1995 Stadium Club World Champion Montreal Expos Team Set

As much as I wish this was a set honoring the Montreal Expos AS world champions, this is -in all unfortunate reality- a World Champions Montreal Expos team set, made possible by the 1995 World Champion Atlanta Braves...

Let me explain...

One of the gimmicks that were added to the 1994 Stadium Club set, was the Super Team cards. One card would represent each team. The owners of certain team's cards could redeem them for prizes, depending on how well each team performed by the end of the 1994 baseball season.

The holder of the World Series winning team's card could redeem it for:

A complete 630 card set of 1995 Stadium Club baseball, each stamped with a gold World Series logo.
A complete team set of the division winner, each card stamped with a gold Division Champion logo.
A jumbo sized (3" x 5") complete team set of the division winner. 
The winning card returned, stamped redeemed.

The holder of the World Series losing team's card could redeem it for:

A complete team set of the division winner, each card stamped with a gold Division Champion logo.
A jumbo sized (3" x 5") complete team set of the division winner. 
The winning card returned, stamped redeemed.

The holder of each division winner's team card could be redeemed for:

A complete team set of the division winner, each card stamped with a gold Division Champion logo.
The winning card returned, stamped redeemed.

You got a Super Team Card at a rate of 1 in 24 packs, (roughly 1 per box). I no longer have any of the Super Team cards I pulled from packs, but I'm pretty sure they all finished dead last. I think there was a Padres card in there...

If anyone has a 1994 Stadium Club Montreal Expos Super Team card, let me know!

For most of the 1994 season, the Montreal Expos Super Team card was one of the hottest of the 28 teams, in 1994 Stadium Club. As the season wore on, more and more people were predicting an Expos - Yankees World Series, so those teams Super Cards were the most desired for this promotion.

Then... The baseball strike happened, and there would be no World Series in 1994.

Had 1994 gone according to how I wanted it to, holders of the Expos cards would have won that prize. Given their top record in the game when the 1994 season ended, it was really cool to see an Expos card as one of the most valuable in a set listed in Beckett...

Whatever that is worth...

Topps announced the 1994 promotion would be extended to the 1995 season. With the prizes applying to 1995 editions of Stadium Club baseball cards.

When the 1995 season was given a starting point, and the players ordered to return to work, the Expos were gutted... The great 1994 team wouldn't get another shot at winning.

Predictably, the value of the Expos Super Team card plummeted (while the Yankees remained steady), as the 1995 edition of the Montreal Expos had virtually no chance at winning the World Series.

They lost Larry Walker to free agency (to the Colorado Rockies), and were forced to trade veterans Marquis Grissom (to Atlanta), John Wetteland (to the Yankees) and Ken Hill (to St. Louis), because of financial constraints. Making the pain of 1994 hurt just a little more, all four of those players appeared in 1995 playoff games for their new teams, while the Expos sat at home.

1995 Stadium Club itself was a really nice set. Bright color, great photography and a clean design. Released in 3 series over 1995, players included in the set spanned the end of the 1994 season, through the mid-1995 season rookie call-ups.

For the Montreal Expos, it was a great look at the uncrowned world champions of 1994, to some of the players who would attempt to fill their shoes over the next few years.

The magic of 1994 had been stripped away... The 1995 Montreal Expos finished the season at an underwhelming 66-78, dead last in the National League East, and 24 games behind the Atlanta Braves...

The same Braves that finished the 1994 season 6 games BEHIND Montreal in the standings.

To rub salt in those wounds, the Atlanta Braves won the 1995 World Series, defeating the Cleveland Indians. At least Marquis Grissom get a ring out of it.

Besides irritating me, the Braves winning meant that 1994 Atlanta Braves Super Team cards could now be redeemed for the top prize. My favorite local card store redeemed an Atlanta Super Team card, shortly after the World Series. The owners of the shop were breaking up the full set, keeping the teams and cards they wanted, and selling team sets and singles to regular customers.

After the grand prize was delivered from Topps, I was offered the shot at buying the Expos and Mets team sets, and bought both. (I was also a fan of the Mets big 3 pitching prospects, the law firm of Wilson, Pulsipher and Isringhausen...)

I don't remember what I paid for either set, but I can't say I've seen them much on the trading circles, so I'm glad I paid whatever I did...

It's been estimated there were roughly 20,000 of each of the 30 Super Team Cards inserted into packs. No one knows how many winning Atlanta Braves cards were redeemed, so no one knows how many World Champion stamped sets were made. They aren't easy to find...

I'll say less than 10,000... That sounds about right to me, given the era...

The Montreal Expos never came close to being as successful as their ill-fated 1994 season. I could go on for volumes of how badly the Expos were treated by Major League Baseball and the Bud Selig era (and likely will if I keep this blog going), but am instead going to complain about the Atlanta Braves some more...

To this day, it irks me to no end every time I hear the Atlanta Braves tout a fictional streak of division championships, because they always omit the 1994 season. You cannot finish in second place one year, and include that in your streak of years finishing in first place. That isn't how records work Atlanta... Why don't you go build another taxpayer funded stadium, I think Sun Trust is getting a little long in the tooth...

I really don't like the Atlanta Braves...

No one likely picked up on the order I arranged this Expos team set for this post. It's not alphabetical, or by number... It's in order of each player LEAVING the Expos. For Montreal, tracking the stars leaving town is really how you have to tell their story.

Even this guy...

Rondell White was drafted by Montreal in the first round (24th overall) of the 1990 draft. White stayed in the organization until a July 31, 2000 trade to the Chicago Cubs (for Scott Downs). His 8 seasons with the Expos rank at or near the top of anyone during the team's last 15 years in Montreal. Players just didn't get to stay there for any great length of time.

I've been a big Rondell White fan for years, even after his time in Montreal was over. After spending the next five seasons with the Cubs, Yankees, Padres, Royals and Tigers, White wrapped up his career with two seasons in Minnesota.

A future story will include my Rondell White collection, which includes the only autographed jersey I own.


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