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September Is Jam-Packed With Sports Card Releases – Which Are The Best Of September 2023?


September is one of the biggest months of sports cards that we’ve had in a while and it starts with a bang: a three-sport drop is scheduled for the very first day. 

As always, here are the CardLines, we have picks for cards to watch in September 2023. Remember: a feature on this list doesn’t mean it’s a must-buy.

We’re sharing honest thoughts on all products. Some of these brands might be included out of caution, so read the short summary with each. 

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

Note two (last one, we promise): after the enormous news of Panini losing the NFLPA contract effective immediately, we do not know for certain what the future of Panini cards hold. This article assumes the short-term release schedule will not be affected, but that’s only an assumption.

Noteworthy sports card releases for September

2023 Panini Donruss Elite Football (09/01)

Elite has been around for over a decade, but that hasn’t made it necessarily as collectible as you’d think. While it might be Donruss “Elite,” the vast majority of collectors would still prefer standard Donruss and its Rated Rookies.

Elite has a $275 price tag for 20 packs per box with 5 cards per pack, and you can expect to pull 2 autos, 1 memorabilia card, 3 rookies, 6 parallels, and 11 inserts among the 100 cards.

Limiting the number of rookies per box seems like a good idea because of scarcity, but Elite did the same thing last year and most of the rookies didn’t retain much value (probably because they’re in their college uniforms).

The biggest additions here are a new case hit: MVPBound featuring Patrick Lavon Mahomes II and LombardiBound featuring Peyton Williams Manning.

The release also includes the return of GOATBound, this year featuring the original goat, Joseph Clifford Montana, Jr.  I don’t get the middle name thing, but it’s on the cards. So… enjoy?

Shop for 2023 Panini Donruss Elite boxes on eBay

Here’s a look at the Panini team planning Donruss Elite…

YouTube video

2022/23 Panini Mosaic Basketball (09/01)

Mosaic is the stepbrother of Panini’s opti-chrome Big 3 which includes Select, Optic and Prizm. It debuted in 2019-20, at least as a standalone basketball product (It was “Prizm Mosaic” before then) and has been a consistent release ever since. It’s not a bad product – just a very unnecessary one. 

2022-23 keeps the winning playbook rolling. It has 10 packs of 15 cards per pack for $400.

Each box contains 2 autographs, 20 mosaic parallels, and 20 inserts. The biggest changes for this year is the addition of Pictographs Mosaic and Collage Mosaic. You can find them in Hobby-Exclusive Blue (#’d/49 or less), Gold (#’d/10), and Black (One-of-One) Parallels!

Shop for boxes of 2022-23 Panini Mosaic Basketball on eBay

2023 Topps Pro Debut Baseball Hobby & Jumbo (09/01)

Pro-Debut is baseball is a very low-cost, autograph-heavy product for collectors who want a chance to get their hands on an autograph of some of the future stars in the MLB.

The hobby box costs $68 and includes 4 autographs and the HTA jumbo box costs $99 and has 6 packs of 24 cards and has three autographs (at least, according to pre-release notes, but if you’re thinking that feels backward, so do we). 

Either way, the minor league product has a few cards that could carry some major league value eventually. 

Shop for boxes of 2022-23 Topps Pro Debut boxes on eBay

2023 Panini Immaculate Baseball (09/06)

While Immaculate Baseball is an unlicensed product, it brings the hits. Nothing but the hits. Literally, the 6-card box has 6 hits: 2 memorabilia and 4 autographs, most (if not all) of which will be on-card. 

Collectors can look for 8 on-card autograph sets that feature shadowboxes, autographed material, triple material autographs, dual players and more.

This is a product that blends prospects, stars and hall-of-famers together for some big-pull potential, and if you can get passed the lack of a license, this $380 box could hold some big cards. 

Shop for 2023 Panini Immaculate Baseball boxes on eBay

2022/23 Panini Spectra Basketball (09/09)

Spectra is a confounding product. It’s high-end and opti-chrome, but not nearly as popular as Select, Optic or Prizm. Perhaps it’s because it’s limited print and no retail offerings: each hobby box only has 4 packs of 4 cards.

Each pack contains 1 Autograph and 1 Parallel from the unique checklist: Silver, Celestial, Interstellar, Meta, Gold, Universal Die-Cut, Marble and the One-of-a-Kind Nebula.

This product also has a variety of SSP Inserts in the popular Color Blast set, and new autographs that include Colorgraphs, Sky High Signatures and Deep Space Signatures.

It has high-end potential, but collectors refuse to get excited about Spectra the same way they do for similar products. 

Shop for boxes of 2022-23 Panini Spectra Basketball on eBay

2023 Panini Plates & Patches Football (09/08)

Panini Plates and Patches is fueled by – you guessed it – plates and patches. These boxes are pre-ordering for $300 and include 2 Autos, 1 memorabilia card, 1 parallel, and 1 base. 

