Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Product Checklist: Braves 2013 Topps Tier One


All-Star Relics (1/1)
TOASR-CBL  Craig Kimbrel
TOASR-DU Dan Uggla

Autographs (#/199 or less)
TTA-HA Hank Aaron

Dual Autograph Relics Booklets (#/10)
TODAR-KS Craig Kimbrel & John Smoltz



Bat Knobs (1/1)
TOBK-BJU  B.J. Upton
TOBK-BMC Brian McCann
TOBK-CJ  Chipper Jones
TOBK-DJ  David Justice
TOBK-DU  Dan Uggla
TOBK-JHY Jason Heyward







Autographed Bat Knobs (1/1)
ABK-DU  Dan Uggla
ABK-HA  Hank Aaron
ABK-JH  Jason Heyward

Clear Reprint Autographs (#/25)
CRA-HA Hank Aaron

Crowd Pleasers (#/299 or less)
CPA- BM Brian McCann
CPA-DA  Dale Murphy
CPA-JS  John Smoltz
CPA-JU Justin Upton
CPA-TG Tom Glavine
CPA-TH Tim Hudson

Cut Signatures (1/1)
CS-WS  Warren Spahn

Dual Autographs (#/25)
DA-KA  Sandy Koufax/Hank Aaron
DA-KM Craig Kimbrel/Kris Medlen

On the Rise Autographs (#/399 or less)
ORA-CK  Craig Kimbrel
ORA-KM  Kris Medlen




Prodigious Patches (#/10)
PP-CJ Chipper Jones
PP-CK Craig Kimbrel


Prodigious Patches Autos (#/10)
PPAR-CK Craig Kimbrel

Tier One Relics (#/399)
TSR-JH  Jason Heyward
TSR-JS  John Smoltz
TSR-JU Justin Upton


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Everybody Loves a NASCAR Crash!

His baseball reference.com page may not list a nickname, but to many Braves fans, Elliot Johnson is simply referred to as NASCAR. He's got the wheels, he's got the look, and he even has a race-car driver sounding name. Oh, yes, he also has the talk.
   



Elliot got some love from a legend after that classic.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Heaven Sent

I recently sent a number of 1978 Topps cards to Tom over at The Angels, In Order. Over the past year I have been downsizing my collection and have broken up a number of sets- one of which was the classic offering from Topps. Tom seemed pretty excited to hear he would be receiving 55 cards to go towards his set and told me he would be sending me some Braves cards in return. I received the package a few days ago, and found myself excited over the seventy cards (!) he sent- most of which I did not have in my binders.

Needless to say, scanning and posting on 70 cards is quite a chore, so I'm going to break this up over a few posts, highlighting some of my favorites...








2006 Fleer Ultra
 137 Edgar Renteria (regular & gold)
   27 Jeff Francoeur (Gold)

2007 Fleer Ultra
 11 John Smoltz
  7 Andruw Jones
  9 Jeff Francoeur
  6 Chipper Jones (regular & gold)

While I didn't like some of the Ultra designs (fonts, mainly), I always enjoyed the photography. These cards from '06-07 are no different.

1996 Leaf Preferred
 62 Fred McGriff

I was still collecting quite a bit in '96- and I don't remember this set. I like the nice, clean design.




2007 SP Legendary Cuts
 42 Joe Adcock

Classy design; Can never go wrong with black and gold.

2012 Bowman Platinum
 18 Tommy Hanson (gold & red)
 98 Freddie Freeman (red)
BPP17 Joe Terdoslavich (purple)



























2013 Bowman Chrome Prospects
 BCP72 Christian Bethancourt

Finishes this team set!


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

At Least I Got the Blaster

Our Saturday night was going to be simple, really; dinner and a movie- with a couple of stops in between. That was, until our twelve year-old daughter began having one of those emotional roller coasters that (I'm guessing) will rear it's ugly head from time to time over the next few years. Having assured us she would be fine hanging out with her older brother, we decided to go through with our plans.

