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The Biggest Sports Card Releases In May 2024

May is loaded with big releases – so many, in fact, that it’s hard to imagine all of them come out this month. Mainly in the basketball space, Panini’s schedule looks pretty… optimistic 

As always, here are the CardLines picks for cards to watch in May 2024. And, also as always, a feature on this list doesn’t mean it’s a must-buy. We’re sharing honest thoughts on all products. 

Please note: the release schedules are very fluid and move frequently. These dates are not guaranteed (and with so many releases tentatively scheduled for May, it’s a safe bet many of these will not be released this month).

Noteworthy sports card releases for May

2024 Bowman Baseball Hobby & Jumbo (05/08)

This year’s Bowman Baseball might now have quite the attractive class of 1st Bowman prospect cards as the last few years, but it’s still a set to get excited about.

Hobby boxes are releasing at $299.95 and contain 1 Chrome Autograph, 1 Chrome Prospect Mini Diamond Refractor Parallel, and 1 Rising Infernos Insert while the $599 jumbo boxes should contain 3 chrome autographs, 2 Rising Inferno inserts and 1 Bowman Scouts’ Top 100 insert.

This year’s biggest edition is the 1955 Bowman Anime insert, which is the new case hit. 

Shop for 2024 Bowman Baseball boxes on eBay

2022/23 Panini Crown Royale Basketball (05/08)

Crown Royale is a decent basketball set that will, be completely overshadowed by Prizm’s release. Hobby boxes are pre-ordering for $475 and constrain only 1 autograph, 1 memorabilia card, and 2 inserts or parallels.

While the cards are nice, this is an exceptional risk at the price, so if you’re looking at Crown Royal, I’d suggest taking whatever you would have paid for a hobby box and buying a few nice Prizm parallels of your favorite rookie instead.

The big draw of Royale is the Kaboom card, which we’ve featured in several articles. 

Shop for 2022-23 Panini Crown Royale Basketball boxes on eBay

2022 Panini Limited Football (05/08)

Limited is pre-ordering for $350 a box, and this year’s product has 3 packs of 5 cards per pack while guaranteeing 1 RPA and 1 other autograph, 1 memorabilia card, 1 base parallel, and 1 2005 Limited Tribute with a throwback to the OG Limited set (nothing like an “18th-year commemoration”).

According to Panini’s notes, this is a hobby favorite. According to every collector I asked, “It’s meh.”

With Limited, it’s a high-ceiling, low-floor product that can pay off if you get a big card, but it’s not a “must-rip” product you need to add to your calendar, especially with the 2022 rookie class.

Shop for 2022 Panini Limited Football hobby boxes on eBay

2024 Upper Deck SP Game Used Golf  (05/08)

SP Authentic Golf is one of the most significant golf releases (if not the most important), and if you’re a golf collector, this is the product for you.

It features many current top-ranked men’s and women’s golfers, such as Justin Thomas, Danielle Kang, Bryson DeChambeau, Lexi Thompson, and Collin Morikawa.

It also pays homage to legendary names such as Tiger Woods, Annika Sorenstam, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Juli Inkster.

While we don’t have a release price, we know that each box contains only 5 cards: 3 autograph or memorabilia cars and 2 base. SP Authentic has always had an elegant look and feel, but it’s a risky rip. 

2022/23 Panini Donruss Soccer (05/10)

Donruss Soccer has become a surprising home run. Or, maybe, a surprising “goooaaaaal.” While we don’t have a release price yet, you can expect this product to be fairly priced (shading toward “inexpensive”).

2022-23 Panini Donruss Soccer has the fun, bright selection of parallels that makes Donruss popular for its NFL and NBA offerings, including Net Marvels, Craftsmen, Zero Gravity, 1992 Donruss Tribute, Pitch Kings, Rookie Kings, The Rookies and Elite Series.

The 200-card set has 25 Rated Rookies this year, and each box has 1 autograph, 1 memorabilia, 60 parallels, 48 inserts or inserts parallels. This is a big box, too, with 12 packs of 30 cards.

