Wander Franco is the highest-ranked prospect of this generation, headlining the 2022 release of Topps Stadium Club Baseball. That is generating a good deal of excitement for the release.
Stadium Club theme cards have a minimalist design for the photography center stage. As of right now, Topps will release the 2022 Stadium Club set on July 6, 2022.
Topps Stadium Club Baseball made its debut in 1991. It sported a much different look than the traditional Topps cards. The Stadium Club series featured full-bleed photos, making the cards borderless. The simple design highlights the photography.
Topps’ 1991 Stadium Club release was a response to the newly formed Upper Deck Company. The California-based company had commenced releasing premium-quality baseball cards in 1989. Upper Deck’s cards were more expensive. However, they were printed on higher-quality paper, featured sleeker designs with front and back photos, and included a small hologram meant to stop counterfeit cards.
The Stadium Club series was released annually from 1991 to 2003. By 2014, they revived the set and continue to put it out today. Additionally, Topps started releasing a Stadium Club Chrome line two years ago.
The biggest draw of the Stadium Club series is the photography. The action shots showcase pivotal plays’ celebrations and snapshots containing raw emotions.
The base cards have a glossy finish, sleek lines, and no borders. The text on the cards displays the player’s name, team name, position designation, and a simple team logo.
The drawback of the 2021 Stadium Club release concerns investment. Past hobby box releases have held their value or increased marginally. If you’re looking to hold on to hobby boxes to flip at a future date, you’re more likely to turn a profit on releases that feature the most popular rookies — think 2019, not 2016. Therefore, many investors won’t bother with Topps Stadium Club, and that’s ok.
July 6, 2022, is the 2022 Topps Stadium Club release date. The date is subject to change, but it should be around that time. It usually is. We expect the 2022 Stadium Club release to include hobby and retail boxes like previous editions.
Topps has not released details on the 2022 Stadium Club retail boxes yet, but the contents are likely similar to the 2021 release. We’ll update this when we hear more. For now, here’s an idea of what to expect.
300 cards make up the base set for the 2022 release of Topps’ Stadium Club. In addition, there are several inserts, parallels, and autographs. Meanwhile, the image and design variations carry a print run of 200 cards each.
The 2022 release offers a few notable inserts. Beam Team and Instavision return in 2022, with both inserts appearing at a rate of one per case. Triumvirates, the puzzle-piece cards, are found in every hobby box. Additionally, the Power Zone set features the game’s best hitters. Two new inserts will feature throwback Stadium Club Basketball designs: 1994-95 Destiny and Dynasty and Team of the Future.
All inserts come with the following parallels:
The Beam Team set is the only exception, with a different configuration:
Last but certainly not least, three sets of inserts feature a small number of autographed cards. If you’re feeling lucky, you may find an autograph on cards in the Beam Team, Power Zone, and Team of the Future sets.
Autographs are always a favorite, and the 2022 Topps Stadium Club release has no shortage of on-card ink.
Base autographs will be the most common pulls. Various parallels exist for base autographs, with Rainbow Foil (/10) and Gold Rainbow (1/1) cards exclusive to hobby boxes.
Along with the aforementioned inserts, there are insert-specific autograph cards. Lone Star Signatures is a set that includes 25 or fewer base cards, a handful of Orange parallels, and one Gold Rainbow version that can only be found in hobby boxes. There are even fewer Co-Signers Autographs. Those come with two on-card signatures and have no more than ten copies. Like the other sets, hobby boxes offer the only opportunity to pull a 1/1 Gold Rainbow Co-Signers Autograph.
The list below shows all the details about the 2022 Topps Stadium Club Baseball autographs:
Base Chrome Autographs:
Beam Team Autographs:
Lone Star Signatures:
Power Zone Autographs:
Team of the Future Autographs
Which rookies will be the most coveted among those appearing in the 2022 Topps Stadium Club release? We rank the top 5.
|2018 (17)||Wander Franco||Rk||61||85||11||4||9.9%||7.0%||.351||.418||.587|
|2019 (18)||Wander Franco||A||114||139||9||18||11.3%||7.1%||.327||.398||.487|
|2021 (20)||Wander Franco||AAA||40||51||7||5||7.8%||11.7%||.313||.372||.583|
|2021 (20)||Wander Franco||MLB||70||81||7||2||7.8%||12.0%||.288||.347||.463|
Wander Franco is the rookie we have awaited. Scouts were enamored with his offensive profile in the minor leagues: lightning-quick bat speed makes hard contact, and has fantastic plate discipline.
Once called up, Franco did not disappoint. The switch-hitting shortstop put together a 43-game on-base streak in his rookie campaign. By the end of an impressive 70 games, the Rays inked Franco to an 11-year, $182 million deal. Although he exceeded rookie limits in 2021, Topps did not include Franco in their 2021 rookie class. As a result, Wander Franco’s official rookie card will come in 2022 and be one of the most in-demand cards.
