Friday, April 26, 2019

Red Barn Battle - 1996 Stadium Club Vs 2010 Topps

Time to wrap things up with the last two packs I picked up on my Spring Training trip. Topps beat Stadium Club earlier, so let's see if this time will be any different.

The last battle worked out well because both packs had the same number of cards in them. That's not the case with these two, so I'm going to do something different. I want to see which deck packed the most star power, so I'm going to look up the career WAR of every player (as of 2018), and take the average per card. The more stars, the higher the average WAR, right? I'm also going to compare the total number of All-Star appearances for the players.

I'll start out with the pack of 1996 Topps Stadium Club Series 1, showing off two cards at a time.

#175 Tyler Green (-0.5 WAR, 1 AS)
#46 John Mabry (-2.3 WAR, 0 AS)
OK, so Stadium Club is not starting off strong, giving me two players who finished their careers with negative WAR values. At least Green breaks the All-Star bubble with one selection to the Midsummer Classic. (Totals: -2.8 WAR, 1 All-Star selection)

#211 Jay Buhner (23.0 WAR, 1 AS)
#76 Steve Parris (5.0 WAR, 0 AS)
That's more like it! Wait, Jay Buhner only made one All-Star team? I'm rather shocked by this. But Buhner and Parris get Stadium Club out of the hole and provide a good foundation. (Totals: 25.2 WAR, 2 All-Star selections)

#42 Tony Clark (12.4 WAR, 1 AS)
#123 Derek Jeter (72.4 WAR, 14 AS)
Boom! Stadium Club may have just ended this battle early with a non-rookie card of the 1996 Rookie of the Year and future Hall of Famer. Even a Red Sox fan like me can appreciate the fact this card makes the pack worth every cent. (Totals: 110.0 WAR, 17 All-Star selections)

#9 Juan Gonzalez (38.7 WAR, 3 AS)
#18 Bill Pulsipher (0.5 WAR, 0 AS)
Juan Gonzalez keeps the party going! (Totals: 148.7 WAR, 20 All-Star selections)

#43 Bill Swift (20.8 WAR, 0 AS)
#18 Bill Pulsipher (0.5 WAR, 0 AS)
Wow, Stadium Club, way to throw a double of Bill Pulsipher at me to wrap things up. (Totals: 170.5 WAR, 20 All-Star selections)

1996 Topps Stadium Club Series 1

170.5 WAR (Ave: 17.05 WAR)
20 All-Star Game selections

It's 2010 Topps' turn now! Can Topps overcome the mighty Jeter?

#515 Seattle Mariners - N/A
#650 Dustin Pedroia (52.1 WAR, 4 AS)

Right off the bat the Topps deck forces a judgement call. How to score this one? On one hand, it's a team card. However, since I'm judging by star power, you can't do much better than these two Hall of Famers. The combined WAR of Griffey, Ichiro, and Pedroia would already exceed the total for the entire Stadium Club deck. In the interest of keeping this battle somewhat fair, I'm not going to count team cards at all. Pedroia is still an excellent start though! (Totals: 52.1 WAR, 4 All-Star selections)

#657 Chris Young (17.3 WAR, 1 AS)
#590 Ryan Howard (15 WAR, 3 AS)
Ryan Howard only accumulated 15 total WAR? Wow...for comparison, Mike Trout's seasonal high was 10.5! (Totals: 84.4 WAR, 8 All-Star selections)

#485 Jesus Flores (0.9 WAR, 0 AS)
#428 Baltimore Orioles - N/A
Another team card, this one commemorating Cal Ripken's legendary streak. I'm glad I decided against counting team cards, but this basically takes away Topps' two card advantage. (Totals: 85.3 WAR, 8 All-Star selections)

#554 Ramon Hernandez (21.9 WAR, 1 AS)
#417 Dallas Braden (5.0 WAR, 0 AS)

More unexpected WAR craziness - Raise your hand if you would have swapped Ryan Howard straight up for Ramon Hernandez in 2010. Yet Hernandez by virtue of defense had a better WAR. (Totals: 112.2 WAR, 9 All-Star selections)

#T1 Ryan Braun (46.4 WAR, 6 AS)
Lance Berkman (52.1 WAR, 6 AS)
Topps puts this battle away for good with a pair of 6-time All-Stars. (Totals: 210.7 WAR, 21 All-Star selections)

#546 Bud Norris (5.3 WAR, 0 AS)
#627 Jeremy Hermida (2.7 WAR, 0 AS)
Fun fact: I have 4 or 5 degrees of separation with Hermida. My wife's aunt is married to one of Jeremy's relatives. ( I forget exactly how, a cousin or something I think.)  Not a bad way to wrap things up, if I do say so myself! (Totals: 218.7 WAR, 21 All-Star selections)

2010 Topps Series 2

218.7 WAR (Ave: 21.87 WAR)
21 All-Star Game selections

Topps wins, and sweeps the two game series!

Who's #100 Contest

We're getting down to the wire! Only one more clue after today!

Clue #1: He's a former All-Star.
Clue #2: He was once traded for a former Cy Young Award winner.
Clue #3: He was almost traded for a Hall of Famer.
Clue #4: He was drafted by Texas Rangers. 
Clue #5: He has never played for the Boston Red Sox.
Clue #6: He has played in both the American and National Leagues.
Clue #7: He was born in Northern California.

Here's your 3-point clue:

Clue #8: He once struck out 21 batters in a minor league game.

That should narrow down the field a bit! You can probably guess the position he played now. Remember, you can also score points by correctly guessing the year and brand of the card. Those extra points could be the difference maker!


  1. That was a really solid pack of 2010 Topps, never seen that Mariners team card either!

  2. 2 solid packs there. An epic battle!
    You're looking at a 1987 Fleer Star Stickers card of Dave Righetti. Any contest that forces me to learn something new about Sparky Lyle is a great contest! Looking forward to the haiku.

    1. For me, learning about the Rod Carew "almost trade" was very cool - I'm a huge Yankee fan and had never heard of that one.

  3. I'm a huge fan of the 3D cards from 2010 Topps. I happen to have the complete set and they are something special. Sadly, no Red Sox are featured.

  4. Love the look of that SC Jeter. Very nice action shot.