2018 Topps Series 2 Baseball Variation Short Prints: The Ultimate Guide


The 2018 Topps Series 2 Baseball variations are taking a similar path to Series 1. First off, there’s lots of them. Secondly, they come in multiple tiers. That means SP and SSP variations.

2018 Topps Series 2 Variations

But the 2018 Topps Series 2 variation short prints are doing something different as well — they have retired legends. And a couple of high-profile rookies get their first flagship cards, as well.

Warm-up gear is another theme for the Series 2 SP variations. Many of the cards in Series 1 went in the same direction. The more rare 2018 Topps Series 2 SSP Variations use more expressive photos for the most part.

The 2018 Topps Series 2 Baseball variations checklist has 102 total cards including SP and SSP. This is pretty much the same as Series 1. SP cards total 75 cards to go along with 25 scarce SSP cards.

On top of these are two late additions to the 2018 Topps Series 2 checklist, Ronald Acuña Jr. and Gleyber Torres. While they do have flagship cards, they’re variations, sharing a checklist spot with another player. This is similar to the situation with Shohei Ohtani in 2018 Topps Heritage Baseball where he is one of the Action Variations. Because the cards are variations, they’re essentially inserts. Many will treat them as Rookie Cards, however because of their insert standing, the 2018 Topps Series 2 Torres and Acuña variations will not have the RC tag in the Beckett database.

Exact odds on the two Rookie Variations isn’t known but it appears they’re about one per case.

2018 Topps Series 2 Variations Ronald Acuna

For a handful of cards, the number of the variation doesn’t match the base card. For example, Corey Seager is #550 in the main set. His variations are #556, overlapping with Andrew Benintendi. The impacted cards are noted in the gallery.

These Cards Are Not Variation Short Prints

The 2018 Topps Series 2 base set has a couple mix ups with its numbering. Cards 364 and 565 do not exist. Instead, both Mallex Smith and a Dodgers Combo Card share #365. Joey Rickard and the New York Mets Team Card are both #564.

It may seem like these point to variation short prints. They’re not.

How Hard Are 2018 Topps Series 2 Variations to Find?

Some of the variations won’t be too difficult to find, at least in the first while after the product releases. Regular SP cards are 1:30 2018 Topps Series 2 hobby packs and 1:6 hobby jumbo packs (retail odds are not yet known). That makes them about one or two per box. Even with the large checklist, these shouldn’t be too terribly hard to find, particularly if you’re just looking for one or two of a favorite player.

2018 Topps Series 2 SSP cards are much tougher, falling 1:886 hobby packs and 1:177 hobby jumbo packs. At the case level, that’s almost 1:3 cases for one of the SSP cards.

On the retail side, SP variations are 1:25 packs, 1:5 hanger boxes and 1:9 fat packs. SSP are 1:737 regular retail, 1:123 hanger boxes and 1:246 fat packs.

It’s not yet known where the Torres and Acuña cards fall, although they’re believed to be more in line with the SP cards than the SSP.

In addition to the variations, select cards also have autographed versions of their SP and SSP cards.

Using Card Backs to Spot 2018 Topps Series 2 Variation Short Prints

If you’re still not 100 percent sure you have a variation or not, you can use the back of the card to confirm it.

As is the case with most Topps sets, there’s a block of fine print. At the end of that is a code. The codes change depending on the type of card.

When it comes to variation hunting, here’s what you need to know when it comes to these code endings:

Base Cards – 359
SP Variations – 412
SSP Variations – 414
Rookie Variations (Torres and Acuña) – 249

2018 Topps Series 2 Baseball Variations Checklist

The following is a quick checklist of all the 2018 Topps Series 2 Baseball variation short prints. Known tougher cards are noted with SSP.

* notes retired legends.

Looking for a specific card? Click on the link to see what’s currently available on eBay.

