TOPPS BIG BASEBALL CARDS 3RD SERIES

Topps released their third series of Big Baseball cards in April of 2021 continuing their oversized homage to classic 1950s and 1960s baseball cards. The Big format stands out with gigantic 3.5” x 5” card sizes that are approximately 3 times larger than a standard modern baseball card.

For the third series, Topps focused on highlighting some of the biggest stars and top rookies from the 2020 season. Many of the featured players had breakout or award-winning campaigns in the shortened 60-game season played under COVID protocols. The 100 card set featured a diverse mix of veterans, young stars, and rising prospects across all 30 MLB teams.

Some of the biggest names included in the set were NL MVP Freddie Freeman, AL MVP Jose Abreu, NL Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer, AL Cy Young Award winner Shane Bieber, and top rookies Kyle Lewis, Ian Anderson, and Luis Robert. Topps also made sure to represent all teams by including at least one star player from each club. Prominent rookie debuted were given serial numbered parallels up to only /25 copies to make them especially collectible short prints.

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Visually, the cards paid homage to the classic oversized “large size” cards from the 1950s and 1960s with thick cardstock, bright colors, player action shots, and an overall vintage aesthetic. Bordered pictures spilled off the edges of the cards giving them a nostalgic feel while modern stats like home runs, RBIs, ERA, and more were featured on the back. Serial numbers were small and clean printed on the lower front adding to the overall retro design makeup.

To increase the excitement around short printed rookie cards, Topps chose to include special parallels with only small quantities produced. Top 2020 rookies like Kyle Lewis, Ian Anderson, and Luis Robert received additional short print variations numbered to only /25 copies each. These scarce serial numbered “sp” cards generated buzz among collectors looking to land one of the hardest rookie cards to pull from packs at a low population count.

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Packs containing the Big cards featured 8 cards total with no guaranteed hits, parallels, or short prints. The base Commons and Commons Variations were readily available while Inserts like Record Breakers showcasing impressive 2020 stats and 1970s Style parallels paid homage to a past decade of baseball. Limited 1/1 print run variations of stars like Mookie Betts, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Juan Soto sparkled as highly coveted chase cards at the top of any collector’s want list.

Fan favorite “short prints” of rookies like Luis Robert (/25), Ian Anderson (/25) and Kyle Lewis (/25) created excitement as the hardest cards to land from packs. Multi-sport athletes Devin Booker and Freddie Freeman also received sought short print treatments extending beyond just baseball players. Russell Wilson even received a Blue parallel variation numbered only to /5 copies as an ultra-tough pull.

On the resale market, boxes of Series 3 Bigs carried steep prices of $150+ due to high collector demand for these oversized vintage-style cards. But singles could be acquired more affordably with base Commons retailing around $5-10 each while short prints and parallels climbed far higher depending on the specific player and rarity. Top rookie variations like a Luis Robert /25 sold initially in the $100-200 range showing how coveted these low population cards became.

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Overall, Topps Big Baseball Series 3 was met with widespread praise as one of the best and most exciting modern retro sets released in 2021. By highlighting the biggest names and best rookies from 2020 along with sought-after short prints and parallels, the set succeeded in capturing collector attention. Topps also won accolades for the vintage look and feel they brought to these oversized cards which have remained popular with both new and old school baseball card fans. The high standards they established with Series 3 will now leave collectors eagerly awaiting to see which future stars and themes are highlighted in Topps Big Baseball Series 4 in 2022.

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