 Well- we were able to make it through three-quarters of the evening. We never made it to the movie. A call from a sobbing girl saw to it that that wouldn't happen. But that's fine- she needed mom; and it's probably a good thing-as it turns out she has the flu. Anyway, all was not lost...we had a fabulous time at dinner, were able to pick up a couple of surprises for said daughter, and I was able to pick up a 2013 Topps Update blaster. For the sake of time, I will only list the highlights from the box, which I think turned out to be a pretty good one.


I decided to open the special one-card pack first; you know, the one with the manufactured patch card. Well, it might be the one player whom I am absolutely sick of- but hey, he's a hot commodity, right?

Pack 1 Highlights:
Target Red parallels US1 Matt Harvey
#US138 Danny Salazar Gold (1080/2013)
Mini '71 #TM9 Robinson Cano
US265 Gerrit Cole

Pack 2
First Brave...US298 Luis Avilan
US152 Randy Choate (CAMO 40/99)
Postseason Heroes #PH10 Bob Gibson

Pack 3
US220 Zack Wheeler (Red)
Franchise Forerunners #FF2  Dodgers (Puig/Kemp)
Chasing History #CH147 Bob Feller







Pack 5
US20 Carlos Gomez AS (Red)~ I wanted to show it, but Brian McCann blocked me from doing so.
Making Their Mark #MM28 Nick Franklin



Pack 7
US176 Matt Lindstrom (Emerald Foil)

Pack 8
US224 Brad Miller (Red)
US87 Evan Gattis (Red)!!
US280 John Lannan (Gold 0102/2013)
Chasing History #CH130 Jackie Robinson
US255 Alex Wood RC!!

Pack 9
US259 Nolan Arenado RC
US260 Wil Myers
US180 Bryce Harper (Red)
US73 Buster Posey (Red)
Making Their Mark #MM34 Nolan Arenado
Postseason Heroes #PH3 George Brett

Pack 10
US237 Mariano Rivera CL (Red)
71 Mini #TM47 Don Mattingly

Other Reds: US52, US153, US18, US11, US210, US143, US23, US93,US144, US75, US240
My Two Cents
As I've mentioned before, this used to be my favorite set each year- until 2010 when it my box yielding nowhere even close to a set. After that fiasco, I've given up on putting together this set- or any other one, for that matter. That being said, I did enjoy busting this blaster. It was purely just for the 'enjoyment factor'- and here's to hoping that I can use some of the cards as trade bait. All cards except the Puig Patch, the Choate Camo, and lined-out cards are available- just let me know what you need. While I enjoyed pulling two red cards per pack (why, I don't know; I just recently poo-poohed the parallel's in another post), as a set collector I would have hated it- that would have been two fewer cards per pack to go towards the base set. It is what it is, though.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

New Product Checklist: The 2013 Topps Update Braves

Once my favorite product, the Update set put out by Topps has lost some of its luster for me. While I still enjoy seeing the company issuing a set that includes players not in the first two series, the number of other cards which make up the various subsets (All-Stars, Rookie Debuts, etc.) have pushed the set to a bloated 330 cards. My preference for an updated set would still be a smaller boxed set, but I can live with it being issued in packs; the one advantage is of course the opportunity to include insert cards. The one down side this year- the number of short-printed variation cards.



2013 Topps Update Braves
US45 Joey Terdoslavich- RC
US53 Craig Kimbrel AS
US87 Evan Gattis- RC
US140 Justin Upton
US173 Reed Johnson
US195 Chris Johnson
US255 Alex Wood- RC
US298 Luis Avilan
US319 Jordan Schafer








SP Variations
US53 Hank Aaron/Willie Mays
US53 Craig Kimbrel
US53 Chipper Jones















Silk Collection (numbered to /50)
SC 269 Chris Johnson
SC 273 Justin Upton




1971 Minis
TM11 Justin Upton
TM24 Greg Maddux

1971 Mini Relics
TMR-GM Greg Maddux
TMR-JU Justin Upton

1971 Mini Autos
TMA-JU Justin Upton
TMA-TG Tom Glavine









All-Star Game MVP Patches
ASMVP-12 Fred McGriff  ~I was thrilled to see the Crime Dog included on a card in the Braves uniform!