2018 Topps Series 2 Baseball Variations Gallery

351 Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals

SP Variation – wearing cap
SSP Variation – gray jersey, clapping

Base – wearing helmet

351 Ty Cobb, Detroit Tigers

SP Variation – Ty Cobb

Base – Bryce Harper

351 Reggie Jackson, New York Yankees

SP Variation – Reggie Jackson

Base – Bryce Harper

369 Chris Taylor, Los Angeles Dodgers

SP Variation – standing at batting cage, blue t-shirt

Base – white jersey, batting

384 Addison Russell, Chicago Cubs

SP Variation – blue shirt, bat on shoulder
SSP Variation – pointing

Base – pinstripe jersey

384 Ernie Banks, Chicago Cubs

SP Variation – Ernie Banks

Base – Addison Russell

392 Marcus Stroman, Toronto Blue Jays

SP Variation – leaning on fence

Base – back turned

393 Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians

SP Variation – t-shirt
SSP Variation – clenched fist

Base – horizontal, wearing jersey

397 Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros

SP Variation – leaning on fence

Base – gray jersey, pitching

400 Jose Altuve, Houston Astros

SP Variation – long-sleeve shirt
2018 Topps Series 2 Baseball Variations Jose Altuve
SSP Variation – clapping

Base – batting

400 Honus Wagner, Pittsburgh Pirates

SP Variation – Honus Wagner

Base – Jose Altuve

413 Trevor Bauer, Cleveland Indians

SP Variation – wearing sweater, horizontal

Base – gray jersey, vertical

416 Matt Olson, Oakland Athletics

SP Variation – #416, wearing sweater

Base – #396 (Derek Fisher is #416 in base set), batting

418 Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians

SP Variation – wearing cap, leaning back
SSP Variation – pointing

Base – batting

430 Manny Margot, San Diego Padres

SP Variation – in dugout

Base – batting, Future Stars

431 Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies

SP Variation – doughnut on bat
SSP Variation – pinstripe jersey, hand out

Base – batting

431 Rickey Henderson, Oakland Athletics

SP Variation – Rickey Henderson

Base – Charlie Blackmon

436 Yu Darvish, Chicago Cubs

SP Variation – blue shirt
SSP Variation – stretching leg

Base – pinstripe jersey

436 Greg Maddux, Atlanta Braves

SP Variation – Greg Maddux

Base – Yu Darvish

439 Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox

SP Variation – holding bat
SSP Variation – gray jersey, hand up

Base – fielding

450 Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds

SP Variation – red shirt
SSP Variation – crouching, horizontal

Base – batting, gray jersey

450 Johnny Bench, Cincinnati Reds

SP Variation – Johnny Bench

Base – Joey Votto

454 Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners

SP Variation – warmup shirt

Base – at bat, wearing jersey

462 Paul DeJong, St. Louis Cardinals

SP Variation – carrying bag

Base – batting, with Future Stars/Rookie Cup

462 Ozzie Smith, St. Louis Cardinals

SP Variation – Ozzie Smith

Base – Paul DeJong

469 Sonny Gray, New York Yankees

SP Variation – press conference, horizontal
SSP Variation – pointing, wearing ribbon

Base – throwing

471 Josh Harrison, Pittsburgh Pirates

SP Variation

484 Kenta Maeda, Los Angeles Dodgers

SP Variation – t-shirt, horizontal

Base – gray jersey, vertical

499 Justin Bour, Miami Marlins

SP Variation – sunglasses on cap, warmup shirt

Base – batting

500 Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs

SP Variation – holding bat
SSP Variation – sliding

Base – running bases, white pinstripe jersey

500 Ryne Sandberg, Chicago Cubs

SP Variation

Base – Kris Bryant

502 Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox

SP Variation – blue shirt

Base – batting, white jersey

503 Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays

SP Variation – wearing headband
SSP Variation – blue jersey, running

Base – wearing sunglasses

503 George Brett, Kansas City Royals

SP Variation – George Brett

Base – Josh Donaldson

506 Jose Berrios, Minnesota Twins

SP Variation – Take 17 hoodie, pointing down

Base – pitching, gray jersey

507 Zack Greinke, Arizona Diamondbacks

SP Variation – horizontal, black shirt

Base – pitching, gray jersey

510 Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves

SP Variation – stretching
SSP Variation – waving

Base – batting

510 Chipper Jones, Atlanta Braves

SP Variation – Chipper Jones

Base – Freddie Freeman

515 Greg Bird, New York Yankees

SP Variation – navy warmup shirt

Base – white pinstripe jersey

515 Don Mattingly, New York Yankees

SP Variation – Don Mattingly

Base – Greg Bird

544 Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals

SP Variation – at batting cage
SSP Variation – hands up

Base – batting, gray jersey

544 Roberto Clemente, Pittsburgh Pirates

SP Variation – Roberto Clemente

Base – Yadier Molina

545 Nicholas Castellanos, Detroit Tigers

SP Variation – sitting on bench

Base – white jersey, running

550 Cal Ripken Jr., Baltimore Orioles

SP Variation – Cal Ripken Jr.

