LOOKING BACK...AND AHEAD
Sports Card Monthly|October 2020
2021 TOPPS BASEBALL SERIES 1 CELEBRATES 70 YEARS OF THE BRAND’S RELEASE
RYAN CRACKNELL

Topps is in a celebratory mood with 2021 Topps Baseball. It’s the 70th installment of the flagship line since its landmark 1952 debut. So there’s lots of looking back. At the same time it does what all flagship releases do by reflecting on the current state of the game and its stars.

Compared to recent years, the 2021 Topps Series 1 Baseball checklist takes a bit of a step back as far as size goes. It’s 330 cards, which is down from 350.

The rookie crop features many players debuting in the shortened 2020 season.

Subsets include Future Stars, World Series Highlights, and League Leaders. Team cards are also part of the checklist.

As usual, parallels are vast. And with the return of white borders, they should show prominently. Parallels available in hobby and hobby jumbo packs include:

Rainbow Foil – (1:10 packs)

Gold – /2021

Vintage Stock – /99

Independence Day – /76

Black – /70 (hobby and hobby jumbo only)

Platinum Anniversary – /70

Father’s Day Blue – /50

Mother’s Day Pink – /50

Memorial Day Camo – /25

Printing Plates – 1/1

70th Anniversary – 1/1

Gold Foil parallels return as hobby jumbo exclusives. These land every other pack.

There’s also 100 Clear cards. Numbered to 10 and done on acetate, these are only in regular hobby packs, not hobby jumbo or retail.

OLD IS NEW AGAIN

Nostalgia and history make regular appearances in every modern flagship Topps Baseball release. And with this being an anniversary year, it’s even more prevalent in 2021 Topps Series 1 Baseball, particularly with the inserts.

70 Years of Topps Baseball highlights seven decades of flagship designs with different players. It has a 70-card checklist of current and retired players. Select cards also have autographs (/10 or less).

Another place to find old designs is Topps Through the Years. Featuring 25 cards, it goes into different Topps brands, not just flagship.

The History of Topps uses 10 cards to chart defining moments in the company’s past.

Sticking with the 35th-anniversary theme from the past few years, 1986 Topps Baseball resurrects the big headline design with a lineup of vets, rookies, and retired stars.

Topps Through the Years and The History of Topps and 1986 Topps Baseball all have Blue, Black (/299), Platinum Anniversary (/70), Red (/10), and Gold (1/1) parallels.

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