The 2018 baseball season is upon us after the longest offseason we’ve seen in a while. The hype surrounding our hobby is at an all-time high as is the anticipation for the new 2018 products. Droves of flashy rookies, accomplished 2nd year players, and high profile veterans highlight the new products. How does one choose with so many releases on the horizon? Well, here are a few of my favorite products spanning the array of the collecting landscape.

I view Diamond Kings by Panini as one of the “core” sets of cards released every year. It debuts a week after Opening Day and has almost anything you could ask for in a set. Rookies, retired legends, and current stars litter this set. Numerous inserts and framed cards pop and the design of the cards gives a nostalgic feel that fits well with the first week of a new season.

 

This set also comes with a reasonable price point that is more elusive than ever. This one of the best sets for the value out there.  Shown below on the right is the 2018 design next to the 2017 design on the left.

2018 Panini Diamond Kings

Cards/Pack: 8

Packs/Box: 12

2 Autographs/Memorabilia Cards per box

11 Inserts

 3  Framed Parallels

2 Variations

2 Short Prints

Release Date: April 11

On the other end of the spectrum is Topps Museum Collection.  I would highly recommend this set if you are looking to spend a little more. Many of the autos in MC are on-card and the styling of the cards is beautifully simplistic as you can see here. 

 

Many of my favorite personal hits are from MC. The checklist typically contains several players not found in most, if not all, other products. The quad team material relics serve as a quick history of the legends of each team and the patches on the cards are bold and beautiful. Even the base numbered cards can sell for decent money and blow most base cards out of the water. The canvas collection cards are unique, artist-drawn, inserts worth collecting. I look forward to this release date more than any other.

2018 Topps Museum Collection

Cards/Pack: 5

Packs/Box: 14

1 Autographed Relic

1 Autograph

 1 Prime Relic

1 Quad Relic

1 Canvas Collection Insert

4 Parallels

Release Date: June 20

This is the preeminent early season set for prospects and rookies. Oh, and Ohtani (confirmed by Topps themselves.) This is great set whether you collect to sell, to keep, or a combination of both. Bowman Baseball contains on-card autos of most of the top prospects in baseball. This is your chance to get in on the ground floor for players that may be sensations by the all-star break (see Judge and Bellinger). There are still extremely rare and valuable signed inserts of star players such as Kris Bryant as well.  Bowman is also the king of colored refractor sets, many of which are more valuable than inked cards. This is the fundamental product focusing on the future of baseball.

2018 Bowman Baseball

Hobby Box

Cards/Pack: 10

Packs/Box: 124

1 Autograph

1 Bowman Sterling Card

Jumbo Box

Cards/Pack: 32

Packs/Box: 112

 3 Autographs

2 Bowman Sterling Cards

Release Date: April 25

Which baseball products are you looking forward to in 2018? Comment below and let's talk about it.

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