Retro vs. Modern (You Decide)

With 2018 Opening Day hitting the secondary market, one of the inserts creating discourse among collectors is Diamond Relics, which features “game-used ballpark dirt”. As if game-used relic cards haven’t already hit rock bottom, adding dirt to the mix can’t be all that helpful. I already don’t care about the cut-up piece of “memorabilia” of my all-time favorite player, so you can imagine how I feel about game-used dirt. I am guessing other collectors feel the same judging by the comments on Twitter.

However, it should be noted that this isn’t Topps’ first rodeo when it comes to literally selling collectors dirt. They did so in 2001 Stadium Club with what at the time were some great-designed cards with a new gimmick that hadn’t been done before. In all, Topps produced 15 of these cards (10 batters, 5 hitters) and could be found in HTA packs at 1:10 and 1:20, respectively. As you can imagine, these cards didn’t set the collecting world on fire and were pretty much completely forgotten.

The new dirt cards from Topps Company features better technology and are extremely rare finds with a ratio of 1:1,772 packs. I can’t imagine one human being alone bustin’ that many packs of Opening Day no offense to Topps but if you’re lucky to find one and it features a decent player, you may be in for some luck on eBay. Currently, there is only one of these cards for sale with a modest Buy It Now of $59.99. You won’t exactly be able to retire on that sale.

My question to you, the collector, is simple. Which version of Topps produced the better “Dirt” card? The one from 2001 that was facing fierce competition from Fleer, Donruss, and Upper Deck? Or, the Topps of today which rules baseball cards thanks to a monopoly granted to them by MLBPA, due to Upper Deck’s constant screw-ups while Richard McWilliams was at the helm? Call me crazy, call me old … call me what you will but I am sorta leaning more towards the 2001 Stadium Club version.

What say you, baseball card collector?



  1. My vote goes to the 2001 Stadium Club version. A fellow blogger hooked me up with the Vladimir Guerrero from that set and it’s one of my favorite Expos memorabilia cards.

  2. I have the Griffey 2001 Play at the Plate and that is the set I prefer. I don’t care for the design on the 2018 card and the dirt looks like seeds.

  3. 2001 by a long shot. The Diamond Relics typography on the 2018 version looks cheesy and cheap.

  4. Aesthietically, the new card is a little nicer. But the mindset behind it makes it vastly inferior. Back in 2001, they were trying a new concept because coming up with original ideas made them stand out from the competition and advanced the industry. Now, it’s just another way to highlight the same star players with another recycled idea to run into the ground since there is no one around to compete with it.

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