Your Turn (Beckett Baseball No. 82) — What do you predict for baseball cards in 2013?

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

A new year — and a new year on cardboard —  will be here before you know it.

As we begin to prepare the January issue of Beckett Baseball, we simply want to know … What do you predict for baseball cards in 2013?

Tell us in the comments below. Please include your name and location with your comment. We’ll run a selection of the best answers in the next issue of Beckett Baseball.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


  1. Posted October 26, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    More of the same stuff we’ve been seeing for the past … however many years. Quite a bit more mediocrity as well. Hopefully I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

  2. Ben Gibson
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    I think, given the topps football and bowman football collection we’re in for a treat. I love some of the inserts I’ve seen The Bowman set is very visually exciting. I hope we get some new rookies coming in that will be the next Albert Pujhols, Dave Justice, Pete Rose, Cal Ripkin Jr., etc. and The Upper deck co. has come out with the lineage sets after Topps but this a solid Idea Classic sets reborn my favorits in Topps 1968-1972. I think it could be a geat year and there are some good rookies but will they go the way of Chris Sabo and Mark Grace or the better way of Greg Maddux, J9ohnny Bench, Albert Pujhols and Alex Rodrigez and ken griffey r.

  3. shawn davis
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Laying out next year. Going to go back and get some 90s early 2000s stuff. Revamp my rc check list hopefully.

  4. Michael
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Funny, I was going to say the same thing that Jason said for the most part. I don’t think we will see anything that changes the hobby for the better in 2013. Topps base brand will come out first in 2013 and will have the same tired old recipe they have been using now for years. It will be the same old format, your typical base cards, gold parallels, black parallels, some kind of dual player insert, a retro insert set, topps giveaway redemeptions, and a few no value relics, followed by some ridiculously hard to pullt autographs. Its the same boring formula over and over. Then all of the other brands Topps makes will follow suit, and change up the designs a little bit from the previous year, and call it good.

    The problem is, with Topps being licensed card manufacturer, you will never see anything new and innovative. They have no competition, and will just keep pumping out garbage because they know they have a monopoly on the market, and collectors will still buy their product. Their customer service has gone to the toilet as well, as they treat their “valued” customers like crooks. I have had so many damaged cards and been shorted hits in the last year from Topps its ridiculous. All they care about is getting your money and not backing up what they sell. Yet they can get away with it over and over because they know they have you. The bottom line is, as long as Topps is the lone MLB licensed manufacturer, not much will change. Topps will come out year after year with the same product with a slightly changed design, and then add a couple of gimicky “new” brands which are usually spin offs of their other brands. They will continue to kill card values by dumping thousands upon thousands more of the same old boring jersey cards and endless parallels that already have become valueless on the market. The hobby needs competiton again to keep everything fresh and innovative. Compeptition is healthy for the hobby. If Topps has no competition, they get to comfortable and get lazy and colllectors are growing tired of it.

    Anyway, I could go on for days about all of the problems with the hobby today. To sum it all up nicely, I can predict that nothing will change, and to expect more of the same. I also see card values on the secondary market falling down further and further due to over saturation of the same old same old, coupled with a crumbling economy.

  5. Posted October 26, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    The Hobby will continue to stagnate with the current monopoly licensee issuing products similar to their substandard 2012, 2011, and 2010 offerings.

    Fortunately, 2013 is the final year of the current license and we should know by the end of next summer whom MLB Properties give the licensee(s) to for 2014 and beyond. This is the only thing I’m looking for to in 2013.

  6. Alex
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    One top high-end product à la In The Game Ultimate in hockey, with a lot of vintage value.
    Cards with video included.
    Cards with original memorabilia photographed on the back.

  7. David
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    I predict Fingerprint /Auto Cards.

  8. Mitchell
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    I expect topps to keep doing what their doing, but panini will make advancements. I would really like to see something done with USA baseball.

  9. Jonathan Iwanski
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Unless Topps has to share us with somebody else like in the past and is fighting for our dollars, it will nothing new at all, but that is what we have come to expect.

  10. bearcatlawjd
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Topps will probably play it safe and produce the same brands each year. Panini will miss it target release dates but will produce more baseball products in 2012. Each company will have winners that always seem to work like Chrome or Elite Extra Edition. Box prices will be too high and singles on ebay will be cheap.

  11. RJ
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Wow, Chris, aren’t you glad you asked? LOL … I think it will be very interesting next year, because this year was crazy with such a good rookie class — Harper, Cespedes, Darvish, etc. — and the emergence of guys like Trout and Lawrie from previous years’ products. I really don’t know if any big names are on the horizon for next year, but someone usually emerges.

