Tuesday, November 4, 2008

1993 Stadium Club First Day Issue

This is an early example of baseball card companies trying to create scarcity in a product this is produced like a commodity. In 1993 through 1995, and again in 1998 to 2000, Topps put a foil label on the Stadium Club cards they made on the first day of issue. I have no doubt (not much anyway) that the cards so labeled were actually made on the first day but really, what difference would it make. I'm sure Topps got this idea from the postage stamp collecting world where first day covers are a big collecting item. In that world, a big deal is made of the first day issued stamps as usually they come on a post card or envelope which is canceled with a special stamp showing the date.

Topps idea in 1993 was to put the FDI stamp on 2,000 cards. Beckett lists these as being worth 8 to 20 times the base card. It also says to beware of transferred FDI logos. I know mine are genuine because I got them in a pack. They were seeded into packs a 1:24. Did they really only produce 2,000 sets on the first day?

In the 1998 to 2000 run, they upped the ante on these. In addition to the FDI logo, the cards were numbered, for example, to only 200 in 1997. Did they really only make 200 sets on the first day? Are these the first 200 sets made? Who knows? Who cares? In 2000, there were also Stadium Club Chrome cards, and FDI Chrome cards. I actually have a First Day Issue Stadium Chrome Refractor card, numbered to 25. Unfortunately, it's only Ryan Klesko, but Beckett says it's worth $20. The 2000 cards don't have a gold foil logo like the earlier cards. It has "First Day Issue" printed in gold foil. Probably harder to counterfeit.

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