I was really disappointed to learn that there's no Braves players featured in the Franchise Forerunners set- the exception, of course, being in the hard to get auto versions...

Franchise Forerunners Dual Autos
FFA-MF Freddie Freeman/Fred McGriff

Franchise Forerunners Dual Auto Relics
FFAR-MG Brian McCann/Evan Gattis

All-Star Stitches  
ASR-CKl Craig Kimbrel

All-Star Stitches Autos
ASAR-CKl Craig Kimbrel

All-Star Jumbo Patches (numbered to /6)
ASJP-CKl Craig Kimbrel


Chasing History
CH-125 Justin Upton

Chasing History Cut Signatures
CHCS-WSP Warren Spahn










Making Their Mark
MM-45 Evan Gattis
MM-48 Craig Kimbrel

Making Their Mark Auto
MMA-Evan Gattis

Making Their Mark Auto Relics
MMAR- Evan Gattis

Pennant Chase Copper Coins (numbered to /99)
PCC-TG Tom Glavine


Postseason Heroes

PH4 John Smoltz
PH5 Greg Maddux
PH12 Deion Sanders~ there's no denying that Deion played an important part in the Braves post-season during the early 90s; however, I'd rather have seen Mark Lemke included.














Postseason Heroes Autos (numbered to /10)
PHA-DS Deion Sanders

Postseason Heroes Auto Relics (numbered to /15)
PHAR-TG Tom Glavine






Player's Ink: Jason Hursh

2013 Leaf Draft #BA-JH1 Auto Purple (Serial #13/50)



Atlanta took Jason Hursh with their first pick (31st overall, as compensation for losing Michael Bourn) in the 2013 draft. Hursh wasn't expected to go so high after having struggled during the second half of his final season at Oklahoma State, but Atlanta couldn't pass up on adding another power-arm to its system. The righty had also missed the 2012 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Atlanta hopes that Hursh will follow in the footsteps of fellow highly-drafted collegiate pitchers Mike Minor and Alex Wood-both of whom were on the fast track once drafted, and Baseball America ranks him as the organization's player from the Class of 2013 who is closest to the majors.

Signature Pitch:  Heavy fastball which induces a good share of groundballs, sits 92-94 and touches high 90s, and tails away from right-handed batters (in on lefties). Baseball American ranked it as one of the "most devastating pitches in the [2013] draft."

Opinions vary on the rest of his repertoire- although most agree that his success will depend on how well he can develop his second and third pitches. Some see him as a middle-of-the-order starter, while others see him as a power arm in the bullpen.

When in Rome...
The Braves played it safe with Hursh in his pro debut- limiting his innings to only 27 over 9 starts in Rome before shutting him down toward the end of the regular season. Jason allowed only two earned runs while striking out fifteen and walking ten. In fact, the 6'1 righty didn't allow a run in his first 18 innings (which came during his seventh start). 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Class is in Session

One of the bigger complaints I have with the hobby today (although it certainly isn't anything new) is all the parallels. And by parallels, I'm talking about the rainbow variety. We have gold, blue, black, red, green, pink, camo, sparkly, ice...please, someone, tell which color/design I'm forgetting. Yes, there are too many to even keep track of- let alone collect. 

As a team set collector, I really have no interest in chasing the rainbow- and even if I had a player who I sought out as many cards of them as I could- I wouldn't attempt that silly chase. The one type of parallel (if that's what you want to call it) that I do have an interest in is the kind which features a different photo. Is it just splitting hairs on my part? Perhaps- but at least it's a more reasonable goal than trying to get twenty parallel cards of fifteen different players.

 
At the recent Fall show, I picked up a few Gold Labels of Andruw Jones. 10 cents each!

