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2023 Topps Inception Baseball Returns With An Affordable Focus On Hits And Youth

As 2023 draws to a close, Topps brings us 2023 Topps Inception Baseball. The product is hits driven, but with a reasonable buy-in price.

It has a focus on youth, but not the pre-MLB prospects that have long been the domain of Bowman. The combination of these factors has allowed Topps Inception to carve out a niche for itself among collectors.

But what will collectors find in 2023 Topps Inception Baseball? What is the box format? What hits can we expect? And what are the hits worth breaking for?

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Topps Inception Baseball 2023 release date & release format

The release date for Topps Inception 2023 is scheduled for March 15, 2024 (subject to change).

Hobby Boxes of 2023 Topps Inception contain just one pack per box. Each pack contains 7 cards per pack. Each hobby case contains 16 boxes.

Each 7-card pack/box contains one autograph or autograph relic card and two parallels.

Boxes of 2023 Topps Inception Baseball quickly sold out on Topps.com at $139.99. Pre-sale prices at other outlets seem to range from $120 to $150, although prices on eBay are already more in the $160-200 range.

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2023 Topps Inception base set & design

The base set of 2023 Topps Inception Baseball consists of 125 cards. The checklist focuses on young major league players. So, these aren’t prospects as you’ll find in Bowman, but a mix of rookies and players within their first few major league seasons.

The design offers player photos over background that are colorful and abstract. The player name appears in gold foil at the card bottom, above the team name on a black streak.

A small Topps logo and “Inception” in a thin gold foil font at the top of the page complete the design.

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2023 Topps Inception Baseball Adley Rutschman rookie card

Topps Inception Baseball parallels

Parallels fall two per pack per box, and come in a number of different colors and print runs.

Parallels include:

  • Green
  • Purple – /150
  • Magenta – /99
  • Red – /75
  • Orange – /50
  • Blue – /25
  • Inception – 1/1

2023 Topps Inception Baseball autographs

Every pack of 2023 Topps Inception Baseball contains ink, either standard autographs or autographed relics. Autographs are a huge part of the appeal of Topps Inception, and there are some interesting offerings in the product.

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Base Rookie Autographs

As the name implies, these are autographed versions of rookie cards in the base set. These feature on-card ink, no stickers. Every card is serial numbered.

Parallels include:

  • Green – /125
  • Magenta – /99
  • Red – /75
  • Orange – /50
  • Blue – /25
  • Inception – 1/1
Riley Greene 2023 Topps Inception autographed card

Emerging Stars Autographs

Similar to the Rookie autographs, but with young players who are no longer rookies. So, on-card ink and serial numbers are found here, as well.

Parallels include:

  • Green – /125
  • Magenta – /99
  • Red – /75
  • Orange – /50
  • Blue – /25
  • Inception – 1/1

Inception Silver Signings

Featuring signatures with metallic silver ink, these have become an Inception tradition.

Parallels include Gold Ink (/25) and Gold Ink Inception (1/1).

Dawn of Greatness Autographs

These feature more tenured stars. However, this being a youth-themed set, it features photos of the players early in their careers. Base versions are numbered out of only 20 copies each. Parallels include Orange (/10), Blue (/5) and Inception (1/1).

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Short Print Inception Autographs

Limited to 10 copies each or less, these also feature veteran talent.

Inception Dual Autographs

Feature two players with ink from both. Limited to 25 copies each or fewer.

Inception Triple Autographs

Adding a third player and autograph to the equation. Limited to just 10 copies each or fewer.

Riley Greene, Nolan Gorman, Adley Rutschman 2023 Topps Inception triple autograph

Topps Inception Baseball 2023 autograph memorabilia

Autographed cards or autographed relic cards fall one per pack/box. The autographed memorabilia offerings contain the usual jersey patch cards, but go beyond that to offer some interesting relics from different parts of the uniform.

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Inception MLB First Milestones Autograph Relics

New for 2023, these feature a piece of a base from the game where the player got their first big league hit. These debuts all took place between March 31 and May 15.

The bases contain MLB Authentication holograms to ensure authenticity. Base versions are numbered out of 99 copies or fewer. Parallel versions include Red (/25), Orange (/10), Blue (/5) and Inception (1/1).