  12. scott kashner
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    same as 2012 to many extremely high priced products with no value content. need to get back to set collectors. it was to much trouble for topps to put in base cards in teir one and whats the deal with no checklist in packs or on top of boxes anymore. it should not take six boxes of bowman chrome to put together a 110 card set and forget about the base 220 set. i pray for panini for a mlb license. we need competition like back pre 2005.

  13. bill johnson
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    continue to go buy some older cards from the 70s to early 90s. i might be some packs of the 2013 product or just continue to buy singles of ebay. seems like i can get more for my money that way.

  14. Posted October 26, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    It looks like super-short print variations are the trend for Topps, so we can probably see more of those across more of their brands and Panini is countering with super-short print insert cards while continuing to utilize their Hall of Fame and Team USA licenses to the max. I’m crossing my fingers for a MLB license for Panini just to mix things up a bit.

  15. Posted October 26, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    For 2013 I predict people will embrace cards in poor condition more… eventually to the point where many will appreciate cards in poor condition more than cards in mint condition. (starting with me.)

  16. mark
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    amen to bill’s comment.
    I like the designs and innovations of the newer products, even though some folks call it stale…but…I don’t buy boxes of new stuff…I just dabble in the new…and most of my budget goes to old stuff..


  17. Paul
    Posted October 27, 2012 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    Fleer, Score and Donruss announce a comeback using their respective 1988 designs….hey I admit this is along the lines of those wacky predictions the Baseball Tonight guys make in spring training. If you want a more realistic prediction, the reduction of overpackaging.

  18. Thommy Selden
    Posted October 27, 2012 at 1:34 am | Permalink

    I believe that 2012 was a very good year for Topps, and 2013 will be even better. One of my main predictions is the explosion of Yasiel Puig’s prices. I think it is inevitable that he will have an auto in a 2013 Bowman product, whether it be base or chrome. I believe that with his talent level his auto will have the potential to explode. While it may not be worth the $250 Harper’s was at release, I could very easily see it being worth $100+ if he gets off to a nice start next year. It could be worth even more if he is in fact the replacement for Carl Crawford (had Tommy John surgery in August) in LF for the first few months. While there may be a little LA bias behind my thoughts, I believe that Puig will be a very good hobby prospect.
    -Thommy Selden, Studio City

  19. Posted October 27, 2012 at 4:57 am | Permalink

    I say “A Game Changer!”

    Oh wait… Topps already did that, how about something Gold or Diamond? Maybe a half dozen retro sets loaded with minis, gimmick cards and super short prints and a whole lot of same old same old just with a new name and color with 6 parallels of each base card. When that gets old add a Chrome and Platinum version and all will be well.

    This exclusive licensing has made baseball cards stagnant, there is nothing urging a change and nobody wants to try anything new because it might offend or chase away their customer base. I am not saying hand a license to everybody who owns a printer but what is the harm in bringing in Panini and maybe (just maybe) invite Upper Deck back to the party on a probationary period to give them a chance to show they can make the right decisions.

    I know this may not be a popular opinion but it is just my 2 cents.

  20. Posted October 27, 2012 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Groan and moan, some of you might consider finding a new hobby. Lots to love coming out these days, with so many different sets there has to something to enjoy.

  21. Posted October 27, 2012 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    I am hoping that it is announced that Topps will remain the sole licensee for MLB Properties and MLB Players Association. They have done a fantastic job with their product line since 2010, and I expect 2013 to be just as good, if not better, than ever.

    As usual, not everyone will be happy with everything that comes out. But it’s just as well.


    JayBee Anama

  22. deeez
    Posted October 27, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    even more retro themed inserts and sets

    more overpriced bowman products where you still only get one auto (how are they able to but 2 autos in topps chrome but still one in bowman?

    even more colored refractors

    i would love topps to make a few new rare inserts sets (not pararells ) like upper deck and fleer use to do (the 1:288 type)

  23. Marcus F.
    Posted October 27, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    I am hoping for the return of the Ticket to Stardom product. I like the game use tickets in the product with a hit. This is very nice of a product and it will be great for the hobby to bring back.


    Marcus F.

  24. bearcatlawjd
    Posted October 27, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink


    Do you have inside on the MLB or MLBPA license issues that everyone seems to mention on this blog? I am not sure if this is correct Topps has an MLB license plus rights to retired players and MiLB. Panini has the Hall of Fame, MLBPA, USA baseball and retired playrers outside of certain guys like Ruth and Mantle. Leaf, Onyx and Upper Deck sign players as individuals. Oh yeah doesn’t Upper Deck have the NCAA license too?