2000 Gold Label #38 Class 2


2000 Gold Label #38 Class 3

 What lesson did our instructor, Topps, have for us in the 2000 set? That with his first home run, 'Druw was the youngest player to hit a major league homer since Larry Dierker in 1965. Oh yes, they also taught us to make sure to use a font big enough to read the copyright on the fine print at the bottom of a card. Somebody get me a magnifying glass!


1999 Gold Label #83 Class 3

Our lesson on the back of this beauty taught us that Andruw wasn't your typical pimply-faced, video game playing 19 year-old; no, this teenager displayed grace under pressure during the 1996 World Series- rocking homers in his first two at-bats. As if we hadn't heard that one before.

This is one brand name that I will be looking to add to my collection. Hopefully one day Topps will bring this one back!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Funk #289

Acquired from the Indians in November of 1962, Frank Funk spent only one season in a Braves uniform. According to the Milwaukee Journal, Funk probably would not have been acquired, if not for a falling out with Indians manager Mel McGaha. As it was, Funk did get traded from one tribe to another, and spent the 1963 season in the Braves bullpen- pitching in 25 games.

1964 Topps #289 Frank Funk


While he did have a card in the '64 Topps set, Frank did not pitch in another major league game following the 1963 season. He would, however, spend eleven seasons in the majors as a coach for four different teams.

Frank's 1964 season was spent between AAA Denver of the PCL and Toronto of the International League (which was an affiliate for multiple teams), where he would go a combined 7-10 with a 3.48 ERA over 53 games.

Elevens
While a member of the Indians, Frank put up some 'funky' final numbers during the 1961 season: 11 wins, 11 losses, and 11 saves.

Nine Days in May
On May 14, 1961, Frank entered a scoreless game in the top of the ninth and pitched seven shutout innings against the Baltimore Orioles. Cleveland scored a run in the bottom of the 15th, giving Funk his third win of the year. Eight days later, against the Minnesota Twins, Funk relieved Bob Allen in bottom of the eighth of a 5-5 game. Once again, Frank shut out the opponent- going eight scoreless innings and picking up yet another extra-inning win as Cleveland scored 2 runs in the top of the fifteenth.



Sunday, October 13, 2013

Score!

Of all the major card manufacturers, Score has to rank as my least favorite. Well, at least when we're talking about the base cards in their flagship product. I found their designs bland, the photography inferior to those used by the other manufacturers, and their use of multi-colored borders redundant. That being said, there was an offering from Score that has been highly sought-after by this collector, the 1992 Score Factory Set World Series inserts.

# B3 Lemke Leaves Twins Limp

1992 Score - Factory Inserts #B3 Mark Lemke / David Justice Front


1992 Score - Factory Inserts #B3 Mark Lemke / David Justice Back



There's a part of me that thinks the entire seven-card set needs to be a part of my collection. The Braves may have only won three of the seven games, but those losses were a part of  team history. I just couldn't do it, though. Not after all the heart-ache this team has brought upon me and other Braves fans. Perhaps one day I'll be able to get the other four cards, but for now- I'll be content just adding the cards for each of the team's three wins.


#B4 Braves Gain Series Tie
1992 Score - Factory Inserts #B4 Lonnie Smith / Brian Harper Front
1992 Score - Factory Inserts #B4 Lonnie Smith / Brian Harper Back

One of the interesting things about the three cards is that each features plays at the plate on front and back, save the back of card 5.

 The front of B4 has my all-time favorite photograph for any card. Also used by Topps on it's 1992 Stadium Club card, the viewer can just feel the bone crunching blow that Brian Harper took as Skates Smith plowed over him at home plate. The back also shows a separate play at the plate, this one a game-winner.



#B5 Braves Bomb Twins

1992 Score - Factory Inserts #B5 David Justice Front   1992 Score - Factory Inserts #B5 David Justice Back

While the back of this card doesn't feature a play at the plate- at least it does feature a World Series rarity: a catcher stealing a bag.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Faux-Food Issue Friday: Kimbrel Meadow Gold Milk Carton



"But I subscribe to the theory that you put guys in situations where they're going to be successful, and you go with it..."~ Fredi Gonzalez, following the Braves game 4 defeat.

