Topps Sterling returned after a 10-year hiatus in 2020, and the follow-up product is going to be released several months earlier, making its debut on May 26, 2021. That’s a couple of months later than the originally scheduled release date that was announced last fall. A full checklist is at the bottom of the page.
2021 Topps Sterling Configuration
A hobby box will contain two packs, each with a different theme. The first pack will have an autographed relic card numbered to 25 or less, while the second pack will have either an autographed relic, a Unique Relic or an autographed relic that is a 1/1.
Sterling is an all-hits product with just two cards per box.
New for 2021 will be Sterling Debuts, which features top-level rookies on autographed relic cards. The cards will be hard-signed, which is a plus. Plus, they will feature two relic pieces and will be numbered to 25.
Debuts will have parallels in Blue, which will be numbered to 10 and contain three relic pieces; Red, which will be numbered to five and have four relics; and a 1/1 Silver parallel, which will boast five relic pieces.
Sterling Seasons, Sterling Strikes and Sterling Swings will return for 2021.
Sterling Seasons, numbered to 25, will highlight notable seasons from the game’s top players and will feature an on-card autograph and two relics. Sterling Strikes will pay tribute to the game’s best pitchers, while Sterling Swings will single out MLB’s top hitters.
Parallels for all three subsets will be in Blue, which will be numbered to 10 and contain three relic pieces; Red, which will be numbered to five and have four relics; and a 1/1 Silver parallel, which will boast five relic pieces.
Large swatches will be features in the Sterling Splendor Jumbo Autograph Patches. The card will feature an on-card signature and will be numbered to 5. Parallels will include Red, numbered to 3; and Silver (1/1). Topps is touting these autographs as coming from “the most collectible names in baseball.”
Cards with two and three on-card autographs also will part 2021 Sterling.
Sterling Sets Dual Autograph Relics will feature two signatures and relic pieces from each player featured, with the card numbered to 15. The Red parallel will have two relics per athlete in addition to their signatures and will be numbered to five. The 1/1 Silver parallel will feature three relic pieces per athlete, to go along with their autographs.
Triple Autograph Relics will feature on-card signatures from three players, with a piece of memorabilia for each player. They’ll be numbered to 10 with Red (numbered to 5) and Silver (1/1) parallels.
Unique Relics will be 1/1, and collectors might find Sterling Jersey Letter Patches, which feature oversized relics of the player’s jersey patches. Sterling Bat Knobs will display game-used bat knobs from current and past players. An autographed version will feature autographs on the knob.
Sterling Bat Nameplates will contain a player’s name features on a game-used bat; there also will be an autographed version of this subset.
Sterling Cut Signatures will not only feature baseball greats, but also autographs from famous politicians and entertainment figures.
Legendary Relics will highlight Hall of Fame members and other notable stars with three pieces of game-used memorabilia.
Hobby boxes start online at around $850.
2021 Topps Sterling Baseball Checklist
About Bob D’Angelo
Bob has been a sportswriter and copy editor for more than 35 years and a blogger for a decade. He is celebrating his 50th year of card collecting, and still counts his 1965 Topps Mickey Mantle as his favorite. You can reach him at [email protected].