Topps to release cards celebrating Negro League legends

Six-stop tour also planned in lead-up to Cards-Giants game in Birmingham

Cover Image for Topps to release cards celebrating Negro League legends
The Rickwood set is Topps' first dedicated to the Negro Leagues since 2001. (Credit: Topps)

Fanatics Collectibles and Topps announced a new baseball card set celebrating some of the greatest Negro League players of all time Thursday.

Part of a larger promotion leading up to Juneteenth, the six-card 2024 Rickwood Negro League Collection will release one card per week for four weeks before offering a complete six-card pack June 20.

Starting Thursday, the first of four individual cards will retail for $15 through The four individual releases will feature cards of Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays. The full six-card pack will contain those four as well as Larry Doby and Monte Irvin.

The full pack will retail for $49.99. The complete release schedule is listed below:

  • May 23-29: Satchel Paige
  • May 30-June 5: Josh Gibson
  • June 6-12: Jackie Robinson
  • June 13-19: Willie Mays
  • June 20: Full Rickwood Negro League set

Along with the baseball card set, Fanatics has partnered with FOX Sports for a Negro League tour of ballparks and cities. The tour began Thursday at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City and will end June 20 with a game at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama, between the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants.

The full Rickwood set was on display Thursday in Kansas City. (Credit: FOX Sports/Fernando Leon)
The full Rickwood set was on display Thursday in Kansas City. (Credit: FOX Sports/Fernando Leon)

The ballpark tour will also stop in St. Louis (May 24), Philadelphia (June 1) and New York (June 7-12). One additional stop before Birmingham has yet to be determined.

A giant promotional trading card featuring Paige, Gibson, Robinson and Mays will also travel with the tour to each city and ballpark. The 24-foot by 16-foot trading card weighs 8,000 pounds.

Designed by former MLB player Micah Johnson, each card was first painted by Johnson on canvas using only his fingers and charcoal. Each canvas was later scanned by Topps to complete the cards.

"I don’t know how to use anything else," Johnson told cllct of the charcoal portraits. "At first, I tried digital and then tried acrylic, but it didn’t feel authentic, it didn’t feel like me. I knew using charcoal would be more laborious and riskier as I've never digitized my charcoal works for this format before, but I was speechless when I saw the results."

Johnson played 61 games for the White Sox, Dodgers and Braves across three seasons from 2015 to 2017.

He says the experience with Topps as an artist has been special.

"Since I was 3, I was obsessed with baseball," Johnson said. "To be able to use my God-given gifts to portray the players that paved the way for me doesn't even feel real. I treated it like a duty. I gave it every ounce of energy and skill I had because, for now and forever, this will be my thank you to them."

The 2024 Rickwood set is the first set from Topps dedicated to the Negro Leagues since 2001, when Topps Series 2 featured a 10-card insert set called Negro League Legends.

Ben Burrows is a reporter and editor for cllct.