|THE FIRST PAGE: WOW!|
|THE BACK OF THE FIRST PAGE: DOUBLE WOW!|
In 1991, Topps responded to the premium efforts of '89 Upper Deck and '90 Leaf with a game-changing brand that left an impact in the hobby as vast as right-center field in old old Yankee Stadium. Six-hundred full-bleed, high-gloss cards released in two series. Each with a pinstriped sky-blue name plate accented with gold foil and adorned with the Stadium Club logo button. All printed on white stock using ''Kodak Imaging Technology.'' The set was littered with horizontal-oriented cards, White Sox players in their 1917 Turn Back The Clockers and a few unconventional photos and glamor shots sprinkled about. Who didn't do a double-take after seeing No. 1 Dave Stewart, No. 138 Eric Show and No. 200 Nolan Ryan? If that wasn't enough innovation, there were the high-gloss backs that featured the basic previous year's and career stat lines, and for the first time the advanced-metrics Fastball BARS System chart for hitters and Types of Pitch by Percentages chart for pitchers. Topping it off was a picture of the player's first Topps card. Speaking of debuts, there was only one big rookie card: No. 388 Jeff Bagwell. Regardless and despite the lack of subsets, parallels and inserts, the set grows in statue, especially in light of the brand's successful comeback this year. Rest assured, Topps will have something planned for the 25th anniversary in two years. It won't look as good as this.
|STEW WORKS ON A NEW DELIVERY.|
|WHILE SHOW CHILLS OUT.|
|TRY RENTING THAT FOOTWEAR |
AND HEADWEAR FROM THE LOCAL TUX SHOP.
THUMBING THROUGH THE SET
|NICE HAIR, TEDDY.|
- Elysian Fields in Hoboken, N.J., home to the New York Knickerbockers, was the first regular ballfield and hosted the New York Nine in its first game June 19, 1846. The Nine spoiled the party by winning 23-1.
- Ebbets Field's right-field scoreboard was topped with an electronic Schaefer beer sign. The ''h'' would light when the official scorer ruled hit and the "e'' for error.
|A DETERMINED LARKIN AND PENSIVE WALKER.|
- Oriole Park at Camden Yards opened in '92, and the Birds won 10 of their first 11 games, a record for a team playing in a new park.
- Griffith Park, home to the Senators from '11-'61, was said to have a downward sloping first base line to help the team's slow-footed players.
|ALWAYS LOVED THAT BOGGS BP SHOT.|
- Olympic Stadium in Montreal hosted the first All-Star Game outside of the United States on July 13, 1982, and hometown Expos ace Steve Rogers earned the victory in front of more than 59,000 fans.
|BONDS LOOKS ALMOST HUMAN; BO IN AN '87 REDUX?|
- Frank Robinson was the only player to hit a ball out of Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, clearing the left-field bleachers with a 450-foot shot on May 8, 1966.
- In the second postseason game played at SkyDome in Toronto on Oct. 7, 1989, Jose Canseco connected on a blast to the nether regions of the left-field upper deck in Game 4 of the ALCS. It was estimated to have traveled 540 feet.
|AN ABSOLUTE CLASSIC JUNIOR CARD RIGHT THERE.|
- The first night game in Major League Baseball was played at Crosley Field in Cincinnati on May 24, 1935, with the Reds defeating the Phillies 2-1 in front of 20,422 fans.
- Shibe Park in Philadelphia hosted the first night game in AL history on May 16, 1939. The Indians defeated the A's 8-3 in front of 15,000 fans.
|YOU HALF EXPECT THE CRIME DOG TO BLURT, "LET'S PLAY TWO!''|
- The Baker Bowl, home to the Philadelphia Phillies, was the scene of tragedy in 1903 when a section of the left-field stands collapsed and 12 people were killed and more than 200 were injured. In 1927, 10 rows of the right-field stands fell, sending dozens to the hospital.
|THE PRIZED BAGWELL ROOKIE; ALEX COLE IS REALLY OTIS NIXON.|
- Forbes Field in Pittsburgh was the site of Babe Ruth's 714th and final home run on May 25, 1935. That clout was the first ball to clear the right-field roof, estimated at 600 feet, and the last of three he hit that day.
- In 1997, Progressive Field, known as Jacobs Field then, became the first ballpark in 20 years to host an All-Star Game and World Series game in the same season. That occurred only nine times previously.
|BIG MAC COULD HIT 'EM OUT; HOWE WAS TOLD TO GET OUT.|
- Only four players cleared the left-field roof at Tiger Stadium: Harmon Killebrew in 1962, Frank Howard in '68, Cecil Fielder in '90 and Mark McGwire in '97.
- Harry Stevens gets credit for selling the first ''frankfurter'' at a ballpark (Polo Grounds) just before the beginning of the 20th century.
|CHECK OUT RAMON'S RELEASE AND CAMMY'S SALES PITCH.|
- Milwaukee's County Stadium was the site of several records and milestones during its 47-year history: Warren Spahn ('61) and Nolan Ryan ('90) won their 300th career games; Rickey Henderson broke Lou Brock's single-season stolen base mark in '82; Jose Canseco stole his 40th base, becoming the first to hit 40 home runs and steal 40 in a season in '88; and Robin Yount joined the 3,000-hit club in '92.
- Sound meters set up at the Metrodome in Minneapolis recorded decibel levels of 125 during the 1991 World Series between the Twins and the Braves, greater than the sound of a jet during takeoff.
|REED'S IN THE DOGHOUSE FOR FAILING TO HIT LIKE LANKFORD.|
- Because of a notch in the right-field brick wall, Wrigley Field in Chicago is the only park where the outfield wall in fair territory is actually closer to home plate than the foul pole.
|HATE TO QUIBBLE, BUT THE '17 SOX UNIS DIDN'T HAVE NUMBERS.|
- Chicago's Comiskey Park was the oldest continuously used ballpark when it closed on Sept. 30, 1990.
- Mark McGwire hit 38 homers at Busch Stadium in 1998, which was a record for the most hit in one park in one season.
|DOESN'T OREL LOOK SIMPLY DREAMY?|
- Muehlebach Field in Kansas City was the home to the longest-running franchise of the Negro Leagues, the Kansas City Monarchs, who produced future major-leaguers Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson, Ernie Banks and Elston Howard.
|IF BIGGIO GETS THE CALL, HERE'S 4 HALL OF FAMERS.|
- McCormick Field in Asheville, N.C., hosted a preseason game between the Yankees and Dodgers in 1925, but the big story occurred before the game when Babe Ruth became ill, and reports spread that he had died. It turned out he just had a bad stomach, prompting the headline, "The Bellyache Heard 'Round the World.''
|I REALLY MISS TONY GWYNN.|