2019 Topps Update Series Baseball Variation Short Prints Guide and Gallery

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2019 Topps Update Series Baseball variations come in a couple of forms. Similar to cards in Series 1 and Series 2, one level is basic short prints that should show up regularly. The other group features tougher SSP cards that highlight some of the season’s top rookies.

2019 Topps Update Series Variations – SP vs. SSP

Base Short Print Variations are the more plentiful of the two types. This goes for both the size of its checklist and frequency in which they fall. A total of 50 retired legends not on the base set checklist, veterans and rookies all have SP cards. At the hobby level, these are 1:32 packs. For hobby jumbo, they’re 1:10, or one per box.

Rookie Variations are much tougher to find. The checklist here, as you’d expect, are first-year standouts. According to the odds, you’re looking at 1:622 hobby packs and 1:190 hobby jumbo packs to pull one. In short, they’re rare. On top of that, the checklist for these has another 25 cards.

It’s worth noting that some rookies have both types of variations for the same card number. This is where the codes come into play to make identification even easier. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Austin Riley are among the rookies with both SP and SSP variations.

Legends have now appeared in the SP lineups for all three of the flagship 2019 Topps Baseball releases. Here, key players include Ken Griffey Jr., Jackie Robinson, Nolan Ryan and Thurman Munson. Willie Mays has two different variation sin 2019 Topps Update Series, one with the New York Giants. The other has the Hall of Famer from his days in San Francisco.

Confirming Variations with the Fine Print

There’s a handy image gallery below showing the 2019 Topps Update Series variations. And while this makes spotting SP and SSP cards easy, there’s another way. The code method. It’s quick and only requires collectors to remember a couple of numbers instead of dozens of photos.

The fine print on the back holds the key. Go to the very end of the fine print and you’ll find a long code. It’s meant for production purposes, but collectors can use it to spot a variation quickly.

Here are code endings you need to tell the difference between a base card, an SP variation and an SSP variation:

  • Base – 010
  • SP Variation – 055
  • SSP Rookie Variation – 057

2019 Topps Update Series Baseball Checklist

If you’re looking for a specific card, click on the links to see what’s available on eBay.

US1 Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
US1 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – SSP
US12 Paul Goldschmidt
US21 Willie Mays
US28 Oscar Mercado
US28 Oscar Mercado – SSP
US35 Derek Dietrich
US39 Cavan Biggio
US39 Cavan Biggio – SSP
US50 Nick Senzel
US50 Nick Senzel – SSP
US56 Tony Gwynn
US63 Trent Thornton
US63 Trent Thornton – SSP
US 74 Elvis Luciano – SSP
US79 Jackie Robinson
US93 Ken Griffey Jr.

US100 Austin Riley
US100 Austin Riley – SSP
US105 Luis Rengifo – SSP
US106 Yasiel Puig
US107 Robinson Cano
US109 Carter Kieboom
US109 Carter Kieboom – SSP
US123 Justus Sheffield
US123 Justus Sheffield – SSP
US128 Thurman Munson
US133 Willie Mays
US147 Cal Ripken Jr.
US149 Corbin Martin
US149 Corbin Martin – SSP
US150 Keston Hiura
US150 Keston Hiura – SSP
US165 Eddie Murray
US168 Thiaro Estrada – SSP
US168 Robin Yount
US170 Michael Chavis
US170 Michael Chavis – SSP
US179 Mariano Rivera
US182 Johnny Bench
US187 Roberto Clemente
US197 Cole Tucker
US197 Cole Tucker – SSP
US199 Will Smith
US199 Will Smith – SSP

US200 Griffin Canning
US200 Griffin Canning – SSP
US202 George Brett
US206 Ichiro
US218 Mitch Keller
US219 Nolan Ryan
US224 Yasmani Grandal
US227 Lane Thomas – SSP
US237 Randy Johnson
US242 Adam Jones
US244 Jon Duplantier
US244 Jon Duplantier – SSP
US245 Carl Yastrzemski
US249 Nick Margevicius
US249 Nick Margevicius – SSP
US256 Jake Bauers
US256 Jake Bauers – SSP
US257 Josh Donaldson
US263 Chris Paddack
US263 Chris Paddack – SSP
US266 Kevin Cron
US266 Kevin Cron – SSP
US269 Ryne Sandberg
US283 Edgar Martinez
US291 Nate Lowe
US291 Nate Lowe – SSP
US295 Roy Halladay
US299 Brendan Rodgers
US299 Brendan Rodgers – SSP
US300 Mike Mussina

