Tag Archives: released


Topps has been the dominant force in the baseball card industry since the 1950s and each year they release a new set of baseball cards to coincide with the start of the new Major League Baseball season. For the 2023 season, Topps will be releasing several different baseball card sets throughout the year that collectors can purchase in stores, hobby shops, and online.

The first Topps baseball cards to hit the market in 2023 will be the flagship Topps Series 1 release, which is typically one of the largest and most highly anticipated sets each year. Based on past release schedules, collectors can expect the 2023 Topps Series 1 cards to begin arriving at retailers in late February or early March. This timing corresponds with Spring Training for MLB teams as they prepare for Opening Day. Series 1 will feature current stars, rookies, and prospects from all 30 MLB clubs. It is Topps’ first major release of newly produced photos from the upcoming season.

In April, right around the regular season beginning, Topps will then launch the next installment in the flagship series called Topps Series 2. This set continues with additional cards of players included in Series 1 but features new photographic variations. Series 2 also adds in any players that may have been left out of the initial Series 1 checklist due to late roster moves or call-ups to the big leagues. Both Series 1 and 2 have base sets that typically range from 300-400 total cards plus additional inserts, parallels, and autographed/memorabilia variations inserted randomly throughout packs and boxes.

Midway through the MLB season in May or June, collectors can look for Topps Series 3 to arrive. This set rounds out the flagship series with another batch of new photos and any remaining players or rookie call-ups not included in the first two releases. Series 3 usually has the smallest base set of the three flagship series but maintains the high-end insert parallel variations collectors expect. Once Series 3 is out, Topps then shifts focus to upcoming special sets for the second half of the season.

In July, Topps Stadium Club is one of the most anticipated specialty releases. This set features high-gloss photography with embedded stadium seat material inside some of the cards. Stadium Club has become known for its superior photo quality and intricate parallel designs inserted throughout packs. Also sometimes released in July is Topps Chrome, which utilizes similar foil and refractors as inserts but with traditional on-field photography from the season so far. Both Stadium Club and Chrome tend to have smaller checklist sets but added premium materials drive collector demand.

Leading up to the MLB postseason in August and September, Topps rolls out additional specialty sets like Heritage High Number, Archives, Allen & Ginter, and Topps Finest. These help tide collectors over until the playoffs begin and Topps can feature current postseason matchups and stories through special parallel releases inserted in regular packs. Once the World Series concludes in October or early November, Topps Final Edition caps off the yearly release schedule by highlighting the MLB champions with additional photography and hits from that team that weren’t distributed otherwise.

The main 2023 Topps baseball card releases collectors can expect include Series 1 debuting in late February/early March, followed by Series 2 in April, Series 3 in May/June, Stadium Club and Chrome in July, and numerous specialty sets through August-November wrapping up with Final Edition post-World Series. As one of the longest-running sports card companies, Topps dominates the calendar year with new MLB cards ensuring collectors always have fresh product to enjoy throughout the seasons.


The Topps Company has been producing Major League Baseball trading cards since 1950 and each year they release their flagship baseball card product simply called “Topps Baseball”. The release of the 2023 Topps Baseball set is still a few months away but based on the release schedules and timing of previous years, here are some insights into when fans and collectors can expect to see the new 2023 cards hit the market:

Topps has generally released their new baseball card series in late January or early February leading up to the start of spring training and the upcoming MLB season. This timing allows for all the player photos and stats to be as up to date as possible heading into the new year. Sometimes weather delays or other production issues have pushed the release back by a week or two on rare occasions. Looking back at recent years, the 2022 series was officially released on February 9th while 2021 came out on January 27th. So based on this pattern, the safest bet would be that fans can expect to see the retail release of the 2023 Topps Baseball cards sometime between late January and mid February 2023.

In addition to the regular retail release where packs and boxes start appearing on store shelves everywhere from mass retailers to local card shops, Topps also does early pre-release offerings for their biggest customers and industry insiders. In these early pre-sale versions, hobby shops and online distributors will start offering incomplete “boatload” mockup boxes of the new Topps cards weeks before the full official release date. These are usually missing odds and end parallel and insert cards but give the earliest adopters a chance to get their hands on the new designs. These partial mockup boxes tend to be available for pre-order in early-mid January.

Another key release date element is Topps’ highly anticipated box break preview events that many major card conventions and trade shows hold in late January with full factory sealed cases of the upcoming release. These early look events are a big thrill for collectors. Topps also uses these major early unveilings as branding and marketing opportunities at these winter/early spring card shows. Dates for these early box break events usually fall in the last weekend of January or very early February each year.