Shop for 2022-23 Panini Soccer Donruss boxes on eBay

2023/24 Panini Select Basketball (05/10)

Select Basketball is set to drop on May 10th at a surprisingly low price of $700. Each box contains 12 packs of 5 cards and 3 autographs or memorabilia.

The three different tiers are Concourse, Premier and Courtside — same as always — and they each have accompanying parallels to chase.

With a rookie class headlined by Wemby (but missing his autos), this optichrome release should continue to be a hot product. 

For those seeking a smaller option, H2 boxes are available, offering an assortment of Prizms parallels per pack without the guarantee of autographs.

Shop for 2023-24 Panini Select Basketball boxes on eBay

2023 Panini Clearly Donruss Football (05/17)

Clearly Donruss is one of the annoying reminders of the explosion of sports cards during the 2020 collectors boom.

Many of us keep hoping it goes away, and yet it keeps popping up, year after year, determined to water down the value of Donruss and Donruss Optic even more than the internal overprinting problems with those sets.

These cards are the same as Donruss, but they’re acetate. So, yes, they’re clear. Clearly Donruss. Very clever.

For $275 you get a 20-card box that guarantees 1 auto, 1 insert, 2 parallels 8 rated rookie and 8 base cards. Please note: many collectors have voiced that these acetate cards do not grade well, so bear that in mind. 

Shop for 2023 Panini Clearly Donruss Football boxes on eBay

2023/24 Panini Obsidian Basketball (05/22)

True to its name, Panini Obsidian infuses dark, breathtaking designs into its cards. With 12 of them, you can probably build a Nether portal. (Anybody? No?) It’s been around for several seasons and never led the class in popularity, but it’s consistent and has a decent following of enthusiastic collectors.

Each box is pre-ordering for $350 and has 1 pack with 7 cards, including 2 autographs and 2 inserts or parallels. 

New additions include Unbreakable Memorabilia, Eclipse Materials, Cutting Edge Memorabilia and Equinox Gear, but the headlining card is surely the Black Color Blast SSP.

Shop for 2024-24 Panini Obsidian Basketball boxes on eBay

2023/24 Panini Donruss Optic Basketball (05/24)

Donruss Optic Basketball is set to bring some fun to the hobby in late May. There are 20 packs per box, each containing 5 cards, which makes the product with the most cards of any of the big optichrome Panini NBA products. These boxes are available for pre-order at $550. 

You’ll find 1 autograph per box, presenting options like on-card Rated Rookie Signatures, on-card Next Day Autographs for top rookies from the 2023 NBA Draft Class, and the Dominators and Rookie Dominators Autographs. 

New insert additions include Hobby-Exclusive parallels in the following Insert sets: Elite Dominators, The Rookies, Lights Out, and Raining 3s! Also, search for the new inserts Rising Suns and Red Hot Rookies!

You can also pull the new SSP inserts Slammy! and Alter ego, which can also be found in the Hobby-Exclusive Gold (#’d/10) parallel!

Shop for 2023-24 Donruss Optic Basketball boxes on eBay

2023 Panini One Football (05/30)

Panini One is named very on-the-nose. Each box contains exactly one card. The cards are autographs, but not necessarily by a rookie. There are SSPs, which feel very necessary in boxes that contain 1 card, and there’s an insert set, of autographs too.

Without any huge rookie autographs to pull (again, no CJ Stroud), the price tag feels like an exceptional roll of the dice—one you should think long and hard about before taking.

While I’ve never been a fan of this product because of the risk involved, it’s unique so I’ll include it here nonetheless. 

What are you looking forward to ripping or holding? 

There are some big releases dropping in May and we’ve got our eye on several. Let us know what you’re most excited about on Twitter @card_lines, and subscribe to our free newsletter right here.

Twice a week, we’re bringing exclusive hobby news, offers and tips straight to your inbox. 

Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes is the co-founder of Solaro Shades, an Amazon #1 Bestselling novelist, and a lifelong sports card collector. His nonfiction work has been featured in Forbes, Inc., MarketWatch and more. At CardLines, Jesse’s specialties are basketball and football cards, not to mention making informative video and Instagram content.
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