2018 Topps Tier One baseball will be released the week of May 16 and fans of this high-end product will be glad to know that not much has changed. Once again, a hobby box will contain one pack, with three cards to a pack. All three cards are hits, with two autographs and one relic. Prices should start around $90-$100 per hobby box, depending on the retailer.
Topps Tier One is noted for its bat knob cards, and they will return this year with a larger checklist (100 subjects) and all as 1/1 cards. But there will be plenty of autographs for collectors to chase in addition to memorabilia cards.
Tier One Autographs will be a case hit, featuring top major-league stars and big names from the past. These will be hard-signed cards and will have parallels in Bronze Ink, numbered to 25; Silver (10) and Gold (1/1).
Another on-card subset, Break Out Autograph Rookies will be numbered to 299 or less. They also will have parallels in bronze ink (numbered to 25), Silver (10) and Gold (1/1). Clear One Autographs are also touted as hard-signed cards, with signatures written on clear acetate. These cards will be numbered to 10 or less.
Prime Performers Autographs will showcase the game’s top players, along with legends from the past, with on-card signatures. The cards will be numbered to 299 or fewer and will have parallels in Bronze Ink (numbered to 25), Silver Ink (10) and Gold (1/1).
Making its debut this year will be Tier One Talent Autographs, which will focus on a player’s power, speed, batting average, fielding ability of pitching talent. These on-card signature cards will be numbered to 299 or less and will have the same configuration of parallels as the previous three subsets.
Topps also will be offering combination autographs, with on-card signatures in the Dual and Triple Autograph configurations. Dual Autographs will feature up to 20 different pairings of players and will be numbered to 25 or less. Triple Autographs will sport 10 different combinations and will be numbered to 10 or less.
Cut Signatures will be 1-of-1 cards, with a cut autograph from 25 different all-time greats.
2018 Topps Tier One Relics
Relic cards will contain lineups of current stars and legendary players. Tier One Relics will feature at least 60 players combined with game-used memorabilia. A Dual Relic parallel will be numbered to 25 and will have a patch. A Triple Relic Parallel will be a 1/1 card that also will include patch material.
Legends Relics will feature 25 legendary subjects with game-used memorabilia embedded into the card. A Dual Relic Parallel will be numbered to 25, with a 1/1 Triple Relic Parallel also a possibility for collectors. Prodigious Patches will feature 50 players that include current stars, rookies and up-and-coming performers. The cards will feature a jumbo-sized patch and will be numbered to 10. There also will be a Platinum Parallel that will be a 1-of-1 card.
More relics include Limited Lumber, which will feature pieces of game-used bats embedded into the card. There will be 100 subjects, and each card will be a 1/1. All-Star Patches will include jumbo uniform swatches from 20 stars’ workout jerseys at the 2017 All-Star Game; those also will be 1/1 cards.
For collectors who enjoy cards that include relics and autographs, Tier One will have several versions. There will be more than 40 players represented in Autographed Tier One Relics, with cards numbered to 100 or less. A Dual Relic Parallel will be numbered to 10, with a Triple Relic Parallel numbered 1/1 that also will include patch material.
Dual Autograph Relic Book Cards will feature 20 different players in book form, with autographs and game-used jersey patch pieces. A Dual Patch Parallel will be a 1/1 card and will feature more patch material.
Autographed Prodigious Patches will highlight the top tier of current baseball stars, with up to 60 cards featuring jumbo-sized game-worn jersey patches and player autographs. These cards will be numbered to 10 or less, and there also will be a 1/1 Platinum Parallel that will include a patch.
In addition to the standard bat knob relic cards, Tier One will be offering Autographed Bat Knobs, featuring the knob of a bat embedded into the card along with a player’s signature. There will be up to 50 subjects in this subset, which will be 1/1s. Also with 1/1 cards are the Autographed Limited Lumber cards, which will feature an on-card signature.
Signature Tools Autograph Relics will feature more than 35 subjects with an autograph and a piece of the pen the player used to sign his name embedded into the card. Those also will be 1/1s.
The final subset — also 1-of-1 — is called Cut Signature Relics. It is like the Cut Signature cards, but there is also a game-used relic embedded into the cardboard.