2018 Topps Series 1 Baseball Kicks Off the Company’s 67th Year of Flagship

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The flagship 2018 Topps Baseball is sticking with a streamlined, modern design. Configuration wise, it keeps with many of the traditions established and carved out over the last few years. It starts with 2018 Topps Series 1 Baseball, which is scheduled to release on January 31.

2018 marks the 67th consecutive year for the flagship release dating back to 1952.

What does that look like? Here’s a detailed breakdown.

2018 Topps Series 1 Baseball Base Set

The 2018 Topps Series 1 Baseball base set continues to have 350 cards. In addition to the regular players cards, subsets include League Leaders, World Series Highlights, multi-player Combo cards, Future Stars and team cards.

For the third year in a row, the base flagship design doesn’t have a border. The image is full-bleed with a dynamic modern nameplate at the bottom.

With the full-bleed designs, parallels look to use more of the background with tinted highlights and shades. And there are many of them. Rainbow Foil parallels are inserted 1:10 packs. Numbered versions include Gold (/2018), Vintage Stock (/99), Independence Day (/76), Mother’s Day Pink (/50), Father’s Day Blue (/50), Memorial Day Camo (/25), Platinum (1/1), and Printing Plates.

Additional 2018 Topps Series 1 Baseball parallels are exclusive to certain types of packs. Negative and Black (/67) cards are in hobby and hobby jumbo packs. Regular hobby packs are the only place to find Clear cards, a partial parallel set of 100 cards with each numbered to 10. Purple parallels are exclusive to Toys “R” Us.

2018 Topps Series 1 Rookie Cards

A complete 2018 Topps Series 1 checklist likely won’t be released until just before the set comes out. However, the card maker has confirmed a handful of key Rookie Cards slated for the product.

Leading the way are Boston’s Rafael Devers and Clint Frazier of the New York Yankees. Both made their MLB debuts in July.

Other confirmed 2018 Topps Series 1 Rookie Cards include Amed Rosario, Dominic Smith, Ozzie Albies, Ryan McMahon, Rhys Hoskins, and Nick Williams.

Inserts

1987 Topps Baseball played a big role in 2017. For 2018 Topps Baseball, it’s 1983, as it celebrates its 35th anniversary. It starts with an insert set done in the original two-photo design but with current players. These are among the easiest inserts to pull in the product, falling 1:4 hobby packs.

On the fresh side is Superstar Sensations (1:8), one of the bolder designs in the product.

MLB Awards (1:8) delves into the top players from the past season, highlighting the MVPs, Cy Young Award winners, Rookie of the Year recipients and other categories like Silver Slugger and Gold Glove honorees.

Topps Salute inserts are back, albeit with a new design that, like the base set, doesn’t have much in the way of borders. Landing every eighth hobby pack, these look at special events held league-wide during the season like Jackie Robinson Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Memorial Day.

Parallels for all four of the above inserts include Blue, Black (/299), Gold (/50), Red (/10) and Platinum (1/1).

Select cards in 1983 Topps Baseball, MLB Awards and Topps Salute have autograph cards. 1983 autograph parallels come in Black (/99 or less), Gold (/50 or less), hobby-exclusive Red (/25 or less), and the hobby- and hobby jumbo-only Platinum (1/1).

Topps Salute Autographs and MLB Awards Autographs are all numbered. Signed Salute cards also have Red (/25 or less) and Platinum (1/1) versions.

Sketch cards are randomly inserted in 2018 Topps Series 1 Baseball. These have original art done directly on the card. Given their unique nature, all are considered one-of-a-kind. Sketch cards are hobby and hobby jumbo exclusives and not slated for retail packs.

The retail side has some different exclusives, though. Legends in the Making carry a theme of looking at a player’s place in history. Parallels include Blue (1:12 retail packs), Black (1:24), Gold (/50), Red (/10) and Platinum (1/1). Select cards also have autographs.

Retail Relic Boxes are the only place to find MLB Opening Day and MLB Opening Day Logo Patch cards. The basic Opening Day insert set includes a player from every team using a photo from a previous first day of the season. Parallels fall along the same lines as the Legends in the Making inserts.

MLB Opening Day Logo Patch cards are manufactured relics. Each has the newest Opening Day logo. Numbered parallels come in Black (/99), Gold (/50), Red (/25) and Platinum (1/1). Autographs are also available.

Autographs and Memorabilia Cards

Besides the signed versions of existing inserts, 2018 Topps Series 1 Baseball has some standalone autographed insert themes as well. World Series Champion and Postseason Performance Autographs both return, highlighting players from teams who made the playoffs. Base versions are all serial numbered and have Red (/25 or less) and Platinum (1/1) parallels. These also have relic and autographed relic versions that are also numbered and have the same parallels.

Topps Reverence returns for a third year. Only found in hobby and hobby jumbo packs, these are autographed patch cards done in a more high-end style than is typical for the flagship product. Gold (/5) and Platinum (1/1) are the lone parallels.

Cut Signatures are some of the rarest cards in the release. The few that are included are all one-of-ones.

The main memorabilia release in 2018 Topps Series 1 Baseball is Major League Material. While the regular versions are numbered, parallels are. These include Black (/99 or less), Gold (/50 or less), Red (/25 or less) and Platinum (1/1). Some cards also have signed versions.

