2001 Stadium Club #7. A great card of a Hall of Famer. It doesn't get much better than that. Or does it?! The long debated argument of which Stadium Club #7 reigns supreme will finally be settled...right here, right now. For those of you who don't know, Stadium Club was released from 1991-2003, and again in 2008. I've set up a bracket showdown to find out what truly is the best #7 card in Stadium Club. Since there were 14 releases, two cards get a bye. The first bye goes to the card shown above, since it is a Larkin card in Nachos Grande's contest. The second bye goes to the 2008 Torii Hunter. 2008 SC is such a weird set, I had to give it a bye. Filling out the rest of the bracket, we have:
Let's get down to business.
Winner: 2006 Ray Durham - The layout of the card works perfectly. The throwing hand is opposite the TSC logo and it's a great shot. The Salmon just doesn't have a whole lot going on. (credit to Checkoutmycards.com for the image)
Winner: 2000 Jose Offerman - I couldn't find an image of the regular version, so I went with the Chrome version. You still get the idea. It's a fielding action shot. That typically wins over a plain pitcher's motion.
Winner: 2002 Alex Rodriguez - Neither card is fantastic, but the A-Rod looks less weird than the Bichette.
Winner: 1991 Dan Plesac - As much as I like Pudge, the cutoff bat makes me mad. Catching Plesac just before a sneeze puts this one over the top.
Winner: 1994 Joe Oliver - This was a no brainer. Strawberry as a Yankee or Oliver mashing the ball. Oliver with the ball mashed on the bat all day long.
Winner: Rusty Greer - Even though this was the best pair in the group, Greer wins by a long shot. No disrespect to the Abbott card, though. In a different draw, it would have gone farther.
At the end of round 1, the bracket is now down to this:
Winner: 2001 Barry Larkin - Who doesn't love interleague play? By the way, this picture likely was taken on June 7, 2000 when Larkin stole second base in the third inning. For the record, that's Jose Valentin in the #22 jersey.
Winner: 2000 Jose Offerman - The blurred headachey numbers in the background and the gigantic man mound on A-Rod turn me off. By the way, that's Brian Hunter of the Braves making a cameo on the Offerman card.
Winner: 1994 Joe Oliver - Again, the ball will forever be in a state of "mashed" on this card. Easy win.
Winner: 1998 Rusty Greer - Even Torii knew he couldn't win this one.
The final four:
Winner: 2001 Barry Larkin - Both are plays at second base featuring cameos by other players in interleague play. So, how did I determine the Larkin was superior? The dust. Look at the dust cloud. Fantastic!
Winner: 1998 Rusty Greer - Joe Oliver may have mashed the ball, but Rusty Greer was there to rob him of glory.
It all comes down to this:
Winner: 1998 Rusty Greer - Despite the Barry Larkin being my assigned card and Nachos Grande's favorite player, the Greer is flat out amazing The are no less than ten people in the picture trying to catch the ball. Add to that the fact that it looks like Greer is 5 feet off the ground, and I'm sold.
Congratulations 1998 Rusty Greer, you are the best Stadium Club #7 card in history!!!