Inception Autograph Patch

One of the largest sources of autographed memorabilia in the product is the Autographed Patch set. Base versions are serial numbered, with parallels including Green (/99 or less), Magenta (/75 or less), Red (/25), Orange (/10), Blue Button (/6) and Inception Manufacturer’s Logo (1/1).

Nolan Gorman 2023 Topps Inception autographed patch

Inception Autograph Jumbo Patch

Featuring an even larger patch than the standard patch cards, these are a case hit. Red (/50), Orange (/25), Blue (/10) and Inception Team Logo Patch (1/1) parallel versions are also available.

Inception Autograph Batting Glove Relics

Featuring a piece of a batting glove, these are numbered to 25 or less. 1/1 Strap and Logo parallels are also available.

Inception Autograph Jumbo Hat Patch

Patch cards aren’t just for jerseys anymore. Turns out, hats have patches too. There are three different versions, based on the part of the hat included. These include New Era Logo, MLB Silhouetted Batter Logo and Team Logo. Each version has only five copies each.

Bobby Witt Jr. 2023 Topps Inception

Inception Autograph Game Socks

As if hat patches weren’t enough, Inception brings us sock relics. Featuring pieces of player-worn Stance team socks, these are limited to three copies each. No word yet on if they’re “scratch n’ sniff”.

Autographed Relic Books

A variety of low-population book cards feature more uniform pieces. These include Gameday Gear Autograph Relics (/5), Dual Autograph Relics (/3), Autographed Letters (/2), Autograph Team Logo Patch (/2), Autographed Laundry Tag (1/1), and Autographed MLB Silhouetted Batter Logo Patch (1/1).

Pete Alonso Inception Autographed Relic Book

2023 Topps Inception Baseball value

2023 Topps Inception Baseball is a reasonably priced, youth-focused, hit-driven product. But are they a good candidate to buy-and-hold unopened? Let’s see what recent comps for hobby box sales from Topps Inception products from the last few years.

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YearRecent Hobby Box Comp
2023$150
2022$150
2021$115-150
2020$140-225


These prices suggest that Topps Inception at least seems to hold its value fairly well, although doesn’t seem to exhibit a lot of upside. For some of the boxes, the comps have a bit of a wide range, suggesting perhaps the market doesn’t quite know what to make of them.

In terms of singles, what can we learn about the potential value by looking at recent sales of 2022 Topps Inception cards in PSA 10 slabs?

The high water mark appears to be one well-timed sale of an Adolis Garcia Orange Auto for $850 and a sale of a Shohei Ohtani auto for $650. From there, prices drop quickly, with a handful of examples in the $200-300 range. The majority of PSA 10 sales fall below even these numbers, with a good number selling for less than the cost of grading.

This suggests that while these are low-cost, hit-driven product, there is a limit to the resale value of these cards. That makes sense with the lower buy-in price. Still, the chance of a very nice hit exists. Understand the odds and stay within your collecting budget and you should be fine.

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Final thoughts on 2023 Topps Inception Baseball

There’s a lot to like with 2023 Topps Inception. There are guaranteed hits, including both autographs and parallels. There is a focus on youth, which means these tend to be early career cards. And the buy-in price isn’t nearly as high as some other products.

This combination makes these a potentially fun break with a good chance at some level of upside. The hits are unlikely to be earth-shaking, but for the price you could do a lot worse than 2023 Topps Inception Baseball.

What’s your take on 2023 Topps Inception Baseball? Planning to break a box? What hits have you excited?  Let us know at card_lines on Twitter.

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2023 Topps Inception Baseball Checklist

Coming soon! Please check back.

Other recent and upcoming baseball releases

Mike D.

Mike D

Mike D. has collected cards for over 35 years, since he bought his first pack of Topps at the corner store in 1987. His fandom,  collecting interests, and contributions to Cardlines center around baseball in general and the Baseball Hall of Fame specifically.

Mike's collecting focus is centered on graded cards, mostly rookie cards, of Hall of Famers and future Hall of Famers. Lately, he's been enjoying dabbling in graded minor league cards. A collector/investor with a "buy and hold" approach, Mike takes the long-term view with his collection.

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