Manufactured Relics

As far as 2018 Topps Series 1 hobby and hobby jumbo packs go, there are two manu-relic sets. MLB Spring Training Logo Patch cards use the season’s new Spring Training logo. MLB All-Star Game Medallion cards spotlight players from the 2017 game.

Both of these have numbered Black, Gold, Red and Platinum (1/1) parallels plus select signed versions.

2018 Topps Silver Pack Promotion

The Silver Pack promotion is returning in 2018. Exact details on the contents are not yet known, but these are intended to be an incentive for dealers to use with collectors buying hobby  and hobby jumbo boxes.

Those who buy from a participating dealer receive one 2018 Topps Silver pack for every hobby box purchased and two for every hobby jumbo box.

2018 Topps Series 1 Baseball at a glance:

Packs per box: Hobby – 36, Hobby Jumbo -10
Cards per pack: Hobby – 10, Hobby Jumbo – 50
Boxes per case: Hobby – 12, Hobby Jumbo – 6
Set size: 350 cards
Release date: January 31, 2018

What to expect in a hobby box:

• Autographs or Memorabilia Cards – 1 Total
• 1983 Topps Baseball Inserts – 9
• MLB Awards Inserts – 4
• Superstar Sensations Inserts – 4
• Topps Salute Inserts – 4
• Rainbow Foil Parallels – 3

What to expect in a hobby box:

• Autographs – 1
• Memorabilia Cards or Manufactured Relics – 2 Total

(Odds for other inserts in 2018 Topps Series 1 Baseball hobby jumbo boxes haven’t been released.)

Comments? Questions? Contact Ryan Cracknell on Twitter @tradercracks.

22 Comments

  1. Posted August 3, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    I like it. I think the design is a good visual representation of the current bridge between physical and digital cards and it has enough eye appeal to draw collectors to it.
    Plus, I think it’ll look sharp in a chrome version (which is what I think Topps is aiming for these days, with these flagship designs)

  2. Jonathan Iwanski
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Woooooooo. What about the 87 subsets, Topps?

  3. Ryan Cracknell
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    @Jonathan Guessing they may be moving on to 1988 or 1993.

  4. Raylon
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    AWESOME !!!

  5. Kerry
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    I like it. I will also plan to buy 2018 Chrome.

  6. David Seder
    Posted August 4, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Very sharp!!!!!!!!

  7. Jeff
    Posted August 4, 2017 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    I hope the backs go back to showing stats for the whole career instead of just the last few years. And, seriously, ditch the Twitter and Instagram handles thing. That’s just silly and wastes valuable real estate.

  8. Jason Kaul
    Posted August 4, 2017 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Can we PLEASE stop with the manufactured relics? I get so pissed when I buy a box and one of the “hits” is a manufactured relic.

  9. Carmine
    Posted August 7, 2017 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Every year my neighbors put up their Christmas lights earlier and earlier. It’s getting like that with news of Topps product releases, lol.

  10. Ryan Cracknell
    Posted August 7, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    @Carmine — For several years at least, Topps generally announces their products around 6 months in advance. It’s definitely not a new thing.

  11. Benjamin Pfiester
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    That cut signature Jackie Robinson card is the type of memorabilia that is priceless and irreplaceable unlike autographs from modern players. Quit ruining pieces of history Topps!!!

  12. Jeff
    Posted August 12, 2017 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Who are the best for pre-ordering these? Seems like it may keep the cost down a bit when looking at current prices for the 2017 boxes.

  13. Whizzer55
    Posted August 19, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Sorry, another huge letdown for me. These again for the third year in a row look like a Stadium Club set. I don’t care if I sound like a dinosaur. Borders are why ’71,’72, ’75, ’87 and even 2015 Topps sets are considered undisputed classics. Heading back to Jurassic Park now.

  14. Jon Nett
    Posted August 22, 2017 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    not bad, but until Topps stops stuffing worthless inserts into their packs, I’ll continue to buy sets that others put together for me. Just isn’t worth the hundred of dollars to complete a full years set for something that’s going to be worth $40 max

  15. Craig S Barnett
    Posted August 26, 2017 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    I would like to see sum cards part uniform and autographed black card with gold paint pen1 out of 50 to 25

  16. Jim Bernadowski
    Posted October 8, 2017 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    Yes, bring back some cool boarders. Also lose the blurry backgrounds to highlight a player. We all know who he is,and its hard on the eyes.

  17. Jim Bernadowski
    Posted October 8, 2017 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    White boarders with team color inner boarders. World Series cards with trophy gold. And maybe once again,we can have a team banner or cap, such as the 1980 and 81 set. Not copied, but same kind of concept.

  18. Michael L Pereira
    Posted October 28, 2017 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    MANUFACTURED RELICS the joke that makes no collector laugh.

  19. Ryan Cracknell
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    @Michael — Just because you (and others) don’t like them, doesn’t mean that everyone hates them. My guess is you could trade a lot of them for the likely alternative of a plain jersey card of a not-so-great player.

  20. Jim Bernadowski
    Posted November 2, 2017 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    Does anybody else other than me want to see a return of the team photo and team leaders card? Those look cool leading off a team set if you book the cards.

  21. Bernard Hill
    Posted November 7, 2017 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    I would like to see a set of managers produced again for a change instead of mascots or stars in the entertainment business.

  22. Matt Maldre
    Posted November 10, 2017 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    The 2018 set will be known as the “water slide” set. Get your swimsuits on, kids! It’s time to ride on down the logo water slide!

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