Once the full retail release happens in late January/early February, Topps launches production of special parallel and insert card variations that continue rolling out throughout the spring and into the season. This includes retail exclusive parallels only available in finite production box configurations sold through mass merchandisers. Limited numbered parallels and autograph or memorabilia cards extend into the summer months while high end vintage parallel reprints and 1/1 autographs can sometimes be offered until late summer or beyond to keep the flagship set fresh all season long.

In addition to their flagship Topps Brand set, Topps also produces specialty subsets each year like their Allen & Ginter’s release which features unique artist renditions of the players along with non-sports inserts. These special supplemental sets usually drop in mid to late spring several months after the base release. And of course, Topps also handles the popular annual MLB postseason and World Series release when the season reaches its climax in the fall.

While we don’t have the official release date yet, based on Topps’ prior year patterns, collectors and fans can anticipate the 2023 Topps Baseball full retail release to hit store shelves sometime between January 25th and February 15th, with pre-release box mockups and trade show preview events occurring in mid to late January. With Topps leading the baseball card industry for over 70 years, their 2023 flagship series is sure to thrill collectors both old and new with its vintage designs and depictions of the upcoming season.


The release of new baseball cards each year is an exciting time for collectors and fans alike. While the major card manufacturers like Topps, Panini, Leaf and others don’t officially announce exact release dates too far in advance, there are some general trends and expectations that give collectors a good idea of when to expect the new season’s cards to start hitting store shelves and being available online.

For the major flagship releases from Topps and Panini, the standard release window in recent years has been in late January/early February following the new calendar year. This is typically shortly after the new MLB season gets underway in late March/early April. Releasing the cards in this window allows them to capture all offseason player movement via free agency, trades and rookie call-ups while still giving collectors several months to enjoy the new products before the season is in full swing.

In 2022, Topps’ main baseball series, Topps Series 1, was officially released on February 16th. Panini’s flagship Donruss baseball cards came out even earlier on January 26th. Looking ahead to 2023, most industry insiders and collectors expect a similar late January/early February timeframe for the first major releases from those companies to kick off the new season of baseball card collecting.

While the flagship products set the standard for the overall release timeline, each company does things a bit differently. Topps tends to roll out their different series, parallels, inserts and specialty products at a steady weekly pace throughout the spring and summer. Panini usually does larger initial releases but then may have some subsequent waves or inserts added to stores later. Other manufacturers like Leaf and Allen & Ginter typically space out their baseball card releases across the March through June period.

Independent regional and national card shows are another major outlet for new baseball card releases each year. The largest national conventions like the National Sports Collectors Convention (NSCC) in Atlantic City in late July/early August and Cardboard Connection in Chicago around Labor Day weekend will often see an assortment of new baseball cards surface. Regional spring and summer shows hosted by local card clubs and shops can provide select early sneak peeks as well.

Online exclusives and special releases unique to specific hobby shops, card companies or sports memorabilia retailers also add to the diversity of new cardboard hitting the market. Website-only products or promotions offered through a manufacturer’s official online store are another outlet for limited edition cards outside the general retail cycle. Digital-only releases on platforms like Topps BUNT have also increased in recent years.

Fanatics, who acquired Topps in January 2022, could alter the traditional baseball card release model going forward as they integrate Topps into their broader sports collectibles company. But for 2023, most experts still expect a standard January/February launch for the major flagship brands establishing the foundation of the new collecting season’s timetable. Beyond that, it remains an exciting Spring and Summer of new cards emerging across both physical and digital hobby platforms keeping fans and collectors engaged throughout baseball season.

While precise dates remain unannounced, January and February of 2023 are when fans can anticipate the first big waves of new cardboard arriving from brands like Topps and Panini kicking off the newest year of baseball card collecting. From there, a steady stream of additional releases will hit stores, shows and online throughout the spring and summer keeping the hobby buzzing during baseball’s prime months ahead of the eventual 2023 World Series concluding another fun season on and off the field.


The release of new baseball card sets is an annual event highly anticipated by collectors every year. Even though the 2023 MLB season is still months away, card manufacturers are already working hard behind the scenes to design, produce and distribute the upcoming year’s crop of new baseball cards. Based on historical release patterns and information from the major card companies, here is a breakdown of when the major 2023 baseball card releases can be expected:

Topps is generally the first company to release flagship baseball cards each year, with their main set usually dropping in late January or early February. For 2023, current projections have Topps releasing their flagship Series 1 cards some time in early-to-mid February. This timing allows them to include any big name free agents or trades that may occur in the MLB offseason. Series 1 will feature base rookie and star player cards along with various inserts. Throughout February and March, Topps will then release subsequent Series 2 and Series Update sets on a periodic basis to incorporate stat and roster updates from spring training and the early season.