2018 T S2 556 Corey Seager
Base – Corey Seager

550 Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn Dodgers

SP Variation – Jackie Robinson

2018 T S2 556 Corey Seager
Base – Corey Seager

555 Jacob deGrom, New York Mets

SP Variation – blue shirt
SSP Variation – wearing helmet

Base – white pinstripe jersey, pitching

556 Andrew Benintendi, Boston Red Sox

SP Variation – sunglasses on cap, horizontal
SSP Variation – arm up, horizontal

Base – white jersey, with Future Stars

556 Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers

SP Variation – #556, holding bat
SSP Variation – #556, yelling, wearing helmet

Base – #550, sliding (regular #556 is Benintendi)

556 Ted Williams, Boston Red Sox

SP Variation – Ted Williams

Base – Andrew Benintendi

567 Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners

SP Variation – standing at batting cage
SSP Variation – pointing

Base – blue jersey

576 Didi Gregorius, New York Yankees

SP Variation – kneeling
SSP Variation – sunglasses

Base – swinging, white pinstripe jersey

576 Derek Jeter, New York Yankees

SP Variation – Derek Jeter

Base – Didi Gregorius

582 Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels

SP Variation – no helmet, warmups
SSP Variation – pointing up

Base – white jersey, wearing helmet

582 Hank Aaron, Atlanta Braves

SP Variation – Hank Aaron

Base – Albert Pujols

585 Brandon Crawford, San Francisco Giants

SP Variation – bat on shoulder

Base – batting, gray jersey

585 Willie McCovey, San Francisco Giants

SP Variation – Willie McCovey

Base – Brandon Crawford

589 Adam Duvall, Cincinnati Reds

SP Variation – red jersey

Base – gray jersey

593 Luke Weaver, St. Louis Cardinals

SP Variation – close-up

Base – pitching, with Future Stars

599 Justin Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers

SP Variation – blue warmup shirt

Base – white jersey, throwing

600 Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets

SP Variation – leaning on fence, sweater
SSP Variation – clenched, vertical

Base – with ball, pinstripe jersey

600 Tom Seaver, New York Mets

SP Variation – Tom Seaver

Base – Noah Syndergaard

605 Lucas Giolito, Chicago White Sox

SP Variation – black vest

Base – white throwback jersey

605 Frank Thomas, Chicago White Sox

SP Variation – Frank Thomas

Base – Lucas Giolito

611 Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals

SP Variation – #611 – red shirt, navy blue cap
SSP Variation – #611, fist pump

Base – #629 (Josh Bell is #611 in base set), white jersey

615 Eric Thames, Milwaukee Brewers

SP Variation – holding bat

Base – catching ball

618 Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks

SP Variation – black warmup shirt with snake on front
SSP Variation – hands out, horizontal

Base – throwing ball

618 Lou Gehrig, New York Yankees

SP Variation – Lou Gehrig

Base – Paul Goldschmidt

629 Sandy Koufax, Dodgers

SP Variation – Sandy Koufax

Base – Max Scherzer

632 Edwin Encarnacion, Cleveland Indians

SP Variation – kneeling at batting cage

Base – wearing helmet, running with bat

650 Justin Verlander, Houston Astros

SP Variation – wearing hoodie
SSP Variation – white jersey, hands up

Base – orange jersey, pitching

650 Bob Gibson, St. Louis Cardinals

SP Variation – Bob Gibson

Base – Justin Verlander

652 Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals

SP Variation – red shirt, with glove

Base – gray jersey, batting

665 Tommy Pham, St. Louis Cardinals

SP Variation – red shirt, with bat

Base – white jersey, catching ball on knees

698 Ronald Acuña Jr., Atlanta Braves

Rookie Variation – Ronald Acuña Jr.