2019 Topps Update Series Baseball Gallery

US1 Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays


Variation – pointing

2019 Topps Update Series SPP Variations Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

SSP Rookie – with ball


Base – throwing


US12 Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals


Variation – arms wide


Base – batting


US21 Willie Mays, New York Giants


Variation – Willie Mays shaking hand at home


Base – Melky Cabrera


US28 Oscar Mercado, Cleveland Indians


Variation – crouching on base

SSP Rookie – two finger guns


Base – batting


US35 Derek Dietrich, Cincinnati Reds


Variation – red tank top, sunglasses


Base – white jersey


US39 Cavan Biggio, Toronto Blue Jays


Variation – in dugout with reporters

SSP Rookie – home run trot


Base – batting


US50 Nick Senzel, Cincinnati Reds


Variation – touching cap

SSP Rookie – water bath


Base – batting


US56 Tony Gwynn, San Diego Padres


Variation – Tony Gwynn yelling


Base – Fernando Tatis Jr. Rookie Debut


US63 Trent Thornton, Toronto Blue Jays


Variation – blue jersey

SSP Rookie – gray jersey


Base – white jersey


US74 Elvis Luciano, Toronto Blue Jays


SSP Rookie -ball in air


Base – pitching ball


US79 Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn Dodgers


Variation – Jackie Robinson signing autograph


Base – Jonathan Schoop


US93 Ken Griffey Jr., Seattle Mariners


Variation – Ken Griffey Jr. diving


Base – Michael Brantley


US100 Austin Riley, Atlanta Braves


Variation – jumping

SSP Rookie – with mascot


Base – batting


US105 Luis Rengifo, Los Angeles Angels


SSP Rookie – warm-up shirt


Base – throwing at base


US106 Yasiel Puig, Cleveland Indians


Variation – Cleveland Indians


Base – Cincinnati Reds


US107 Robinson Cano, New York Mets


Variation – pointing, no sunglasses


Base – wearing sunglasses


US109 Carter Kieboom, Washington Nationals


Variation – throwing

SSP Rookie -back turned, dark blue jersey


Base – batting


US123 Justus Sheffield, Seattle Mariners


Variation – ball visible above shoulder

SSP Rookie – ball visible at chest


Base – ball not visible


US128 Thurman Munson, New York Yankees


Variation – Thurman Munson with catcher’s mitt


Base – Gio Urshela


US133 Willie Mays, San Francisco Giants


Variation – Willie Mays swinging


Base – Leury Garcia


US147 Cal Ripken Jr., Baltimore Orioles


Variation – Cal Ripken Jr. signing autograph


Base – Richie Martin


US149 Corbin Martin, Houston Astros


Variation – tipping cap

SSP Rookie – yelling


Base – throwing


US150 Keston Hiura, Milwaukee Brewers


Variation – throwback uniform

SSP Rookie – hand at helmet


Base – batting


US165 Eddie Murray, Baltimore Orioles


Variation – Eddie Murray in back of car


Base – Dwight Smith Jr.


US168 Thairo Estrada, New York Yankees


SSP Rookie – throwing


Base – bunting


US168 Robin Yount, Milwaukee Brewers


Variation – Robin Yount crouching


Base – Thairo Estrada


US170 Michael Chavis, Boston Red Sox


Variation – pointing

SSP Rookie – signing in book


Base – throwing


US179 Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees


Variation – Mariano Rivera with Jeter and Pettitte


Base – Hector Neris


US182 Johnny Bench, Cincinnati Reds


Variation – Johnny Bench golfing


Base – Andrew Knizner


US187 Roberto Clemente, Pittsburgh Pirates


Variation – Roberto Clemente sliding


Base – Curtis Granderson


US197 Cole Tucker, Pittsburgh Pirates


Variation – wearing Frozone costume

SSP Rookie – finger signs


Base – batting


US199 Will Smith, Los Angeles Dodgers


Variation – running, holding helmet (vertical)

SSP Rookie – running, holding helmet (horizontal)


