Best Pack of Baseball Cards to Buy in 2022

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Some people love the fact that baseball cards have been reduced to two main options between the Topps and Panini brands of cards. Of course, within each of those you’re going to have a handful of choices, and sure, there is variety between most of them.

That said, it’s still not crystal clear in terms of which types of baseball card packs you should be buying. And I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you won’t find a crystal clear answer either in this or other blog posts.

The reason is, the answer rests with you and your collecting or flipping preferences. Are you a buy and hold type of person? Or are you someone who can’t even wait to get out of your car to rip a pack? And then once you rip, do you want to collect the set? Are you only looking for inserts or case hits?

There are a ton of choices, and while we are going to go through a few different options to buy so far in 2022, the best packs for your might be different than the best for me, and so on.

2022 Topps Series 1: Best for “Everyone”

To kick off the 2022 season, Topps introduced their series 1 packs to a ton of excited fanfare. Not only were collectors and flippers salivating to get a new product, but the introduction of the Wander Franco “true” rookie card made things all the crazier.

And that’s one big reason why 2022 Topps S1 is on this list—do you want to chase one of the most hyped rookie cards in recent memory? And even though the value of the card has decreased dramatically, there is no telling what the future holds.

Besides Wander, though, Topps flagship is flagship after all, offering plenty of everything for every type of collectors. For instance, Topps flagship is a must for set collectors, offers “true” rookies for rookie collectors, fun inserts for insert collectors, and of course chances at big hits for thrill seekers.

And let’s not forget those who might be interested in short prints and variations. Topps flagship (and another release on this list) sure has plenty to offer in that regard.

One more thing to note with these is that pack configurations in terms of number of cards, types of cards, odds, etc. are going to vary based on the type of pack, whether it’s hobby, jumbo hobby, retail, retail exclusive, etc.

For example, if you happen to find a hanger box/pack at your local Walgreens (yes, Walgreens sells cards), you’ll probably find exclusive to Walgreens yellow parallels. Same for those found at Meijer, but as Royal blue parallels, etc.

Beckett Checklist & Set Info

  • Hobby: 14 Cards
  • Hobby Jumbo: 46 Cards
  • Retail: 16 Cards
  • Blaster Packs: 14 Cards
  • Hanger Box: 67 Cards
  • Fat Packs: 36 Cards

2022 Topps Heritage: Best for Nostalgic Set Collectors

Speaking of complete sets and variations, let’s talk about 2022 Topps Heritage as one of the best. While Topps Heritage packs won’t offer as much in the way of hits or even shiny inserts, there are a lot of variations to keep an eye out for, including team color logo swaps, action variations, and the elusive flip stock.

While Topps Heritage goes out of its way to offer these in abundance, it’s also the best brand in terms of being able to easily confirm whether or not the card you’re holding is in fact a variation. That’s thanks in part to an actual marking on the back of the card, and not having to rely on an obscure numbering system written in super fine print on the back of the card (like Flagship).

2022 Topps Heritage - [Base] #223.3 - SP Image Variation - Ronald Acuña Jr. - Courtesy of COMC.com

2022 Topps Heritage - Real One Autographs #ROA-RME - Ryan Mountcastle - Courtesy of COMC.com

And while the above is true, there is still a very real possibility of getting an auto, and because they are fewer and further between, there might be a better chance for those who actually hit an auto to hit something with some nice value—plus, all autos are on-card, which on the Heritage vintage style and design, always looks pretty nice.

Beckett Checklist & Set Info

2022 Bowman: Best for Prospects

Prospecting isn’t for everyone, so if you’re in that group, feel free to skip ahead here because I don’t think there is much that I can say to convince you otherwise. But for the rest of you, 2022 Bowman packs will offer much of the prospecting fun you’re used to seeing, plus a few new wrinkles in the way of new Lava refractor parallels, and more.

2022 Bowman - Chrome Prospects - Lava Refractor #BCP-10 - Curtis Mead /399 - Courtesy of COMC.com

Beckett Checklist & Set Info

  • 1st Edition Hobby: 10 Cards Per Pack
  • Hobby Jumbo: 32 Cards Per Pack
  • Hobby: 10 Cards Per Pack

2022 Archives Signature Series Active: Best for Autographs

When it comes to picking the best card for autographs, it’s hard to debate that the product that guarantees an auto in every “pack” is the way to go. Now, with that said, some might argue that this is more of a “box” of cards based on the price, but it’s still an option.

2022 Topps Archives Signature Series - Active Player Edition Buybacks #21TAG-113 - Nate Pearson (2021 Topps Allen & Ginter) /1 [Buy Back] - Courtesy of COMC.com

If you’re not familiar, Archives Signature Series cards are called “buyback cards” meaning they aren’t a “new” release in terms of design, but rather an older card that has already been released but then “bought back” to be autographed by the player and then stamped with a serial number.

Beckett Checklist & Set Info

2022 Topps Gypsy Queen: Best Oddball Pack

Gypsy Queen is always a curious release, and definitely strays furthest from the norm when compared to the rest of the packs above and below.

In terms of card feel and finish, they are most similar to Topps Heritage, and are also alike in their many different, sometimes head-scratching variations, like missing nameplates and more.

2022 Topps Gypsy Queen - Gypsy Queen Autographs - Blue #GQA-VGJ - Vladimir Guerrero Jr. /99 - Courtesy of COMC.com

So, while I prefer for my cards to have names printed on them, Gypsy Queen can still be a lot of fun given their uniqueness. I’m also a fan of the autos, which can include booklets, and like Heritage, are on-card.

Beckett Checklist & Set Info

2022 Topps Series 2: Best New Pack

And only last because it’s the most recent, Topps made hobby headlines twice of late—once by releasing a checklist that didn’t include any of the 2022 Topps Series 2 rookies everyone was expecting like Bobby Witt Jr., Jeremy Pena rookies, Spencer Torkelson, or Julio Rodriguez…only to surprise everyone with SP rookies of Witt Jr., Torkelson, and Rodriguez.

So, if not anything else, 2022 Topps S2 packs might be fun to purchase if you’re a thrill-seeker looking for what is sure to be a valuable SP rookies if you’re lucky to find one of those.

Beckett Checklist & Set Info