Sweltering Hot July Sports Card Releases

July has a lot to love for sports fans: the crowning of a new NBA champion, the baseball season gaining more momentum, and NFL pre-season hype building up with every passing week. In other words, all three major sports are going to be making consistent headlines, and the card releases will match that. July Sports Card Releases promise to be smoking hot.

To ensure you don’t miss anything, here’s our list of the most noteworthy releases for the month. Note that this does not include every release, and the dates are always prone to move a bit, but this should give you a good feel for what’s coming and when you can look to get it.

Noteworthy July Sports Card Releases

2021 Panini Chronicles Draft Picks Football (July 2)

While initially scheduled for June, Chronicles Draft Picks still will be a hot product. It follows the same formula as Prizm Draft Picks: a taste of what’s to when the NFL product releases.  The “Draft Picks” series features the players in their college uniforms, so the value of these cards will be in the short-term, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t money to be made off a big pull.

In true Chronicles fashion, this product combines a good deal of Panini brands in one box. For example, one pack could contain a Select, Optic, Status, and Flux card. While some looks will be more popular than others, this is still an excellent product for chances at a big pull (with so many brands self-contained in one box, there are lots of low-numbered options for each player). These $300 boxes come with 6 packs of 8 cards, including 3 autographs, 1 memorabilia, and 12 opti-chrome cards.

Panini Chronicles Draft Picks Football offers yet another chance to get your Trevor Lawrence in a college uniform card (picture taken from Panini).

Topps UEFA Champions League Soccer (July 2)

Because of the strong international market, soccer cards are as hot as anything right now. Topps Finest UEFA Champions League cards will keep the hot streak going with boxes that cost just north of $700. Each box has sixty total cards, broken down between two mini boxes per master box, and you can expect two autographs total. This chromium set will feature Erling Haaland along with other major globally pursued prospects.

2021 Topps Museum Collection Baseball (July 2)

Topps Museum collection is a visually unique set for the artistic slant it puts on modern baseball cards. With canvas inserts and a painted look, these cards often feel timeless and valuable. As far as actual monetary value, the boxes are preselling for $380.  Each hobby box contains four mini-boxes, and each of those includes five cards: 3 base cards, one parallel, and one hit. As far as the hits go, each hobby box contains one relic autograph, one on-card autograph, one quad relic, and one relic. With a unique and artistic set like Museum, the possibility for big pulls is eye-catching.

Topps Museum Collection Baseball offers an artsy take on high-end baseball cards (picture taken from Topps).

2021 Panini Chronicles Racing (July 9)

Fasten your seatbelts; Chronicles Racing is here. If you’re a fan of racing, this will be one of the major releases for your sport this season. Each box contains 6 packs of 8 cards and 3 autographs, 1 memorabilia, and 2 spectra cards on average. These boxes are preselling for only $150, so they could offer a great bang for your buck if you’re into racing.

2021 Panini Luminance Football (July 9)

True to its name, Luminance uses light to make some very visually attractive cards. The set features players front-and-center, with a dark background around them. The result is an illuminated, spot-light sort of look that seems to get better every season. The hobby boxes are pre-ordering for $290. Each package includes 3 autographs, one memorabilia card, 5 parallels, 4 inserts, and 12 rookies. So Luminance could be a bright spot for pre-NFL jersey rookie cards.

2020-21 Panini National Treasures Basketball (July 14)

When it comes to high-end, one-pack boxes, perhaps none are more iconic than National Treasures. The brand has always been a big risk, big reward proposition. But if you’re feeling like rolling the dice on a $3,800 hobby box, then this is the brand for you. Each 10 card box contains 4 autographs, 4 memorabilia, 1 printing place, and 1 base or parallel. Many legendary cards come out of this set, including RPA and Logoman autographs. However, at this price point, it’s always a roll of the dice.

Panini National Treasures Basketball offers a chance at cool patch cards, at a significant price (picture taken from Panini).

2021 Donruss Elite Football (July 16)

Donruss Elite football is one of the oldest Panini sets and has a loyal following every year. The $400 boxes have 20 packs of 5 cards, including 2 autographs, 1 memorabilia, 3 rookies, and 6 parallels. Elite is a good product for collectors who want a large number of cards in each box but still want a good chance of pulling that big card.

2020-21 Clearly Donruss Basketball (July 21)

Clearly Donruss feels, to some extent, like Panini’s attempt to squeeze every drop of revenue from the sports card boom as possible. The set debuted in the 2019-20 season—tapping into Zion’s hype—and was an unexpected drop without much pre-release marketing.

Despite coming across as a half-baked idea in delivery, the set looks great. The Donruss set includes the classic “Rated Rookies,” but the player’s images appear on clear acetate. If Optic is the chrome version of Donruss, this is the see-through version. The 20-card boxes are only pre-ordering for $175. You’re not guaranteed a hit, but the payoff could be high if you get lucky.

2021 Panini Gold Standard Football (July 23)

Gold Standard lives up to its name. It takes full advantage of the gold theme, with gold-based inserts and cards that include actual pieces of valuable rare earth minerals. The one drawback is that this is a $400 box that only contains a mere 7 cards/pack so that you can make a lot of money. Or, you know, lose it all.  This release will also most likely be our first look at the rookies in their NFL uniform, elevating the value even further.

Love GOLD? Well we have the July sports card release for you! (picture taken from Panini).

2020-21 Panini Select Basketball (July 28)

If sports cards had a “Big Three,” Select is the third member. Along with Optic and Prizm, Select is one of the most sought-after midlevel card brands for its chromium set with lots of colored parallels and big-hit potential. As always, Select basketball will be a big release—as made apparent by its $1,200 pre-order price tag. Select has 5 packs of 12 cards, including 3 autographs or memorabilia, 12 Prizms, 2 courtside base cards, and more.

2021 Panini Prizm Baseball (July 30)

This release might be your only time to find Prizm on shelves without spotting tents set up in front of your local Target. Unfortunately, Panini Prizm Baseball is an unlicensed product (Topps has the MLB license), so it falls flat for most collectors. But, of course, it is still Prizm and has some die-hard enthusiasts, but not the same draw that football and basketball do.

Prizm baseball will come out in blaster and hobby boxes, with the blasters presumably costing $20 and hobby boxes preselling for $275.

Should you flip it? Currently, the 2020 blaster version of this product sells for about $40 after a year on the market, and after shipping and fees, the returns are barely worth the hassle. Maybe baseball fans will rally to Prizm this year, or the rookie class will prove exceptional, but most indications suggest this is not a flipper.

Want Prizm without camping outside Walmart all night? (picture taken from Panini).

Bottom Line on July Sports Card Releases

July sports card releases bring a solid mix of high and low-end releases in all the major sports. Stay tuned for our monthly preview of the coming releases on Cardlines towards the end of every month.

Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes is a novelist and content writer (contentninjamarketing.com) who has played sports and collecting trading cards almost his entire life. He just graduated from the University of Tulsa with an MBA and should probably get a “real job,” but instead hopes to continue telling stories in his pajamas for a long time.