2018 Bowman Platinum Baseball Variations Gallery and Guide


2018 Bowman Platinum Baseball variations offer up short prints for ten players. Like several other sets over the last few years, these SSP cards carry the same general design as the main set. And unless you knew you variations existed, they might slip through to your box of singles or completed base set.

But the photos are different.

Of course, there’s the rarity part as well.

So let’s dig in so you don’t miss out (or make it a lot easier to know what to look for as you bust packs of the Walmart-exclusive set).

2018 Bowman Platinum Baseball Variation Basics

While Topps did announce that there are indeed ten 2018 Bowman Platinum Variations, they left the sleuthing as to who those ten players are to collectors.

The set’s design includes photos of players but the backgrounds have been replaced by graphics and colors. As a result, the unique sorts of photos some sets have for SPs don’t jump out quite as quickly.

That said, there is a loose thread that appears to run throughout the variation short prints — practice gear. It takes a few forms, including carrying gear, casual uniforms and stuff that’s clearly from Spring Training. While the commonality exists, it’s not one that jumps out immediately.

2018 Bowman Platinum Baseball Variations Aaron Judge

How Tough Are the Short Prints?

2018 Bowman Platinum Baseball Variations aren’t the easiest cards to find. In the Collectors Boxes, which are essentially the Walmart equivalent to a traditional hobby box, they’re 1:391 packs. That’s only slightly better than 1:20 boxes.

In the blaster-style Value Boxes, SSPs fall 1:488 packs. Essentially, it’s 1:70 blaster boxes.

Code Confirmations

2018 Bowman Platinum Image Variations can also be confirmed using the back of the card and its fine print. The code at the end holds the key.

Here are the codes that are applicable to this set:

  • Base Cards – 264
  • Image Variation Short Prints – 303

Top Prospects have a similar design, but they’re not part of the variation lineup so their code is not applicable here.

2018 Bowman Platinum Variations Checklist

Here’s a fast variations checklist. The gallery follows with easy-to-spot visuals and comparisons. If you’re looking for a specific card, click on the link to see what’s currently listed on eBay.

1 Kris Bryant
2 Rafael Devers
23 Clayton Kershaw
32 Cody Bellinger
34 Shohei Ohtani
49 Mike Trout
54 Jose Altuve
80 Francisco Lindor
86 Aaron Judge
100 Bryce Harper

2018 Bowman Platinum Baseball Variations Gallery

Here’s where you can easily see the 2018 Bowman Platinum Image Variations alongside their base counterparts for easy identification.

1 Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs

Variation – holding bat in front, gray jersey

Base – batting stance, white pinstripe jersey

2 Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox

Variation – wearing sunglasses, glove

Base – batting

23 Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

Variation – hands on hips, wearing t-shirt

Base – pitching

32 Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers

Variation – catching ball

Base – batting

34 Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels

Variation – bag on shoulder

2018 Bowman Platinum Baseball Shohei Ohtani RC
Base – with glove

49 Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels

Variation – wearing cap, sunglasses

Base – wearing helmet

54 Jose Altuve, Houston Astros

Variation – with glove

Base – batting

80 Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians

Variation – wearing t-shirt, holding cap

Base – batting

86 Aaron Judge, New York Yankees

Variation – bat on shoulder

Base – batting stance, pants showing

100 Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals

Variation – knee up, gray jersey

Base – batting, white jersey


Ryan Cracknell

A collector for much of his life, Ryan focuses primarily on building sets, Montreal Expos and interesting cards. He's also got one of the most comprehensive collections of John Jaha cards in existence (not that there are a lot of them). Got a question, story idea or want to get in touch? You can reach him by email and through Twitter @tradercracks.

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    • Ryan Cracknell 9 July, 2018 at 08:37

      @david – He actually has several. However, they’re a separate insert set complete with different numbering (so not really variations, just tough-to-get inserts with a similar design to the base set).

  1. Claude 8 July, 2018 at 17:18

    Just wanted to chip in with another sp….card number 23 featuring Clayton Kershaw….away from home at the moment so no scan available at this time….

  2. Jason Melton 27 July, 2018 at 13:56

    what is the difference between the number 273 and 264 it only mentioned that the common card was a 273

    • Ryan Cracknell 28 July, 2018 at 01:49

      @Jason – I’m guessing you’re talking about the codes on the back? For the variations, the only ones that matter are the ones mentioned in the article. I believe cards ending in 273 are the Top Prospects cards, which don’t have variations.

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