This edition of Baseball Card of the Week features another favorite of mine and it was and still is one of the most popular cards from Topps’ inaugural Stadium Club set. This card is none other than Nolan Ryan #200. And he’s wearing a tuxedo!
1991 Topps Stadium Club was Topps’ first venture into the premium card market and it came two years after Upper Deck debuted in the baseball card market with their own premium brand featuring higher quality cardstock, crisp photography and bright white borders. However Topps, unlike Upper Deck, added full-bleed photography (borderless images) and foil-stamping in the trim areas to give the set a little extra oomph.
All of that seemed to work because I remember forking over $5 a pack for 1991 Topps Stadium Club Series 1 when I could get the basic Topps brand for 50 cents a pack. Five dollars per pack doesn’t seem like much now but at 9 years old (my age at the release), spending that kind of cheese was a week’s worth of taking out the trash and doing the dishes.
But, Stadium Club changed the way collectors bought and even sold cards and we’ve never looked back and this Nolan Ryan card will always be a reminder of that.