Bruce Sutter, in 1979, pitched in 26 games in which he recorded 6 or more outs; 40 games of 4 or more outs. He won the CY Young Award that year.

Mariano Rivera: 14 postseason saves of 6 or more outs.

Where's Kimbrel?!!! 




That's the question that many fans and commentators asked as the Braves closer was warming up in the bullpen during the eighth inning of Monday night's game 4 loss. 

(TBS)


While I couldn't see it from the game feed on MLB.com, the cable broadcast showed Craig fuming in the bullpen after not having been called upon in the eighth inning. I can't blame him; after all, he reportedly told his manager prior to first pitch that he was good for two innings. And when you've got the best reliever in baseball (I know...Mo- but he's retired), it's crazy to not use him in that position. Go down swinging- not whimpering. I certainly don't blame Gonzalez for having David Carpenter in there to start the eighth, but as soon as Puig reached base, you've got to put the ball in the hands of Kimbrel.

I'll spare you any more of my bitter comments, other than it's time that certain major league managers throw out the idea of having to 'go by the book' in the postseason. I'm sure Dodger fans are glad that Don Mattingly (whose decision making often comes under scrutiny) went with Kershaw on three days rest- despite the lefty having never pitched on such short rest before.  

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Criteria

 I'm possibly in the market for an autographed card of Evan Gattis. There's only one reason- and that's  because they are selling for low prices. Even one of the hobby's bigger case breakers tweeted this evening about how disappointed he is in the selling prices for the Braves rookie. "Might want to hold his stuff,"  he tweeted. That's enough to convince me to at least look into some current auctions.

So if I'm to pull the trigger on a deal, it's going to have to come cheap. Really cheap. Because when it comes to autographed cards, two of my main concerns are price and legibility.


2013 Topps Finest Relic/Auto


I hope I don't step on anyone's toes-I certainly mean no disrespect- but I have to laugh when I hear folks say they won't buy autographed cards of players unless it's on a licensed product. Could it be because they like to see the team's logo on a helmet, or team name on the jersey? I guess the 2013 Finest auto/relic card wouldn't fit their criteria.


2013 Finest Auto


Another Finest card- this one's not too far from looking like it came out of the Panini Prizm product. That little 'A' on the helmet is barely noticeable.


2013 Panini Hometown Heroes Hometown Signatures


If I had my choice, I would go with the Finest auto/relic first, the other Finest second, and then the Panini. That's only because I like the Finest brand; it certainly has nothing to do with this Panini card being unlicensed. I really do like the design of the HH set, and if the price is/was right, I would have no qualms about purchasing one.

Even if it doesn't meet all of my criteria.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Breaking Down

My self-control must be breaking down. For the second time in as many weeks, a trip to Target has resulted in a purchase. This, after having vowed (multiple times) to not buy any more packs. It's not like I had been spending too much money on packs (or boxes, for that matter). No, my vows had everything to do with wanting to save my money for things that I really want for my collection (Braves). Oh, well, perhaps someone will want some of these...

 2013 Topps Chrome value pack.



Pack 1
#3 Jesus Montero
145 Jose Reyes
Dynamic Skill #DS-RB Ryan Braun The last insert I pulled prior to this one was a Braun card as well. Way to include two PED users in the same pack, Topps.
96 Yoenis Cespedes








Pack 2
161 Zack Greinke
83 Shin-Soo Choo
128 Anthony Rendon RC (Refractor)
192 Jake Odorizzi RC














Pack 3
194 Kevin Gausman RC
Close Connection #CC-SS Stephen Strausburg  Did the Nats shut him down for the postseason again? Oh, wait...
116 Adeiny Hechavarria RC
42 J.P. Arencibia




















Special Orange Parallel Pack
69 Brad Ziegler Refractor
19 Adrian Gonzalez Refractor
61 Jonathan Papelbon Refractor



(Ye)S I 812


Those of you who have followed my blog for a while know that I am a fan of classic rock music. And so when I downloaded the latest edition of Sports Illustrated to my iPad and saw the above photo, I couldn't help but think of one of my favorite bands while growing up, Van Halen. 

