2018 was another banner year for the baseball card industry as interest in collecting remained high. While digital streaming has disrupted many entertainment and media industries over the past decade, physical baseball cards have continued to engage collectors both young and old. Whether it’s chasing rookie cards of future stars, completing full sets, or searching for autographs and memorabilia cards of their favorite players, opening a pack of baseball cards still provides a thrill that the digital domain has been unable to replicate.

Topps, the Sports Industry giant that has produced the flagship baseball card set each year since 1951, released several major products in 2018. Their flagship “Topps Baseball” set featured cards of every major and minor league player on a standard size 5 1⁄2×2 5/8 card stock. as has been the case for several years now, the base card design was clean and featured an action shot of each player on the front with basic stats and team info on the back. Insert sets within the base Topps release included ‘Topps NOW’ which featured timely print runs of cards commemorating events from that current season.


Another Topps product that was hugely popular among collectors in 2018 was “Allen & Ginter”. Unlike the rostered Topps set, A&G cards featured a diverse assortment of subjects from the world of sports, entertainment, history and more all on the same card stock size. Some examples of subjects featured in 2018 A&G included artists, inventors, landmarks and of course current MLB players. The Allen & Ginter set is beloved for its surprise factor of not knowing what fascinating figure or topic the next card may hold. Insert sets in A&G included ‘Rare Air’ which featured parallels of famous figures through history on sky blue card stock

Panini America also had a sizable presence in the 2018 trading card market. Their flagship “Donruss Optic” set included some of the glossiest and most vivid card designs of the year. Featuring frosted refractors, purple parallels and green laser prizms among other modern insert sets. Panini sets like Donruss Optic tend to be a bit more focused on the memorabilia card side of the hobby compared to other brands. 2018 included ‘Onyx’ parallels which featured a charcoal parallel design and the chance for autographed or memorabilia inserts.


In addition to these mainstream flagship products, 2018 also saw the release of several exciting specialty sets. Topps released tribute sets commemorating iconic players and eras of the past including a stunning “5×7 Heritage” set featuring oversized cards of retired greats like Yogi Berra and Bob Gibson. Upper Deck also paid homage to legends with “Untouchable” a set featuring traded parallels and memorabilia cards of star players from the 1990s.

For the team and player collector there was no shortage of options either in 2018. Both Panini and Topps released high-end sets completely devoted to individual franchises like “Topps Diamond Collection” and “Panini Contenders NFL.” These pricy boxes provided the chance at rare autographs and memorabilia cards from stars currently playing for favorite MLB squads.


While many pasttimes have become more digital in the mobile era, opening 2018 baseball card packs was as nostalgic and exciting as ever on store shelves. The wide variety of products offered franchise collectors, memorabilia chasers, autograph hunters and casual fans meant there was truly something for everyone. eBay also remains a vibrant marketplace where collectors can buy, sell and trade with fellow fans worldwide. Whether it’s chasing stars of today or honoring those of yesterday, the enduring appeal of baseball cards ensures this American tradition will remain popular for many years to come.

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