Base – Ryan Sherriff

699 Gleyber Torres, New York Yankees

Rookie Variation – Gleyber Torres

Base – Drew Smyly

700 Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels

SP Variation – with bat, red warmups
SSP Variation – hand on helmet

Base – pitching, white jersey

700 Babe Ruth, New York Yankees

SP Variation – Babe Ruth

Base – Shohei Ohtani


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. Fred 13 June, 2018 at 11:31

    Jeez Topps… always screwing up the numbering. Somebody needs to make a note somewhere that the last thing you do before a set goes into production is make sure the cards are numbered correctly!

  2. Pete D 16 June, 2018 at 09:38

    Just finished opening a hobby box and going by the variations gallery I got a Derek Jeter SP and a Corey Kluber SSP. You show the code endings for such cards as 112 and 114 respectively but the card backs read 412 and 414. Also, according to the Topps promo for these cards, you are supposed to receive 1 silver pack with a hobby box and 2 silver packs with a hobby jumbo box. I did not receive a silver pack nor did I receive any with a hobby jumbo series 1 I ordered previously (but I eventually got them after writing to Amazon). My question is does the dealer have to honor the Topps promo if they are selling their products? Thanks for any advice.

    • Ryan Cracknell 18 June, 2018 at 10:56

      @Pete – You’ll need to check with the person you bought them off of for the promo packs. Just like all promotions, cards or not, it’s always good to check first if they’re participating in advance to avoid confusion.

  3. Leon Wilson 23 June, 2018 at 00:16

    Could Pete’s question, about the silver packs, be exampled better. I too bought two Hobby boxes and did not receive silver packs. I bought them directly from Topps after reading there advertisement and anticipating their release.

    I wrote Topps for an explanation, but that’s going to be a while. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

    • Ryan Cracknell 24 June, 2018 at 12:25

      @Leon — The Silver Pack promotion was designed for dealers and hobby shops as an incentive for people to buy from business owners.

  4. Duel 2 July, 2018 at 22:09

    Not only did Topps rush to add Acuna and Torres in an attempt to sell more, they “photo shopped” Torres onto a card that has a teammate in the background with a different uniform on. I am sure they will make another card of each with a RC logo in the update set. I also wouldn’t put it past Topps to add a different variation of each in the complete set.

  5. gary rinehart 11 January, 2019 at 05:42

    i pulled a 6/10 instant impact carlton fisk ,,,,is there only 10 of these cards in existance

  6. Gary M. Rinehart 8 February, 2019 at 05:52

    Ryan, what does that mean in the grand scheme of all these different parallels making a player have up to possibly 10-15 rookie cards per set!!!!!!!!!What card is the players true rookie card from each individual release?I collect for the joy and the thrill of the chase but these days i really don’t know what i am chasing #’d cards,freaking
    atomic holographic superfragalistic prizmatical hair from player embeded 1/1 redemption card 5th year ROOKIE CARD; extreme, yes but possibly in the near future !!!! Sorry for leaving the errors in my reply but in our hobbie thats close to the norm now . So what you’re saying is therecould only be 10 sets of the red base instant impact set correct ? The card is still a card that i like but i often get real contentment from reading the card backs ,but topps seems to be the only ones doing it ,like which player has the most colored ink in their stats etc. . Thank you Ryan

    • Ryan Cracknell 8 February, 2019 at 19:20

      @Gary – Personally, I don’t look at parallels as Rookie Cards. I see them as inserts. It can be fun to pull a good one but I don’t ultimately stress about it. I prefer to focus that attention on the things I like. It makes it easier to block the rest out as I focus on my collection.

  7. Chris 6 May, 2019 at 22:01

    Your stated odds of 1:3 cases for an SSP Acuna cannot be correct or else I was exceedingly fortunate. I pulled three from four jumbo boxes bought at the same time about six months ago. Although I knew it was an SSP, I remarked that it certainly did not appear to be any more difficult to get than the base RC (of which I got two in three hobby boxes). I sold them for $174.99 each (graded BGS 9.5 RCR) on May 4-5. Check that popular auction site “e— for proof. Two sold to the same buyer.

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