This year’s release includes all-new Steel Signatures on metal, as well as base parallels on metal. You can also find Rookie Base parallels printed on metal, #’d to 35 or less.

This product is back after a 2-year hiatus and it no longer guarantees a printing plate in each box, like it has done in the past. Instead, the focus seems to be more on metal cards instead of plates. Either way, this isn’t a must-have product. 

Shop for boxes of 2023 Panini Plates and Patches Football boxes on eBay

2022/23 Panini Contenders Optic Basketball (09/20)

Contenders Optic is not the sports card juggernaut that Donruss Optic is, but it still has a big demand for collectors. It’s a riskier rip than its Optic brethren, with just 1 pack of 6 cards in the $375 box.

The boxes include 1 auto, 2 inserts, 2 parallels and 1 base season ticket, and here’s the truth with Contenders Optic: if you’re ripping a box and want any chance of making your money back, you better hit a really nice autograph. Other than that, it’s almost always going to be a wash. 

This product has a lot of color, thankfully. Look for Silver, Red, 75th Anniversary, Blue (#’d/99), Orange (#’d/49), Green Pulsar (#’d/25), Black Pandora, Gold (#’d/10), and one of one Gold Vinyl.

This year also features a new green parallel, and there are also parallels for Red and Blue Cracked Ice, and Hobby Exclusive SSP Black Pandora Parallels.

Shop for 2022-23 Panini Contenders Optic Basketball boxes on eBay

2023 Bowman Chrome Baseball (9/20)

Bowman Chrome baseball is going to be one of the biggest baseball releases of the year. The hobby boxes can be pre-ordered for $279 and include 12 packs of 5 cards with 2 chrome autos and 1 prospect shimmer parallels (plus, presumably, a decent amount of color).

There is a 100-card Base Set of top rookies and veterans and 100-card Chrome Prospect set, including some Bowman 1st.

Shop for 2023 Bowman Chrome Baseball boxes on eBay

Pictured above: Jackson Holliday, find a list of his best cards here.

2023 Panini Chronicles Racing (09/22)

Chronicles Racing returns in 2023, featuring top drivers and diverse substrates like C2S, opti-chrome and PETG.

The product includes unique memorabilia swatches and autographs from NASCAR stars, veterans, and rising prospects. Each box is pre-ordering for $120 and contains 3 autographs and 1 memorabilia card on average, making it a highly sought-after addition for collectors and racing enthusiasts.

The memorabilia is fun in this product: you can find swatches of tires, firesuits, and sheet metal in the cards. While that might not add more value, it’s still a nice touch!

Shop for 2023 Panini Chronicles Racing boxes on eBay

2023 Panini Mosaic Football (09/27)

Mosaic Football is scheduled to release on September 20th. Oddly enough, Mosaic has become an early-season NFL opti-chrome release and one of the latest NBA releases every year.

The $450 box contains 10 packs of 15 cards with 2 autos, 15 mosaics, and 5 silver parallels. While Panini’s description for the product doesn’t advertise anything being “new,” this will be the first optichrome product to feature the rookies in their NFL threads, immediately making it an in-demand product.

On top of that, there seems to be a chance that this ends up being the only Panini optichrome product that will feature the 2023 NFL rookies. That is completely speculative and not based on anything we’ve heard, but there’s at least a small chance worth noting. 

Shop for 2023 Panini Mosaic Football boxes on eBay

2023 Prizm WNBA Basketball (09/27)

As the WNBA grows in popularity, so does the demand for the Prizm WNBA boxes. Don’t get it wrong – this product is only a fraction as popular as the NBA prizm, but there is a devoted fanbase who loves ripping this stuff.

Whether they’re WNBA fans or girl-dads who love collecting and getting their daughters into the hobby, collectors are embracing the Prizm WNBA product.

We don’t have a release price yet, but last year’s release clocks in at $200 and has the standard Prizm makeup: 12 packs of 12 cards. Look for 2 autographs, 24 prizms, and 10 inserts per box.

Shop for 2023 Prizm WNBA Basketball boxes on eBay

2023 Panini Black Football (09/27)

Panini Black Football is a high-end product with pretty low demand. The boxes cost $450 but only have 5 cards, including 1 RPA, 1 more auto, 1 memorabilia, and a base and parallel.

While this product has never had a huge fan base, it does have some sharp-looking cards and autographs.

Some of the dark-themed inserts include Vanta, White Night, and ForceField and the autograph setlist includes Midnight Signatures, Capstones, Smoke Show Signatures, Spotlight Signatures, and Shadow Ink.

Shop for boxes of 2023 Panini Black Football on eBay

Other releases scheduled for September 2023

These releases didn’t make the list for the month but are still worthy of a look this month:

What are you looking forward to ripping or holding? 

There are some big releases dropping in September 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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