It’s back to basics for Topps 2022 Series 1 Baseball, which will be released the week of February 9. Normally, one would say that is when the cards would hit store shelves, but because of the pandemic, 2021 was an odd year for retailers selling cards. Target still isn’t carrying most sports card products in its locations, while Walmart and other retail locations are hit-and-miss propositions.
Strange times, indeed. Perhaps 2022 will be different. There is always online ordering, of course.
Anniversaries will be a big part of plan for 2022.
It has been 70 years since Topps unleashed its now iconic 1952 set, which featured the company’s first Mickey Mantle card. Topps will have a nine-card set that will pay tribute to the Yankees’ Hall of Fame outfielder, whose cards returned to the Topps fold in 2021. The first three cards will be featured in Series 1, with the remainder spread across Series 2 and the Update. Preview information offered by Topps didn’t include a mockup of the Mantle cards.
2022 Topps Series 1 Baseball Configuration
2022 Topps Shohei Ohtani Platinum parallel.
Topps will once again offer two times of boxes to choose from. A Hobby box will contain 24 packs, with 14 cards to a pack. Topps is promising one autograph or relic card per hobby box. For Jumbo boxes, there will be 10 packs, with 46 cards to a pack. Topps is promising one autograph card and two relic cards in every Jumbo box.
Special Silver Packs will once again be inserted in each box, featuring veterans, rookies and retired stars in a chrome format. There will be one Silver Pack in each Hobby box and two in Jumbo boxes. Numbered autographs and parallels will be included in select packs. The promotion is expected to continue in Series 2 and the Update.
2022 Topps Series 1 Base Set
After trying a design that had an admittedly busy look in 2021, Topps returns to a more traditional format for the 2022 product. There is nothing in the photograph of the player that distracts the collector — it’s a straight-on color shot with a white border. And more traditionally, the player’s name appears at the bottom of the card, rather than the slanted look toward the bottom of the card that the 2021 set offered.
As usual, Topps will have 330 cards in the base set, which will include players, team cards and league leaders. Rookies and Future Stars will also be part of the mix.
Parallels will have a new addition with 1/1 Platinum cards. Annual standbys like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day and Independence Day parallels will return.
Here is the Series 1 lineup for parallels:
Rainbow Foil– 1:10 packs
Gold– Numbered to 2,022
Green Foilboard– Numbered to 499
Orange Foilboard – Numbered to 299
Red Foilboard – Numbered to 199
Vintage Stock– Numbered to 99
Independence Day– Numbered to 76
Black– Numbered to 71 and exclusive to hobby and jumbo boxes
Mother’s Day Hot Pink – Numbered to 50
Father’s Day Powder Blue– Numbered to 50
Memorial Day Camo– Numbered to 25
Platinum – 1/1
Printing Plates– 1/1
A Gold Foil parallel will be a jumbo box exclusive. Clear Variation parallels will be hobby exclusives and numbered to 10.
As usual, inserts will be plentiful in the flagship product. Generation Now will celebrate the newest crop of stars and will consist of 90 cards that will be spread over Series 1, Series 2 and the Topps Update set. The concept is based on the 2007 Topps insert.
The breakdown for parallels will be the same for all of the insert sets: Blue Parallels will be limited, with Black (numbered to 299), Gold (75), Red (10) Platinum (1/1) and Autograph parallels numbered to 10 or fewer.
Greatest Hits will showcase the top moments on offense during the 2021 season in a 20-card subset. Making its debut this year will be Diamond Greats Die Cuts, which will feature 25 of the game’s best in die-cut designs.
Welcome to the Show will look back at current and retired stars’ rookie seasons. Another debut insert is Turnin’ Two, which pays tribute to the game’s best double-play combinations. And Flashiest Feet will be a 15-card set that highlights the custom cleats of various players.
Another insert subset will commemorate the 35th anniversary of Topps’ 1987 set, a wood-grain design that was plentiful back in the day as it helped usher in the junk wax era of baseball cards.
In addition to the parallels that match the other inserts, the 1987 Topps inserts will include a 1/1 Wood variation.
The 1987 set also is featured in jumbo boxes, with an oversized Future Stars boxloader. Current rising stars will be included in the 1987 Future Stars design, and some collectors could pull an Autograph parallels numbered to 10 or less.
Manufactured relics return to hobby and jumbo box packs, with MLB Medallions and City Flag Patch. Both of these inserts have parallels in Gold (numbered to 75), Red (10) and Platinum (1/1). There is a Black parallel for the City Flag Patch, numbered to 299.
Another exclusive in both hobby and jumbo boxes are 1/1 sketch cards, which feature hand-drawn artwork of major league stars and legends.
There will be plenty of memorabilia cards to find in the 2022 set.
Major League Material features the game’s top players. Parallels can be found in Black (numbered to 199), Gold (50 or less), Red (25 or less) and hobby-jumbo exclusive Platinum (1/1).
World Series Champion Relic cards are also numbered to 99 and will have Red parallels (25 or less) and Platinum (1/1).
Postseason Performance Autograph Relic cards will pay attention to players that competed in the 2021 postseason and will be numbered to 99 or less. It will have Red parallels (25 or less) and Platinum (1/1).
The 1987 Topps Baseball Relics will again pay tribute to the 35th anniversary of the set (has it really been that long?). Parallels can be found in Black (numbered to 199), Gold (50 or less), Red (25 or less) and a 1/1 Platinum version exclusive to hobby and jumbo packs.
As usual, autographs will have a key role in hobby and jumbo boxes. Baseball Stars Autographs will concentrate on today’s current stars with parallels in Black (numbered to 99), Gold (50), Red (25) and Platinum (1/1), Baseball Stars Dual Autographs will feature a pair of signatures and will be numbered to 5 or less.
The woodgrain returns with 1987 Topps Baseball Autograph cards, which feature on-card signatures of rookies, stars and retired legends. Parallels include Black (numbered to 199), Gold (50 or less), Red (25 or less, a hobby box exclusive) and Platinum 1/1 cards featured in both hobby and jumbo boxes.
Returning this year are World Series Champion Autograph Cards and Postseason Performance Autograph Cards. Both sets will be numbered to 50 or less, with Red parallels (numbered to 25 or less) and 1/1 Platinum parallels.
Autographed Relic Cards
Combining signatures and memorabilia, Topps Reverence, exclusive to hobby and jumbo boxes, returns with on-card autographs and swatches of patches. There are also parallels in Red, which are numbered to 5, and 1/1 Platinum parallels.
Major League Material is limited to 50 copies for each player and includes autographs and memorabilia and features the game’s top players. Parallels can be found in Black (numbered to 199), Gold (50 or less), Red (25 or less) and Platinum (1/1).
World Series Champion Autograph Relic cards will feature autos and game-used materials from players on the 2021 World Series champions. The set will be numbered to 50 or less and will have Red parallels (25 or less) and Platinum (1/1).
Postseason Performance Autograph Relic cards feature players that competed in the 2021 postseason and will have signatures and game-used material. This set also will be numbered to 50 or less and will have Red parallels (25 or less) and Platinum (1/1).
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].