2021 Topps Archives Baseball Has Some Future Nostalgia


2021 Topps Archives Baseball has enough old designs and players from the past for a happy nostalgia overload. But this year, it’s also taking a trip in a distant future to offer a possible first look at the base design seven decades from now.

Something that hasn’t changed is the fact that autographs continue to land two per hobby box. They also come with a broad mix of inserts and even a mini poster.

2021 Topps Archives Baseball Checklist Overview

The base set is a 300-card affair. Typically, Topps opts for three years to focus on for the design. This time around, as part of their 70th anniversary in the sport, they’re taking a little bit from every decade from the 1950s to today:

2021 Topps Archives Baseball Ke'Bryan Hayes
2021 Topps Archives Baseball Hank Aaron

And if that weren’t enough, there’s a shift to a possible future with a “preview” of the 2091 Topps Baseball design that could be used in another 70 when the card maker could be celebrating 140 years of baseball cards.

Parallels available in hobby packs are a mix of color and foil:

  • Rainbow Foil – /150
  • Green – /125
  • Silver – /99
  • Red – /75
  • Red Hot Foil – /50
  • Blue Foil – /25
  • Orange Hot Foil – /15
  • FoilFractor – 1/1

Select base cards also have additional variations.


Collectors will have to supply the popcorn, but Movie Poster Cards (1:6 packs) make the game look like a Hollywood production. These also have box topper Mini Poster versions that are one per hobby box.

Other inserts dig into Topps’ archives.

Floating heads are the order in 1963 Topps Peel-Offs (1:6).

1991 Topps Bazooka Shining Stars (1:6) goes back 30 years to update the set that originally came in boxes of gum.

Rookies are the focus of 1994 Topps Draft Picks (1:24).

1989 Topps Big Minis takes the oversized set in a smaller direction.

2021 Topps Archives Baseball is slated to come out not long after the 20th anniversary of 9/11. 2001 Topps Never Forgotten (1:8) adapts the 2001 design and includes players who have work FDNY and NYPD caps in games over the years.


On-card signatures are the focus of 2021 Topps Archives Baseball.

Fan Favorites Autographs anchor these. Signers are multi-generational in scope. They might not be the biggest stars in the game, but most typically have strong followings in the game, the hobby or both. Parallels include Purple (/150), Silver (/99), hobby-only Blue (/25), and Gold (1/1).

Fan Favorites Premium Autographs (/50 or less) bring in the superstars. Understandably, these aren’t likely to be as plentiful as regular Fan Favorites signers. Gold (1/1) is the lone parallel here.

2021 Topps Archives Baseball Fan Favorites Premium Autographs

Other ink draws from the regular insert lineup.

1991 Topps Bazooka Shining Stars Autographs and 2001 Topps Never Forgotten Autographs have base versions plus Purple (/150), Silver (/99), Blue (/25) and Gold (1/1) parallels.

1963 Topps Peel-Off Autographs are only found in hobby packs. Base versions are serial numbered while parallels are Silver (/99), Blue (/25) and Gold (1/1).

Rookies appear again in 1994 Topps Draft Picks Autographs, which have base, Blue (/25), Red (/10) and Gold (1/1) versions.

1989 Topps Big Minis Autographs (/20) and Topps Originals Buyback Autographs (/10) round out the signature checklist.

2021 Topps Archives Baseball cards at a glance:

Release date (subject to change): October 29, 2021
Cards per pack: Hobby – 8
Packs per box: Hobby – 24
Boxes per case: Hobby – 10
Set size: 300 cards

What to expect in a hobby box:

  • Autographs – 2
  • 1963 Topps Peel-Offs – 4
  • 1991 Topps Bazooka Shining Stars – 4
  • 1994 Topps Draft Picks – 1
  • 2001 Topps Never Forgotten – 3
  • Movie Posters Cards – 4
  • Movie Posters Mini Posters – 1

Recent Topps Archives Baseball sets:

The full 2021 Topps Archives Baseball checklist and team set lists will be posted as soon as they’re available, likely shortly before the set comes out.


Ryan Cracknell

A collector for much of his life, Ryan focuses primarily on building sets, Montreal Expos and interesting cards. He's also got one of the most comprehensive collections of John Jaha cards in existence (not that there are a lot of them). Got a question, story idea or want to get in touch? You can reach him by email and through Twitter @tradercracks.

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  1. Edward Sokoloff 30 March, 2021 at 11:56

    I collected when I was younger; the hobby has
    become more of a venue generating one.
    How does one collect now, in these modern times?

  2. fred 30 March, 2021 at 15:13

    Topps hasn’t done a remake of the Peel-Offs since… checks notes… 2012 Heritage… 9 years… I guess we were due. The posters look new and different, though. They probably don’t belong in archives. I would like to see what the 2091 design looks like. Hopefully it’s better than 2021. The tiny slanted writing is not good on middle-aged eyes.

  3. John S. 31 March, 2021 at 22:06

    Hopefully I can afford a hobby box this year. I really like that poster design and might work on that set regardless.

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