2021 Topps x Sports Illustrated Baseball Covers History
The history between Sports Illustrated and Topps goes back to the magazine’s first issue in 1954. Inside was a sheet of 27 baseball cards featuring some of the game’s biggest stars. 2021 Topps x Sports Illustrated Baseball flips it around, creating cards out of some of the magazine’s memorable baseball covers.
The fronts are basically cover recreations with an additional frame with the player’s name and year of publication.
Card backs offer a little more insight with a write-up and the exact issue date.
Every week, two new cards drop exclusively on the Topps website. Each is available for just one week. At that time, the sales window closes. It’s a print-on-demand product meaning that print runs are based on how many are purchased.
When complete, the set will have 70 cards. This stays with the 70th Anniversary theme Topps is using in 2021.
Individually, cards cost $9.99 through the Topps site or $17.49 for a bundle of both cards for the week. Lots of five, ten or 20 copies of the same card are available at a discount. Collectors can also look to eBay and find cheaper rates during the sales window. A handful of dealers offer pre-sales where they buy in bulk and immediately sell cards that are still available to order closer to $5.50-$6 each. Once they receive their cards from Topps, these dealers send them out. It takes a little longer, but the savings can be significant.
This isn’t the first time that Sports Illustrated covers have made their way onto baseball cards. For example, in 1998 and 1999, Fleer produced a handful of SI-branded sets, some of which incorporated classic covers onto inserts.
2021 Topps x Sports Illustrated Baseball at a glance:
Release date (subject to change): March 16, 2021
Set size: 70 cards (when complete)