MLB Pipeline: #1 | FanGraphs: #1 prospect
|2019 (21)||Adley Rutschman||Rk&A||37||33||4||1||13.0%||17.5%||.254||.351||.423|
|2021 (23)||Adley Rutschman||AA&AAA||123||129||23||3||14.5%||16.6%||.285||.397||.502|
Adley Rutschman, a great defensive catcher with pop from both the left and right side of the plate, was the first overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. He does everything well behind the plate and is a fantastic leader who works well with pitchers.
Scouts also describe Rutschman as a polished hitter who boasts advanced plate discipline. Adley is also noted for his ability to adjust from one at-bat to another. Lesser prospects who play for more popular teams may generate more excitement, but Rutschman has the potential to make an immediate impact and be a perennial all-star.
MLB Pipeline: #3 | FanGraphs: #2 prospect
|2019 (19)||Bobby Witt Jr.||Rk||37||43||1||9||7.2%||19.4%||.262||.317||.354|
|2021 (21)||Bobby Witt Jr.||AA&AAA||123||144||33||29||9.0%||23.2%||.290||.361||.575|
Witt didn’t blow anyone away in rookie ball after being selected with the second overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. As a result, the 2020 minor league season was canceled, but the Royals had their top prospect develop at the alternate training site.
The strides Witt made from his first professional season to 2021 were monumental, earning him Baseball America’s 2021 Minor League Player of the Year. He showcased an impressive power-speed combination and a refined mental approach. Of course, being the son of a former big leaguer helps with the latter.
Although Witt has shown to be an above-average defender at shortstop, the Royals desperately need a third baseman. Indeed, the team believes his athleticism can lead him to play at third base, and he has a chance to win the starting hot corner job in spring training.
MLB Pipeline: #4 | FanGraphs: #4 prospect
|2021 (21)||Spencer Torkelson||A&AA||81||80||19||4||15.3%||22.1%||.282||.399||.563|
|2021 (21)||Spencer Torkelson||AAA||40||35||11||1||13.0%||20.3%||.238||.350||.531|
The Detroit Tigers were sneaky good in the second half of the 2021 season. For me, this helps raise the level of excitement surrounding Torkelson and outfielder Riley Greene.
Before becoming the first overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, Spencer was one of the best hitters in college baseball. His pitch selection was impressive in the minors, and he usually hit the ball hard (95+ mph). Scouts believe he will hit for average and transfer the raw power into games. There’s a good chance Detroit will have Miguel Cabrera pass the franchise’s first baseman’s torch to Torkelson in 2022.
MLB Pipeline: #7 | FanGraphs: #7 prospect
|2019 (18)||Riley Greene||R&A||57||60||5||5||8.8%||25.1%||.271||.347||.403|
|2021 (20)||Riley Greene||AA&AAA||124||146||24||16||11.3%||27.4%||.301||.387||.534|
When the 2021 prospect lists were updated, Riley Greene was second in the Tigers’ organization to Torkelson. However, with the release of Baseball America’s 2022 Tigers’ top prospect list, Greene has leapfrogged to the No. 1 spot.
The prep outfielder was the fifth overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. Since then, scouts say Greene has gotten more robust and explosive. In addition, they love his smooth left-handed swing and advanced bat control.
Scouts are conflicted on Greene’s long-term potential in center field. However, he performed better in Triple-A than Torkelson did and will likely have a chance to win a starting job in 2022.
Stadium Club is not renowned for retaining value. But is that reputation justified? We crunched the numbers.
Previous releases of the Topps Stadium Club hobby boxes have held their value, but there’s only profit to be made when there’s a strong rookie class. For example, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. headlined the 2019 release.
Meanwhile, the 2016 class has never generated as much excitement. Although Trea Turner and Corey Seager are two of the top players in baseball, there wasn’t as much hype around their debuts.
|2016 Topps Stadium Club||$200|
|2017 Topps Stadium Club||$166|
|2018 Topps Stadium Club||$389|
|2019 Topps Stadium Club||$400|
|2020 Topps Stadium Club||$180|
Wander Franco will be the pull everyone is crossing their fingers to get. I’d put him with the 2019 rookie class from a popularity standpoint. Because they play the same position, here are the recent sale prices of Tatis’ rookie cards. They may be comparable. All cards listed are PSA-9s.
|Fernando Tatis Jr. Throwing||$19|
|Fernando Tatis Jr. Throwing Red Foil||$56|
|Fernando Tatis Jr. Throwing Black Foil||$103|
|Fernando Tatis Jr. Sunglasses||$521|
|Fernando Tatis Jr. Throwing Rainbow Foilboard /25||$1,400|
If you’re a collector who appreciates emotionally charged photography, you’re going to love the release. The card design is kept to a minimum and lets the photography do the talking.
Investors are usually wary of Topps’ Stadium Club releases, but the possibility of snagging a Wander Franco rookie card might make the 2022 release too hard to pass up. For this reason, holding onto wax long-term will probably be more profitable than flipping singles.