Noteworthy Sports Card Releases in May

May is an exciting month for collectors. The NBA playoffs will begin, baseball is getting in full swing, and post-draft analysis has NFL collectors excited for the new season to get underway. No less exciting are the sports card releases in May.

Here is a look at some of the most noteworthy releases from a busy month, including some of the first NFL releases! (Please note: all release dates are subject to change slightly.)

Sports Card Releases in May Worth Following

2020-21 Panini Crown Royale Basketball (May 5)

Crown Royale looks to continue delivering some of the most elegant-looking die-cut cards to collectors. On top of that, Crown Royale is the home of the sought-after 2020-2021 Kaboom! inserts. These superhero-inspired cards can net big money if you hit a LeBron, Steph, or Zion.

These hobby-only boxes resell for about $400 at all major sports card online retailers. However, proceed with caution: these eight-card boxes have one hit, one autograph, and four base cards. Therefore it’s a big risk, big reward buy. If you’re willing to roll the dice chasing a Kaboom or high-end auto, Crown Royale is the product for you!

2020-21 Panini Crown Royale Basketball is known for its Kaboom! series (picture from Panini).

2020 Panini Flawless Football (May 5)

Flawless is in the upper echelon of high-end products. These 10-card boxes will set you back about $6,500, depending on where you buy them. Each box contains 6 autographs (all on-card), 1 or 2 of the iconic gem cards, plus 2 or 3 memorabilia cards.

In the wake of the 2021 draft, collectors are even higher on many of the 2020 quarterbacks. So keep in mind that Flawless will be the last major 2020 release to find your Burrow, Herbert, Tua, or Hurts.

2020 Panini Flawless Football features a great class of quarterbacks, including Herbert (picture from Panini).

2021 Topps Tier One Baseball (May 5)

If you want a hobby box that won’t break the bank, Topps Tier One baseball might be the perfect solution! It’s a popular early-season release, coming in the hobby-only format. Each $200 hobby box contains three cards, delivering 2 autographs and 1 relic card.

True to its name, also look for “Tier One Autographs” of some of baseball’s biggest names, past and present. There is one of these cards per case.

Topps 2020 Tier One MLB Trading Cards Hobby Box for sale online | eBay

Looking for the 2022 Topps Tier One Baseball. Click here

2020-21 Panini Impeccable Basketball (May 12)

Impeccable fit comfortably in the “high-end” product category of the Sports Card Releases in May. You can pre-order boxes for around $2,400, and each box contains a 9-card pack.

Of these 9 cards, collectors can expect to find 5 on-card autographs, 3 base or base parallels, and either one silver insert card, a gold insert card, or a Stainless Stars insert.

Like all the expensive boxes with few cards, ripping Impeccable is a swing for the fences.

2020-21 Panini Impeccable Basketball has some great on-card autos, like this Kobe.

2021 Panini Prizm Baseball (May 12)

This product might be your only time to find Prizm on shelves without spotting tents set up in front of your local Target. Panini Prizm Baseball is an unlicensed product (Topps has exclusive rights to the MLB license), so it falls flat for most collectors. Of course, it is still Prizm and has some die-hard enthusiasts.

Prizm baseball will come out in both blaster and hobby boxes, with the blasters presumably costing $20. Meanwhile, the hobby boxes don’t have a price yet. However, we can probably expect them to cost around $200.

Should you flip it? Currently, the 2020 blaster version of this product sells for about $40 after a year on the market. Therefore, 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. However, this is probably not a solid flip.

2021 Panini Prizm Baseball has that iconic Prizm look, but no license.

2021 Score Football (May 12)

Were you getting sick of endless 2020 football releases? Us too. But now it’s here. 2021 football. The most exciting part of Sports Card Releases in May

Looking for 2022 Score football? Check here.

Score will be the first release from Panini, and it will come in almost every format: fat packs, blasters, hobby boxes, and possibly more.

