Sports Card Release Calendar: 5/26/21

Every major sport is in action so it’s fitting that new releases from all of them will arrive as spring pushes toward its final weeks.

Shop owners, online retailers and breakers will be busy on the Wednesday before Memorial Day. It’s subject to change as always, but no fewer than four products are set to arrive as of now on May 26.

Here’s a quick roundup of what you can expect to be available for ripping, breaking or holding.


2021 Topps Sterling Baseball

Sterling made its return to the Topps stable last season and is back at an earlier date as things get back to normal in 2021.  

A box will contain two single card packs and if you like serial numbered cards, you’ll probably appreciate Sterling. 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 (things like bat knobs or jersey relic patches) or an autographed relic that is a 1/1.

The checklist came out earlier this week and has been added to our preview. Boxes start online at around $850.

2020-21 Panini Court Kings


The artsy Court Kings product is back with each box carrying two autograph or memorabilia cards, one rookie card, one parallel, two inserts and four base cards, on average.  

There are four rookie card versions, based on scarcity (Rookies IV are the SSPs).  Rare inserts include Aurora, Le Cinque Piu Belle and Rookie Exclusive.

Boxes are online now, starting at around $375.

2021 Panini Legacy Football

One of Panini’s earliest arriving ’21 football products, Legacy boxes will have 32 rookie cards in them, along with two autographs, at least four numbered parallels, a couple of inserts and some shiny cards mixed in. At around $220 online right now, it’s among the lower cost multi-auto boxes.

It’ll include some of the first second year cards of last year’s draftees including Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow.  Look for some content focused on former greats as well.

2020-21 Upper Deck SPx Hockey


There’s a lot going on with SPx, with a bunch of different elements in play. Each box contains four packs, each with just one card.  Boxes typically carry two or three autograph and or memorabilia cards. 

All base cards are serial-numbered to 299 with autograph, jersey and patch auto versions.  Rookie Auto Jersey and Rookie Jersey insert sets will each have low-numbered Spectrum parallels (#’d to just 99 or 49).


2021 Panini Contenders Draft Picks Collegiate Football

More Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, etc., arrive with the college line of Contenders.  As usual, it’ll be a mix of this year’s draftees and NFL players and and present, but with a college focus.

Each box has six packs with 18 cards in each.  Boxes should have an average of six autographs, six parallels and 36 inserts. Boxes are online now for around $375. There’s also a First Off The Line version.

Autographed College Ticket cards are among the big draws. New this year are the Ticket Stub parallel versions. 


2021 Topps Finest Baseball

One of Topps’ longest running brands, Finest returns with its shiny, colorful look.  Hobby boxes consist of two mini-boxes, each with six packs and five cards to a pack. Topps is promising two autographs per hobby box.

There will be 25 short prints in the 125-card base set along with a pile of Refractor parallels.

Autographs will be signed on-card. Finest Autographs and Finest Rookie Design Variations make up the bulk of signed cards.

The best box prices are currently $250-$275.

Also due out in the time period are 2021 Topps Chrome Bundesliga Soccer (5/21); 2021 Leaf Metal Football (5/28); 2021 Bundesliga Tier One Soccer (6/2); 2021 UEFA Champions League Soccer (6/4); 2021 Panini Absolute Baseball (6/4), Leaf Trinity Baseball (6/4) and 2021 Panini Chronicles Soccer (6/4).

About Rich Mueller

Rich is the editor and founder of Sports Collectors Daily. A broadcaster and writer for over 35 years and a collector for even longer than that, he’s usually typing something somewhere. Type him back at [email protected]

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