2019 Topps Update Series Baseball Variation Short Prints Guide and Gallery


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


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


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. 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??

  7. Bern 3 December, 2019 at 10:16

    I saw an ebay listing claiming that the SSP rookie autographs in the update were “/5” … do you know if that’s accurate?

    • Ryan Cracknell 5 December, 2019 at 12:23

      @Bern – If they’re not numbered, print runs haven’t been released. Any specifics would be speculation. Could be correct but not confirmed.

  8. ScottyC304 7 December, 2019 at 19:56

    @ Knowloton
    I too, wondered. On my hobby wrapper it said the gold ones featured with asterik (representing being sequentially numbered) but my card wasnt. And it appeared to be a gold to me, although im not certain and not got to compare. I know it’s simple and not important, just wondered though myself.

  9. Joey V From SP 30 December, 2019 at 07:11

    I feel that the set was done well as far as. Howthey the players of the past in the set i much rather of been the same playrr in a differnt pose or uniform and get rid of the du e l gangsighn shots and Gatorade dunking shots got to go
    Joey V From SP and P.S Andy MADEC. Number one dealer Hes the best! ThanksBro

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