Prefer your baseball cards to cut right to the high-end hits? 2021 Topps Luminaries offers collectors the chance, packing low print runs, on-card autographs and large book cards featuring numerous autographs — including a staggering 70 signatures.
The product, scheduled for release the week of Aug. 11, is centered around four subsets — Hit Kings, Home Run Kings, Masters of the Mound and Spark of Light.
Every one card hobby box will contain a single encased autograph or autograph relic card numbered to 20 or less.
The Hit Kings Autographs will be numbered to 15 or fewer. Parallels can be found in Red (numbered to 10), Blue (5) and a new Purple parallel numbered to 3. There also will be a Black 1/1 card.
It also feature 1/1 Hit Kings Ultra Book cards. These will feature the autographs of 10 great hitters. The Hit Kings Ultimate Book card is also a 1/1 offering, which features 40 of MLB’s top offensive stars.
Hit Kings Autograph Relics will also be numbered to 15 or less. These cards will showcase on-card autographs with pieces of game-used memorabilia. Blue parallels will be numbered to 10, with Purple debuting and numbered to 3. Black parallels are 1/1 cards. Hit Kings Autograph Patches include on-card autographs and game-used pieces of uniforms, also numbered to 15. Black parallels are 1/1 cards and Hit Kings Dual Autograph Patch cards are also 1/1s.
Home Run Kings follows the same pattern. On-card autographs in the base set are numbered to 15. Parallels will be available in Blue (numbered to 10), Red (5), Purple (3) and Black (1/1). As with the Hit Kings, the Purple parallels are new to this year’s product.
The Home Run Kings Ultra Book card focuses on 10 of the game’s top sluggers and are numbered 1/1. The Home Run Kings Ultimate Book card has several panels and showcases 50 of MLB’s top longball hitters. It’s also a 1/1.
Other 1/1 offerings include Home Run Kings Dual and Triple Autograph Patch cards.
Topps pays attention to pitchers in Luminaries, too. Masters of the Mound are autograph cards that are numbered to 15. There are parallels in Red (numbered to 10), Blue (5), Purple (3) and Black (1/1). A Masters of the Mound Ultra Book card showcases 10 of the game’s top pitchers with a 1/1 card. These cards include present greats and mound stars from the past.
Dual Autograph Patch cards are also 1/1s.
Spark of Light Autographs debuted in 2020 and returns again, featuring the new generation of baseball stars. The on-card autographs are numbered to 20 or fewer. Purple parallels debut this year and are numbered to 3, and there will be a 1/1 Gold parallel.
Spark of Light Dual autographs feature two signatures and are also numbered to 20 or less. Like the regular Spark cards, the parallels will be offered in Purple (3) and Gold (1/1). Spark of Light Autograph Patch cards are numbered to 20 or fewer and have a 1/1 Gold parallel. Dual Autograph Patch cards contain a pair of signatures and are also numbered to 20 or less. There is also a 1/1 Gold parallel.
Book cards will continue to play a dominant role in Luminaries. The Greatest Book card, a 1/1 piece, will feature 30 autographs of the greatest players in MLB history. Even larger will be the new 70 Years of Topps Baseball Platinum Celebration Book card, which will offer 70 autographs, easily the most ever placed on a Topps card. That is also a 1/1 card and will highlight 70 of baseball’s greatest players.
Letters Book Cards are 1/1 cards with on-card autographs and jumbo game-used jersey letter patch pieces.
Cut signature cards will also be evident in Luminaries. Mostly featuring 1/1 cards, the subset will include Cut Signatures, Cut Signature Relics and Dual Cut Signature Bat cards. There also will be Cut Signature Bat Knob Book Cards.
You can see cards pulled from past issues of Topps Luminaries and listed on eBay here.
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].