Base – catcher’s gear


US200 Griffin Canning, Los Angeles Angels


Variation – red shirt

SSP Rookie – with catching, holding towel


Base – pitching


US202 George Brett, Kansas City Royals


Variation – George Brett with glove up


Base – Nicky Lopez


US206 Ichiro, Seattle Mariners


Variation – Ichiro with fan


Base – Dylan Moore


US218 Mitch Keller, Pittsburgh Pirates


Variation – sitting in dugout


Base – pitching


US219 Nolan Ryan, Texas Rangers


Variation – Nolan Ryan in back of car


Base – Adrian Sampson


US224 Yasmani Grandal, Milwaukee Brewers


Variation – running, blue jersey


Base – catcher’s gear


US227 Lane Thomas, St. Louis Cardinals


SSP Rookie – with teammate


Base – batting


US237 Randy Johnson, Seattle Mariners


Variation – Randy Johnson drumming


Base – Domingo Santana


US242 Adam Jones, Arizona Diamondbacks


Variation – front of jersey visible


Base – back of jersey visible


US244 Jon Duplantier, Arizona Diamondbacks


Variation – gray jersey

SSP Rookie – white jersey


Base – red jersey


US245 Carl Yastrzemski, Boston Red Sox


Variation – Carl Yastrzemski running home


Base – Mike Yastrzemski


US249 Nick Margevicius, San Diego Padres


Variation – brown jersey

SSP Rookie – pitching off mound, top view


Base – front view


US256 Jake Bauers, Cleveland Indians


Variation – with bat

SSP Rookie – no cap


Base – diving


US257 Josh Donaldson, Atlanta Braves


Variation – back of jersey visible, swinging at ball


Base – front of jersey visible


US263 Chris Paddack, San Diego Padres


Variation – with Manny Machado

SSP Rookie – towel on shoulders


Base


US266 Kevin Cron, Arizona Diamondbacks


Variation – dirt in background

SSP Rookie – sunglasses on cap


Base – stands in background


US269 Ryne Sandberg, Chicago Cubs


Variation – Ryne Sandberg with Don Zimmer


Base – Craig Kimbrel


US283 Edgar Martinez, Seattle Mariners


Variation – Edgar Martinez tipping cap


Base – Omar Narvaez


US291 Nate Lowe, Tampa Bay Rays


Variation – peace sign

SSP Rookie – at batting cage


Base – batting


US295 Roy Halladay, Toronto Blue Jays


Variation – Roy Halladay pitching from mound


Base – Cavan Biggio Rookie Debut


US299 Brendan Rodgers, Colorado Rockies


Variation – at dugout steps

SSP Rookie – reaching down for ball


Base – throwing


US300 Mike Mussina, Baltimore Orioles


Variation – Mike Mussina in front of scoreboard


Base – Renato Nunez


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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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13 comments

  1. Laith Agha 16 October, 2019 at 09:23

    It seems to be a major oversight to not produce an SSP for Tatis, Eloy or Alonso. But Topps must have had a reason: they had three series to do it, and opted not to. But coming off a year in which Acuna, Soto and Gleyber all have such cards (and I’ll throw in Soroka, since he has Cy Young potential), it’s a bit of a letdown that Vladdy is the only big name with an SSP this year.

    Topps also messed up, in my humble opinion, with Chrome Sapphire. The cards aren’t even sapphire-colored this year! The blue sapphire appearance is a big part of the appeal with the 2018 Acuna… I don’t know, there seems to be some odd decision-making at Topps this year.

  2. Lewis 17 October, 2019 at 14:14

    My personal opinion short prints and different variations should only be for relics and autographs

  3. ANDRE MAGANA 18 October, 2019 at 17:21

    I just found the last rookie ssp…………. sorry, it’s only justus sheffield. Was hoping it was eloy

  4. Onix Figueroa 19 October, 2019 at 06:10

    I found this box set a good one. Topps really did a good job. I opened a few of them. I got some decent cards. I am very happy with my Vladimir Guerrero Jr SSP Singed Auto Rookie card.

  5. Gary Arose 25 October, 2019 at 11:14

    Topps update hobby box states that that you get one auto or relic card per box. I got a Medallion card which is not a relic card I think this is a rip off by Topps.

  6. Chris Knowlton 30 October, 2019 at 15:55

    Is there a secret to figuring out the different Variations in the “Legends In The Making” Insert Cards? Blue Black Gold and Red??

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