2018 Donruss Optic Baseball Variations Gallery and How to Spot Them


The 2018 Donruss Optic Baseball variations take a similar page from the variants in the main 2018 Donruss Baseball set — it’s all about variety. Some have different names, some change up where the team name goes and others go with the basic photo swap approach.

2018 Donruss Optic Baseball Variations

For the most part, the 2018 Donruss Optic Baseball variations are easy to spot unless you’re blasting through the base cards. It’s hard to miss Rhys Hoskins becoming “Rhys Lighting” or Ozzie Albies playing in “The ATL.” The exception would be the straight-up photo variations where a little memorization might be in order.

Or a trick.

Like on the back.

There is a tip-off where you can easily spot variations without even really trying. A lot of Topps sets have it in the fine print with production codes. For the 2018 Donruss Optic Baseball variations, the giveaway is also on the back, but it’s incorporated into the design. It’s the baseball near the card number. If you’ve got a regular base card, the ball is white. If you have a variation, the ball is black.

Base – white baseball

Variation – black baseball

A couple of things for clarification.

First, Walker Bueler’s variations isn’t any different from the front. On the back, the write-up is different on the two cards. There’s also the ball method of telling the base from the variant.

Card #176, Shohei Ohtani, is listed as a variation by Panini. But there actually isn’t another card that goes along with it. It’s more of an addition to the checklist.


It’s not just base-level cards that have variations. Parallels do to. All 25 of variants come with the following versions as well:

• Bronze
• Holo
• Pink
• Purple
• Red and Yellow
• Shock
• White Sparkles
• Aqua – /299
• Orange – /199

• Blue – /149
• Red – /99
• Carolina Blue – /50
• Black – /25
• Gold – /10
• Cracked Ice – /7
• Green – /5
• Gold Vinyl – 1/1

Here’s a quick breakdown of the 2018 Donruss Optic Baseball variations.

2018 Donruss Optic Baseball Variations Checklist

31 Miguel Andujar – Team
32 Nick Williams – Nickname
33 Clint Frazier – Nickname
35 Rafael Devers – Nickname
36 Ozzie Albies – Team
37 Amed Rosario – Team
38 Rhys Hoskins – Nickname
39 Ryan McMahon – Photo
40 Willie Calhoun – Nickname
41 Walker Buehler – Back
42 Victor Robles – Photo
51 Chance Sisco – Team
56 Shohei Ohtani – Photo

65 Gleyber Torres – Nickname
109 Giancarlo Stanton – Team
114 Aaron Judge – Photo
115 Cody Bellinger – Photo
121 Mike Trout – Photo
122 Miguel Cabrera – Nickname
123 Francisco Lindor – Team
125 Andrew McCutchen – Nickname
135 Andrew Benintendi – Photo
148 Adrian Beltre – Team
165 Mickey Mantle – Nickname
176 Shohei Ohtani

2018 Donruss Optic Baseball Variations Gallery

31 Miguel Andujar, New York Yankees

2018 Donruss Optic Baseball Variations Miguel Andujar
Variation – The Bronx

Base – New York

32 Nick Williams, Philadelphia Phillies

Variation – Nicky Dubs

Base – Nick Williams

33 Clint Frazier, New York Yankees

Variation – Red Thunder

Base – Clint Frazier

35 Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox

Variation – Raffy Big Stick

Bse – Rafael Devers

36 Ozzie Albies, Atlanta Braves

Variation – The ATL

Base – Atlanta

37 Amed Rosario, New York Mets

Variation – Queens

Base – New York

38 Rhys Hoskins, Philadelphia Phillies

Variation – Rhys Lightning

Base – Rhys Hoskins

39 Ryan McMahon, Colorado Rockies

Variation – purple jersey

Base – white pinstripe jersey

40 Willie Calhoun, Texas Rangers

Variation – June Calhoun

Base – Willie Calhoun

41 Walker Buehler, Los Angeles Dodgers

Variation Back – write-up is different, black baseball icon

42 Victor Robles, Washington Nationals

Variation – ball in line with head

Base – ball behind head, back of jersey partially visible

51 Chance Sisco, Baltimore Orioles

Variation – Charm City

Base – Baltimore

56 Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels

Variation – running

Base – batting

65 Gleyber Torres, New York Yankees

Variation – #GleyberGood

Base – New York

109 Giancarlo Stanton, New York Yankees

Variation – 2017 MVP

Base – New York

114 Aaron Judge, New York Yankees

Variation – batting stance, eye black

Base – swinging, ’99’ visible

115 Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers

Variation – batting stance

Base- swinging, cheeks puffed

121 Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels

Variation – gray wristband

Base – red wristband

122 Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers

Variation – Miggy

Base – Miguel Cabrera

123 Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians

Variation – 2X All-Star

Base – Cleveland

125 Andrew McCutchen, San Francisco Giants

Variation – Cutch

Base – Andrew McCutchen

135 Andrew Benintendi, Boston Red Sox

Variation – back of jersey visible

Base – dirt on pants

148 Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers

Variation – 3,000 Hit Club

Base – Texas

165 Mickey Mantle, New York Yankees

Variation – The Mick

Base – Mickey Mantle

276 Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels

Variation – pitching

Has no base version.


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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  1. JDonovan 16 July, 2018 at 13:49

    Kind of strange to have the variation checklist come out before the regular checklist.

    • Ryan Cracknell 16 July, 2018 at 14:18

      @JDonovan – Looks like some surfaced at retail. At this point, all of what’s here has been put together manually based on the info gleaned from that. No official checklist has been released yet so likely at least a couple more to be added.

  2. Bengi Turegun 18 July, 2018 at 18:05

    Is there an error with Walker Buehler? Pulled a base RR and holo RR, both with the black baseball on the reverse of the card, but doesn’t seem to be anything special on the card to indicate they are variations

    • Ryan Cracknell 19 July, 2018 at 11:59

      @Bengi – Buehler’s variation is on the back. The write-up is different. Everything on the front appears to be the same.

  3. Adam 20 July, 2018 at 12:33

    What is the deal with the Trout shadow in the background? Is that an error or intended?

  4. Curtis Hamm 22 July, 2018 at 10:01

    Interesting that the Trout variation also has the silhouette of his base card, not just the wrist band. I don’t see it on any other variations. I thought it was an error until I saw the pic above looked the same as my card.

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