  25. chrisolds
    Posted October 27, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    MLB licensing covers ability to use MLB logos. MLBPA licensing covers ability to use MLB players in large groups. Retired players can be covered under some deals but not others. Panini has a deal with the baseball Hall of Fame. Topps has MLB/MLBPA and signs players individually. Panini has MLBPA and aforementioned along with USA Baseball.

    To be on a card, a player has to be either covered via one of the blanket deals above or has to sign with a company specifically.

    Minor leaguers are not covered by the MLBPA until they are on a roster.

    NCAA license is for logo use, not players. Upper Deck has that.

  26. Posted October 27, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    I predict a good year for Topps to be honest. I am one who finds card collecting to be a very fun and rewarding hobby in it’s current state, and I’m sure the sales sheet from Topps in 2013 will reflect that many others will feel the same way.

    I’ve said it before and I will say it again…”Your voice, is in your wallet.” When you plunk down that 20 dollar bill on that retail blaster, you’re saying YES! Topps, you are doing a good job.

    I plan on spending a lot more money on flagship in 2013 than I have in the previous two years. I am excited for it’s release, it’s going to be a ton of fun…That’s what it’s all about for me.

    I am not jaded or disgruntled with the hobby, and if I ever get bitter about card collecting, then that’s the day I will be walking away from it all. I won’t sit around and bash card companies warding off new potential collectors…I will just let my wallet remain silent.

    I’m as excited about the new year for Topps as I have been in recent years, if not more…

    If I had just one word I could say to the Topps card company…It would be RESPECT because for some reason, a lot of people think Topps employees are just sitting around trying to come up with ways to piss off collectors the most. This is surely not the case and you can see it in their product that they are trying to please many different types of collectors out there…whether or not it’s working, I can’t say on a national level. But if you ask me, I think they are doing just fine.

  27. Nick Tegeler
    Posted October 27, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    I would love to see more competition with cards like there used to be. The monopoly on the markets I think does make it somewhat repetetive every year. Thats why competition is good.

  28. Posted October 28, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    I have owned a card shop for nearly 21 years, but I don’t have access to inside information on what is coming in 2013. I’ve seen all the card manufacturers make improvements to their products and increase value into 2012 products, but there is still room for improvement. This is what I’d like to see the MANUFACTURERS DO in 2013:

    1. Increase content value to products.

    a. Jersey Cards/Game-Used. Work a deal with the player agents to get Game Used Jerseys (big name players). On the card back, tell us a little about the Jersey/Patch/Bat/Shoe/Glove – the dates and games it was worn and player stats for the game.

    b. Give us more autos and game used jerseys of former major league all-stars and Hall of Famers, with less autos of prospects, projected to never get higher than AA baseball. Give young collectors a history lesson (stats and write-up) on the back of former major league all-star auto/jersey cards. The reason young (under 40) buyers don’t value these autos/jerseys is because younger people don’t know how good these players were.

    c. Make a “Best of Baseball” product each year. Buy back cards from the public on your website/blog with your current buy prices for raw cards and/or graded cards to include in a once a year “Best of Baseball” product. All cards in this “Best of Baseball” product SHOULD be BGS Graded Cards. This will maximize value of “Best of Baseball” product and increase demand for ALL 2013 baseball products.

    d. Buy back 2013 sets and master sets from the public to sell on your web-site/blog or offer as redemptions in future products.

    e. Develop a “Buyer Loyalty Program.” One POSSIBLE example: Put redemption points in every box, approximately 1 Point for every $20 estimated retail value of the boxed product. That is, a $100 box would have a 5 point redemption card inserted into one pack for this box. Redemption points could be used to buy product at the Manufacter’s Internet Retail Store. POSSIBLE example TWO: Redemption Points could be used at collectors favorite LCS for “Black Friday Packs” or Topps Redemption Packs. Of course, these packs must be loaded with good stuff.

    2. The Manufacturers need to figure out how to bring back old collectors and cultivate new collectors through their products. People left the hobby because the experience did not meet their expectation, whether it was the value of what they collected or it was just not entertaining enough for the money they spent. Card manufacturers must make sure the value of the product they produce and the entertainment experience value provided by authorized retailers insures happy returning customers.

    a. Manufacturers must advertise to the target audience, people who love sports and their sports heros. Give them the message they want to hear, deliver on that message and meet their expectations by insuring we (authorized LCS and authorized internet retailers) provide a valued entertainment experience.

    b. Insure your authorized retailers deliver on customers expections by requiring authorized retailers operate under the Manufacturers outlined “Best Practices.”

    c. Encourage/Require all authorized retailers to attend the yearly Sports Card Industry Summit, where required “Best Practices” are outlined and/or trained. At the very least, incentives must be offered to insure authorized retailers attend The Summit, attend training sessions, and buy-off on required “Best Practices.”

