out. Given up on alot of stuff due to quality vs price. But finally a great looking product that just shows you how much better a great photo can make a card look more like a piece of art. Come on that Bo Jackson is amazing. Reminds me of 2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces Football, great photos.

    Finally a set I don’t give a hoot about what autograph I get. I’m collecting it because the cards look amazing and I’m feeling an urge to maybe do a crazy pristine graded 10 set of it. And it’s a historic year for rookies. We are finally seeing all those guys we’ve been collecting for years as prospects, now as every day starters.

    Hey CHRIS OLDS you should put a section up for what rookie year do collectors think was the most talented. Can’t beat Bryant, Peterson, Franco, Gallo, Burns, Butler, Tomas, ect, crazy!!!!!!!!

  5. phillies_joe 24 June, 2015 at 16:28

    Awesome… of my all-time favorites to begin with and 2015 looks great (except the Swisher card…..LOL)


  6. Larry 24 June, 2015 at 17:58

    Awesome looking Cards!!!!!!!!!! I haven’t built a set in over 2 decades but I think I will be doing this one for sure.

  7. Ken 24 June, 2015 at 18:38

    Isn’t the George Brett card photo from a National Geographic magazine issue from the mid-to-late Seventies? I may be mistaken but I’m positive it is. I remember a documentary piece that the singer Lorde wrote her single “Royals” inspired by a photograph of George Brett signing autographs. The card photo is awfully similar to the one in the magazine.

  8. Mike Pereira 24 June, 2015 at 18:51

    Gregg Maddux looks more like my tax accountant than one of the best pitchers of all-time. And how the hell did that photographer stay that long to get that picture of Pudge. Some of these photos I have no idea how they got that angle or moment that captures the player’s personality. Break out product of the year and probadly the only one the will increase box value over the year.

  9. Larry 24 June, 2015 at 21:20

    Just checked out the picture on Kris Bryant’s card and it looks awesome, like a vintage pose from the old days. Definitely trying to get the auto version of that one. Probably his only auto card I will want and buy this year, the card just looks amazing. And I’m not even on the Bryant bandwagon.

  10. David D 24 June, 2015 at 22:46

    The card photo of George Brett DID appear in National Geographic in July 1976, and was taken by a photographer named Ted Spiegel. This prompted the singer Lorde to write a song about the Royals- and “some dude in a baseball uniform with the name Royals on it”- according to Lorde.

  11. Ross 25 June, 2015 at 01:02

    The photos are nice and all but the “design” part is pretty ugly and obnoxious. They’d be better off just ditching the lines and going text-only, though reducing the size of the names for sure. Then they wouldn’t have to squeeze longer names such as Fernando Valenzuela up there.

  12. Ed DuBois 26 June, 2015 at 11:55

    great old timers list too,I pulled a Kris Bryant Marj


    Great list of oldies in this set,I also pulled a Kris Bryant marked rookie card too

  13. Adam 25 April, 2021 at 07:19

    OK i am not here to bash but if i go out and purchase the latest issue of Beckett baseball and you guys cant even list 2015 Stadium club DON’T EVER EXPECT ME TO BUY YOUR MAGAZINE AGAIN!!!!!

    • Ryan Cracknell 25 April, 2021 at 13:57

      @Adam – Magazines have a limited amount of space and focus primarily on the latest releases from the past year or two. The Online Price Guide and annual books have a lot more depth to them as space is not an issue. Each year has 40+ new releases. That adds up fast.

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