While the band, well, specifically front man David Lee Roth, often referenced beautiful girls in its lyrics, that isn't what triggered the memory. After getting fired-er, leaving the band- Roth released his first full-length solo album only months after the first Van Hagar release, 5150. Roth's album, featuring the singer with face paint and a feathered headdress- like some cannibal witch doctor-was  titled Eat 'Em and Smile. With a war of words already having been established in the press and on their records, Van Hagar then mocked Roth on their next album, which was humorously titled OU812. So...that provides the context for the title of this post.

Oh yes- Sports Illustrated...

1997 Sports Illustrated #173


Among the ocean of cards in the late 90's came Fleer' Sports Illustrated set. Produced from 1997-1999, the set included cards of many classic covers from the iconic magazine. If you have ever read, or even thumbed through SI, you are aware of the beautiful photography both on its covers and in its pages. And so the idea certainly sounded good, but I've got to admit that I was never a fan of the card set. 


HOWEVER...should there ever be a card of the latest SI cover featuring the beautiful Kate Upton along with the Upton brothers, I'd definitely buy it. For now, I'll just settle for picking up a copy of the actual magazine.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Counterparts: 1993 Finest/ 2013 Finest Braves

Twenty years after it debuted, 1993 Topps Finest baseball still has plenty of interest in the hobby- particularly with the refractors. A search of completed eBay listings will pull up some unbelievable prices being paid for the limited, shiny parallels.

Topps will celebrate the success of the initial set, which is arguably one of the most influential releases of the past thirty years, by including an insert entitled 1993 Topps Finest in its soon-to-be released 2013 Finest Baseball product. Originally scheduled to be released in August, the twenty-year anniversary edition is now set to hit the streets on October 9th.


1993 Topps Finest

1 David Justice
68 Ron Gant
85 Greg Maddux AS
87 Tom Glavine AS
101 Terry Pendleton AS
141 Deion Sanders
160 Steve Avery
166 John Smoltz
176 Mike Stanton
181 Otis Nixon










2013 Topps Finest


2013 Topps Finest Baseball Manny Machado Image
34 Jason Heyward
54 Evan Gattis
75 Justin Upton
83 Freddie Freeman

"1993 Topps Finest" Insert
93F-AS Andrelton Simmons
93F-FF Freddie Freeman
93F-JH Jason Heyward
93F-JU Justin Upton
93F-KM Kris Medlen

"1993 Topps All-Star Finest"
93AS-CK Craig Kimbrel




Autographed Rookies
RA-EG Evan Gattis

Autographed Jumbo Rookie Relics
AJR-EG Evan Gattis

Triple Autographs
TA-UUH  Justin Upton/BJ Upton/Jason Heyward


Thursday, October 3, 2013

One Score and Zero Years Ago: The 1993 Stadium Club Braves

While the third offering from Topps' High-End Stadium Club brand featured better photography, more vibrant colors and better action shots than its previous release, it still couldn't match the 'wow-factor' of the classic 1991 set.



1993 Stadium Club 1:
28 Ron Gant 38 Mike Stanton 58 Rafael Belliard 89 Melvin Nieves 111 Kent Merker 130 Mark Wohlers
151 Sid Bream 161 Jeff Reardon 172 Mark Lemke 205 Alejandro Pena 237 Pete Smith 261 Damon Berryhill 296 Tom Glavine (Member's Choice)

1993 Stadium Club 2:
309 Marvin Freeman 338 Terry Pendleton 371 Mark Davis 408 Deion Sanders 436 Jeff Blauser 450 Greg Olson 463 John Smoltz 491 Brian Hunter 541 Ryan Klekso 599 John Smoltz (Member's Choice)

1993 Stadium Club 3:
626 Steve Avery 630 Javy Lopez 638 Chipper Jones 650 Tom Glavine 660 David Justice 665 Greg Maddux 678 Otis Nixon 696 Tony Tarasco 708 Steve Bedrosian 750 Greg Maddux (Member's Choice)


Facts and Stats
 Like the first two sets, the backs of the '93 cards contain a small replica of each players 'Rookie Card' (first Topps' card, that is!) as well as unique charts featuring stats that you may not find on any other cards. There's also a stat line for each player's 1992 season, along with righty/lefty splits for both pitchers and hitters. 