    The Hobby is heading in the right direction, but as listed in the above comments, it is not moving fast enough for today’s collectors. The collectors of the 90’s have spoken by leaving this hobby in huge numbers. We, the manufacturers and authorized retailers need to give today’s collectors “The Total Value” (product value and entertainment value) necessary to insure satisfied returning customers.

    Charlie DiPietro, Owner
    Sports Cards Plus
    San Antonio, Texas

  29. Posted October 28, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    I don’t expect anything fresh and new from Topps in 2013. More of the same. Base sets with those frustrating SPs. It’s what we’ve come to expect. Only difference will be the new face to collect will probably be Billy Hamilton instead of Bryce, Yu or Trout.

  30. Cincyscott76
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    I wouldnt mind seeing a product from topps that would have a autographed ball, game used bat, glove , shoe jersey ,hat.or a bobble head.
    Less redemptions would be nice to!

  31. Cincyscott76
    Posted October 28, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    I wouldnt mind seeing a product from topps that would have a autographed ball, game used bat, glove , shoe jersey ,hat.or a bobble head.
    Less redemptions would be nice to!

  32. Robert
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    I predict in 2013 more overused themes, still too many minis and more uninspiring base card designs. I am hoping to see a brand like “Topps Total” resurrected or create some new exciting brands to replace a lot of the stale ones like Allen and Ginter.

    Robert – Albuquerque

  33. Quinton Arledge
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Look for Wil Myers to head the Rookie Card class, and remember the name “Evan Gattis” of the Braves for a sleeper prospect to hit it big in 2013.

  34. Posted October 29, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Well, if they can sell us Five Star for $500, then I predict 2013 will bring us the very first $1,000 pack!

  35. Blake M.
    Posted October 29, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Over the last year or two we have seen a division between high end and low end products. Some sets are becoming more affordable because they offer fewer hits and feature mostly young talent. Other sets are becoming more expensive as the years pass because they continue to provide the high end autographs and unlikely-to-pull 1/1’s. The mid-tier products are disappearing fast.

  36. Ed
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    What I believe will happen in 2013 is nothing to exciting or radical.

    With so many products on the market it makes it really hard to make a decision on which box to buy, considering the price and the possibility that the next product might be better.
    Most of us don’t have an unlimited checking account to purchase all the products that we would like to, so we justify our hard earned dollar on the best product available.

    What I would like to see is more “You’ve just Won”, pay attention card companies!

    How about I’m buying the latest product ( Topps 2013 Baseball) I open a pack and get the redemption card that says “You’ve Just Won a box of Topps 2013 Series 2 baseball” . Wow, that would be nice.

    Now let’s get creative. How about some of that “old junk ” sitting in that Topps warehouse that you could give away.
    More suggestions: Uncut sheets, old packs, new packs, old boxes, new boxes, retail boxes, hobby boxes, blasters, future products, insert graded cards…I could go on and on.

    Retail end products have not been utilized to create demand as in the hobby box sector……Do these marketers have any idea about there market? Easy….Retail packages should be different than Hobby…Hobby generally has more inserts. Why doesn’t retail have high-end inserts? Production numbers…solution..put in older box or pack redemptions to various sports and create demand!!!

    If I bought a box of 2013 baseball retail and pulled a redemption card for a pack of 2011 Topps Finest Football that would be pretty cool. And guess what? I have now been exposed to Football cards, maybe I will like the older 2011 cards, that might motivate me to buy a box of Finest Football.

    A kid opens a pack of baseball cards, pulls a “you’ve just Won” card, its for a pack of high-end Hockey cards. The kid could care less about hockey but he sends in the redemption card and now becomes aware of the high end of cards that he would have never had a chance of ever pulling or even being exposed to. At a Hundred dollars or more a box I don’t think the 9 year old down the street is buying Bowman Sterling Boxes and ripping packs daily.
    Excite the collector!!!
    Bottom line….Everyone wants to be a Winner!..People like to receive awards/items through the mail (especially kids).and there is not a one of us that doesn’t appreciate FREE.

    Its a shame these companies don’t reach out to collectors for advice..most of the complaints by collectors seem to be an easy fix.

    So CaL

  37. Frank.D.
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    We will see more of the same because Topps has no competition. Their exclusive contract must end to return innovation to the hobby. It would be exciting to see a return to colorful cards with great photography.

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