Panini tends to follow Topps closely with their main Donruss and Contenders releases in February and March as well. Their timing for 2023 flagship products like Donruss Baseball and Contenders Baseball is pegged for late February through March. As with Topps, Panini uses the Series format and plans staggered releases to continually freshen up rosters. Additional Panini sets like Diamond Kings, Impeccable and Clear Cut which feature highly coveted parallels and memorabilia cards typically come out in March through May.

Further into April and May, expect releases from other notable brands like Leaf, Bowman and Franchise Football. Leaf usually launches their annual Metal Universe and/or Leaf Greatest of All Time tribute sets in April. Bowman is renowned for their extensive lineup of highly sought after prospects, and their flagship Bowman’s Best, Bowman Draft and Bowman Chrome releases tend to hit the market from late April into June after the draft. Franchise Football shifts over to baseball for their Franchise All-Stars set in May, which compiles top performers from the previous season into memorabilia card formats.

Upper Deck is a company that waits a little later in the year for their baseball releases compared to other manufacturers. With fewer overall sets compared to in the past, Upper Deck typically unveils their flagship products like Upper Deck Series 1 and Upper Deck SP Authentic starting in June going into July/August. These capture the heart of the regular season and all-star festivities, as well as mid-season player movement from trades. Updates like SPx and Timeline can be expected in late summer also from Upper Deck.

Towards the end of the season from August into October, expect hobby retailers to start seeing the first 2023 release boxes from smaller independent labels as they ramp up production. Brands like Gold Label Memorabilia, In The Game, Just Commons and Clubhouse Collection have carved out niches crafting unique parallel and patch sets focused on stars, rookies or specific teams. With lesser print runs, these later releases often cater to collectors seeking certain short-printed autographs or memorabilia relics of their favorite players as autumn baseball winds down.

While things can shift month-to-month based on unforeseen circumstances, the typical window for major 2023 baseball card releases spans from February at the earliest through October at the latest. Kickoff flagships from Topps, Panini and Leaf should start hitting the shelves in February and March ahead of Opening Day. Releases will then continue in steady waves through the summer from brands like Upper Deck, Bowman and Panini before smaller independent labels wrap things up towards playoff season. Collectors can look forward to a full calendar year’s worth of new cardboard from their favorite companies featuring the 2023 MLB stars and storylines as they unfold.


The major baseball card companies such as Topps, Panini, and Leaf all begin releasing their new baseball card products starting in late January and continuing through the summer. Here are some more specifics on the release timelines:

Topps is generally the first company to release new baseball cards each year. They will start with the flagship Topps Series 1 release, usually coming out in late January or early February. This is the main base set release that contains photos and statistics for players from the previous MLB season. Series 1 will be found in retail packs, blasters, hobby boxes, and high-end products.

In March, Topps then follows up Series 1 with the release of their annual Heritage High Number product. This set highlights retired players and parallels/short prints of current stars. Heritage uses a retro design inspired by baseball cards from the 1950s/60s. Also in March, Topps Update begins arriving with rookie cards and any statistics/team changes from Spring Training.

April and May see Topps release their Series 2 and Series Highlights/Allen & Ginter products. Series 2 has more current player photos while Highlights/A&G go with fun vintage-style designs on top rookie cards and star veterans. Topps Traded comes out in July, spotlighting new acquisitions from the MLB trade deadline.

Panini also jumps into the yearly baseball card race in February/March with their Donruss and Donruss Optic releases. These products will feature the same rookie class and stars as Topps but with a more photo-centered graphic style. Panini then rolls out more hit-focused products like Contenders and Prizm through the spring/summer months.

Leaf is another issuer coming to market in March/April with their Leaf Metal, Leaf Greatest Hits and high-end Autographed Football/Basketball/Baseball sets. These sets highlight rare parallels, vintage design blends and coveted on-card autographs of the biggest names in the sport.

Beyond the major brands, there are dozens of smaller companies that debut new baseball sets year-round as well. Some focus more on specific player tiers like prospects, rookies or veterans. Others experiment with innovative serial-numbered parallels or unique memorabilia relic cards. Many will release box breaks, case breaks and single packs/boxes online throughout the baseball season too.

In summary, January through July/August are the primary months when new baseball card products for the upcoming MLB season begin arriving in stores, online card shops and break/rip websites. Release timelines may vary slightly year to year. The flagship releases are usually the best first chance for collectors to add rookie cards and stars to their collections each spring before the action on the diamond begins anew. Careful planning of shopping and collecting budgets will serve enthusiasts well in chasing the hot new baseball cards arriving weekly throughout the issue cycle. Let me know if any part of this overview on baseball card release dates needs further explanation or expansion.