Thursday, September 13, 2012

30 Year Top 50: 1992 Topps Stadium Club Dome

48th on my list is the 1992 Topps Stadium Club Dome set.  This was an interesting set from the day that it hit the stores back in the spring of 1992.  Why?  The design of the cards is actually the same as the 1991 Topps Stadium Club set and Topps had originally designated the set as a 1991 release.  Now, if you go back, even just a few years, this used to be a very common practice.  The calendar year would change and card companies would post date the card release back a few weeks.  

Why didn't it work in the case of the Stadium Club Dome?  Well, Topps had released their 1992 Stadium Club product in January of that year and this 1991 release followed it by about eight weeks.  Card collectors will argue over all sorts of things, but the Stadium Club Dome set does not really have an argument for being a 1991 release other than the fact that it shares a design with the 1991 Stadium Club base set.  

Now, there were more interesting things about the set other than it's release date.  This set also had cool packaging, cool rookies, and one of the biggest flops in all of baseball draft history.  So, let's start with the easy stuff first.  The product was sold as a set and came in a cool box that was in the shape of the Toronto SkyDome.  It may be a large concrete dump right now, but in 1991 it was new, modern, and incredible.  

1992 Stadium Club Dome Toronto SkyDome Set Box

The other cool part of this release was the rookie cards.  The set was comprised solely of the 1991 American and National League All-Stars, the USA Baseball team, and a whole bundle of draft picks.  At the time of the sets release there were three important rookie cards in the set.  The two that stayed relevant the longest were the Manny Ramirez and Shawn Green rookies.  Manny Ramirez's most important rookie card is the 1992 Bowman and Green is a toss up between anything released in 1992.  There is also an early Jason Giambi card in the set which matches his 1991 Topps Traded set card.  

1992 Topps Stadium Club Dome Manny Ramirez 

1992 Topps Stadium Club Dome Shawn Green 

The hottest rookie card at the time of this sets release actually belonged to a Yankees draft pick from my adopted home state of North Carolina.  Brien Taylor was the first selection in the 1991 draft.  He was immediately labeled a can't miss prospect and people snatched up his cards.  Out of high school, Taylor threw in the high 90s and Scott Boras said that he was the best high school pitcher he had ever seen.  He actually started out strong in the minors, but was injured in a fight during the off-season while he was out with his brother at a bar.  During the fight Taylor damaged his shoulder and was never the same player.  He eventually became the second first over all draft pick not to reach the majors.  

1992 Topps Stadium Club Dome Brien Taylor 

His cards are worth pocket change now, but I still really enjoy look at this card from time to time.  It still amazes me how much money and time people pour into finding cards of minor leaguers when there are just as many who have gone the way of Brien Taylor and not Mike Trout. 

Like the 1992 Stadium Club Dome set?  Not appearing in my countdown is the 1990 Fleer set.  Just like the 1992 Topps Stadium Club Dome set, this release has some very solid rookies.  In fact, one could argue that the rookies in the 1990 Fleer Set are better than the 1992 Stadium Club Dome set.  The rookies included: Sammy Sosa, Frank Thomas, and Juan Gonzalez.  Not too shabby.  Also, another huge flop.  During the 1990 season, the Yankees used Kevin Maas to replace the often injured Don Mattingly in the lineup.  Maas went on to hit 21 home runs in what amount to about a half of season.  Collectors went crazy for Maas cards, but luckily he had a card in almost every 1990 set.  Plus, the next season he only hit 23 home runs playing full time.  Maas continued to decline and spent his last few years bouncing around from team to team.  

1990 Fleer George Canale/Kevin Maas 


  1. I need to find the Dome set online. Great post.

    1. They are super cheap. There is also a Stadium Club Murphy.

  2. Skydome might be a concrete dump, but it is my homefield concrete dump. It's the building I've seen Grey Cups in. It's been the building where I've been part of the most consistently loud crowd in my life (Wrestlemania in '02). I've squealed like a schoolgirl there when Gregg Zaun knocked an extra-inning walk-off grand slam, and when Verlander got Rajai Davis out for a no-no. It's still a good place to watch a game, but it really feels like your generic multi-purpose stadium with a retracting roof. I guess the appeal now comes from there not being too many baseball/football stadiums left.

    I'm rambling.

    But boy, seeing that box takes me back. I don't think I saw that anywhere in town for less than $50.00 at the time. After a quick trip to ebay, I confess that I'm really tempted to scratch a 20-year itch. It's tempting to go through those draft picks and wonder "whatever happened to them and their big league dreams?".

    1. Cool post about the SkyDome. Stadiums age, but there are always lots of great memories. I grew up watching the Cardinals in Busch Stadium II which was a concrete cookie cutter. The team did a nice job of fixing it up once the football Cardinals left for Arizona.

      The set is a great pick up for memories alone. Lots of great names and cool 90s paisley shirts on the draft pick cards.

  3. I just purchased this set... without all of the key cards. That's what I get for not looking through the set first. Oh well... at least it didn't cost me much.

    As for the set... love early 90's Stadium Club products. Great job on the set review. I love reading other blogs that can appreciate some of the all-time busts like... Kevin Maas and Brien Taylor.