Favorite Back Fact or Stat:
Marvin Freeman:  "Since 1988-92, Marvin has pitched effectively on grass" Like, wow, man! Far out!
1992 on Grass: 86 Games, 8 W, 3 Saves, 2.68 ERA.  Um, according to baseball reference...no, he didn't. I think whoever did the back of his card had been smoking some bud on the job.

Damon Berryhill: "Damon hits well in front of big crowds"
1992 Stats with attendance of 40,000+   .330, 3 HR, .377 OBP, .536 SLG   I guess there is a stat for everything imaginable.

Favorite Photos:

#172 Mark Lemke- Far from what I would call a photogenic face, Lemmer always seems to have the best cards. It's some weird kind of cardboard law.


#205 Alejandro Pena- Talk about focused! He's like the Harlem Globetrotter of MLB.



Child's Play

Topps distributed a 100-card Stadium Club "Toys R Us" boxed set, which sold at Toys 'R  Us Stores and featured many rookies and top prospects. With the store name in the upper right-hand corner and a gold foil-stamped (backwards) R next to the player's name, the cards have a distinct "Stadium Club" look to them. Backs, likewise, are colorful and contain 1992 stat lines, complete career stat lines, and a few facts about the player.

4 Ryan Klesko 14 David Justice 20 Melvin Nieves 55 Mark Wohlers 82 Deion Sanders 92 Javier Lopez 95 Steve Avery

Exclusivity 

Topps' distributed a four-sport, 59-card set to those who signed up for their Topps Stadium Club Members club. Similar to the regular '93 issue, the Members Only cards feature a gold foil stamp beneath the players' name which reads Members Only. Cards are not numbered.

NoNumber Greg Maddux

Way to Create Confusion, Topps!

In March of 1993-one month after Series 1 hit the streets- Topps released a special hobby-only boxed set referred to as the 1993 Stadium Club Jack Murphy. The card backs themselves look like the '92 TSC, and even show a copyright of 1992, but are considered a 1993 product. The set contained a great mixture of All-Stars, Team USA players, draft picks, and cards highlighting the 1992 post-season. Oh, yeah, it also contains (in my opinion) the best rookie card of Derek Jeter.

37 Mark Lemke 62 Damon Berryhill 65 Jamie Arnold 86 John Smoltz 92 Otis Nixon 102 Terry Pendleton 106 Tom Glavine 135 John Smoltz 152 Sean Smith 172 Francisco Cabrera 182 Lonnie Smith 185 Damon Hollins

Let's Go Team! 1993 Stadium Club Team Sets

Retail giant Walmart got into the action during the 1993 baseball season, selling exclusive team sets of 16 different major league teams. Packaged in blister packs, the cards are similar to the Toys R Us in their look and feel. John Smoltz, Chipper Jones, Ryan Klesko and Javy Lopez also signed cards, which were used as pack-toppers in a number of Braves team sets.

1 Tom Glavine 2 Bill Pecota 3 David Justice 4 Mark Lemke 5 Jeff Blauser 6 Ron Gant 7 Greg Olson 8 Francisco Cabrera 9 Chipper Jones  10 Steve Avery 11 Kent Mercker 12 John Smoltz 13 Pete Smith 14 Damon Berryhill 15 Sid Bream 16 Otis Nixon 17 Mike Stanton 18 Greg Maddux 19 Jay Howell 20 Rafael Belliard 21 Terry Pendleton 22 Deion Sanders 23 Brian Hunter 24 Marvin Freeman 25 Mark Wohlers 26 Ryan Klesko 27  Javy Lopez 28 Melvin Nieves 29 Tony Tarasco 30 Ramon Caraballo