The hobby boxes come with 400 cards, including 4 autographs and 90 rookies.

That said, note that the players will be featured in their college uniforms. That feature tends to undermine long-term value.

However, you can be one of the first collectors to pull an autograph of the top 2021 picks by buying this. Our advice: sell quickly for the best profits. As soon as NFL uniform cards release, the value will drop.

2021 Score Football features draft picks like Lawrence in their college uniforms (pictures from Panini).

2020-21 Upper Deck Trilogy Hockey (May 12)

Trilogy is a popular product among hockey collectors. Collectors find them appealing because of their eye-catching design and lengthy history.

Boxes presell for $150 and include 4 cards per pack and 6 packs per box. Of the 24 total cards, look for 2 autographs and/or memorabilia, 2 numbered rookies and/or a rookie insert, and 2 numbered parallel cards per box on average.

2020-21 UPPER DECK SERIES 2 HOCKEY HOBBY BOX - Breakaway Sports Cards

2021 Upper Deck Artifacts Golf (May 12)

Upper Deck Artifacts Golf is a tribute to some of the most legendary golfers ever to play the game. It’s a staple for golf collectors because of its PGA Tour Course relic cards.

Each hobby box contains 32 cards: four serial numbered, 3 memorabilia, an autograph, and one additional hit. Despite the presence of autos, it is the memorabilia that is the main draw.

Tiger Woods SP Game Used relic autograph

2021 Panini Contenders Draft Picks Football (May 14)

Contenders Draft Picks is the college jersey younger brother of Panini Contenders. Draft Picks has a very similar look and feel to the iconic Panini Contenders rookie autograph sets. The autographs are made to look like event tickets, and there will be a deep autograph checklist.

This means that—with some irony because of the set name—a few undrafted players will have their rookie autograph appear in Contenders. Jaguars running back James Robinson was an example of this last year.

These boxes are available for pre-order at about $400. They come with 18 cards per pack, 6 packs per hobby box, and each pack has an auto. For blasters, expect one autograph per $20 box. If you chose to flip these, don’t expect massive returns.

2021 Panini Contenders Draft Picks Football uses the event ticket format for its autos.

2021 Panini Legacy Football (May 26)

Legacy is the most affordable of the NFL hobby boxes dropping in May. Due to the reduced number of autographs, you can obtain them on pre-order for around $275.

This hobby-only set comes with 16 packs of 8 cards, including 2 autographs, 2 mini cards, and 4 chrome cards. They also include one “Dare to Tear” card in each inner case, keeping the popular insert from the previous season.

2021 Panini Legacy Football offers a more affordable hobby box (pictures from Panini).

2021 Topps Sterling Baseball (May 26)

Sterling is an immensely popular baseball product. Unfortunately, the price reflects this. You can pre-order hobby boxes for just under $1,000 each.

Each box includes two packs, and they’re called Themed Packs. According to the distributer notes, Themed Pack A contains 1 autographed relic card (#’d to 25 or less). Theme Pack B contains 1 autographed relic card OR 1 Unique Relic or Auto Relic card (1 of 1).

2021 Topps Sterling Baseball is one of the more popular Topps high-end products. (Picture from Niagara Sports Cards).

2021 Panini Absolute Baseball (May 26)

Absolute Baseball is a memorabilia-driven set with some eye-catching cards. However, they have no license to back them.

Much like Prizm Baseball, Absolute baseball does not have a massive following of collectors. However, you will find that some of the cards from this set have resold nicely.

The boxes contain 2 packs of 10 cards per pack, including 2 autographs and 2 memorabilia cards.  Boxes pre-order for around $275.

2021 Panini Absolute Baseball cards can resell surprisingly well (picture from Panini).
Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes is an Amazon #1 Bestselling novelist and content marketer who has played sports and collected trading cards almost his entire life. His nonfiction work has been featured in Forbes, Inc., MarketWatch and more.  You can learn more about him at www.contentninjamarketing.com.


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