2021 Topps Archives Baseball Variations Guide

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The 2021 Topps Archives Baseball Variations have a lot going on. Much like the potluck-themed product as a whole, there’s lots to look for, some of it a little more stealth than others.

When it comes to SPs and SSPs, there’s not one single thing to look for. It’s several. From traditional photo and player swaps to nods to the past to logo changes, the variations checklist is a varied one.

With so much going on, it’s understandable that some could easily be missed. But once you know what you’re looking for, none are particularly hard to spot.

Traditional Variations

One of the reasons that there are so many different styles of 2021 Topps Archives Baseball variations is the splintered nature of the base set. Seven past designs and one from a distant and imagined future are used. It’s only natural that some of these variations are based on some old-school quirks.

An example of this can be found with Francisco Lindor and Bryce Harper. Their base cards fall under the 1962 portion of the base set. Both have variations that offer a tip of the hat to the original release’s Green Tint variations. While harder to notice, there’s a slight cropping change to their photos as well.

Shohei Ohtani also has a 1962 tint variation, however his base card is part of the 1973 subset so this one should jump out a little easier. Ohtani has a second variation that’s a little more subtle. The photo is the same as his regular card, but if you look to the icon, the SSP has a pitching icon rather than a batter.

Mike Trout and Jackie Robinson, both part of the 1991 subset, have basic photo switch variations.

The 1983 Topps design is used to showcase four sets of father-son MLB connections. Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Daulton Varsho are all in the primary photo spot on these cards. The smaller inset photo has their fathers: Dante Bichette, Craig Biggio, Vladimir Guerrero Sr. and Gary Varsho.

Four 2021 Topps Archives Baseball variations introduce new players to the checklist. Three of these are Mickey Mantle who has cards at #7, 107 and 207. Bill Greason, a St. Louis Cardinals pitcher in the 1950s who also served in World War II and played in the Negro Leagues. Greason had never appeared on a Topps card until now.

Emblem Variations

As far as the number of 2021 Topps Archives Baseball variations goes, the majority of them fall under the Emblem Variations category. These simply make a small but easily noticeable change to the Topps logo on the card front.

Emblem Variations are available for more than 90 total cards in the 1991, 2001, 2011 and 2091 subsets.

Regular base cards for the 1991 and 2001 have the “40 Years” and “50 Years” commemorative logos the original sets used. 2091 base cards come with a hypothetical “140 Years” logo. 2011 base cards have the standard Topps logo.

2021 Topps Archives Emblem Variations change these to have “70 Years” commemorative logos, a nod to 2021’s anniversary.

2021 Topps Archives Baseball Variations Emblem Comparison

Besides the regular SSPs, Emblem Variations can be found with Red Hot Foil (/50) and FoilFractor (1/1) versions.

Buffalo Blue Jays

Buffalo was the home away from home for the Toronto Blue Jays for much of the pandemic. Topps give the city a nod with variations for the team’s eight active players in the base set.

These are easy to notice for a couple of reasons. For starters, they have “Buffalo” written clearly as the team across the top. They also use the 1974 Topps design, one that isn’t part of the base set.

According to the codes on the back and the pack odds, these Buffalo Variations fall under the Emblem category. However, their approach is very different from the rest.

Like Emblem Variations, these cards do have Red Hot Foil (/50) and FoilFractor (1/1) parallels.

How Tough Are 2021 Topps Archives Baseball Variations to Pull?

The odds on 2021 Topps Archives Baseball packs group all variations into two groups.

“Base Card Variations” are 1:305 hobby packs while “Base Card Image/Emblem Variations” are 1:114 hobby packs. This is easy when it comes to the Emblem and Buffalo cards. They’re both part of the 1:114 group.

Others aren’t quite so clear and might require a little time to see how frequently they pop up. That said, the 1962 Green Tint, 1983 Father/Son, 1991 photo swaps and Ohtani icon change cards all have the same CMP code on the back, which may suggest they’re the “Base Card Variations.”

As for the Mantles and unannounced Greason, they’re still to be determined.

One thing to also consider is the number of cards in each section. Although Emblem Variations are much easier to pull as a whole, there are at least 100 different cards that fall under that category. So individual cards might actually prove to be lower.

Using Codes for Confirming 2021 Topps Archives Baseball Variations

The code at the end of the fine print on the card backs can be used as a cheat for telling variations from regular base codes. With so many variation types, there are several to keep track of. Here are the code endings required for identifying 2021 Topps Archives Baseball variations:

  • Base – 267
  • Greason – 040
  • 1983 Mantle (#7) – 041
  • 1991 Mantle (#107) – 042
  • 2011 Mantle (#207) – 043
  • 1962 Green Tint – 297
  • 1973 Icon – 297
  • 1983 Father/Son – 297
  • 1991 Image Variations – 297
  • Buffalo Blue Jays – 298
  • Emblem (1991, 2001, 2011, 2091) – 298

2021 Topps Archives Baseball Variations Checklist and Gallery

Use the tabs to navigate between variation types. Each has full checklists and visual breakdowns so you know exactly what you’re looking for.

Image and Player

2021 Topps Archives Variations – Image and Player

Here’s a quick checklist of the cards that have traditional variations with different photos or players. If you’re looking for a specific card, click on the links to see what’s currently available on eBay.

7 Mickey Mantle
62 Francisco Lindor
79 Cavan Biggio / Craig Biggio
94 Bryce Harper
96 Bill Greason
107 Mickey Mantle
130 Shohei Ohtani – 1962
130 Shohei Ohtani – 1973
164 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. / Vladimir Guerrero
169 Bo Bichette / Dante Bichette
190 Jackie Robinson
200 Mike Trout
207 Mickey Mantle
221 Daulton Varsho / Gary Varsho

7 Mickey Mantle, New York Yankees

2021 Topps Archives Baseball Variations 7 Mickey Mantle
Variation – Mickey Mantle 1983
Base – George Brett

62 Francisco Lindor, New York Mets

2021 Topps Archives Baseball Variations Francisco Lindor
Variation – glove and arms visible, green tint
Base – small part of glove visible

79 Cavan Biggio, Toronto Blue Jays / Craig Biggio, Houston Astros

Base

94 Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies

Variation – zoomed out slightly, 1962 green tint
Base

96 Bill Greason, St. Louis Cardinals

2021 Topps Archives Baseball Variations Bill Greason
Variation – Bill Greason
Base – Tim Salmon

107 Mickey Mantle, New York Yankees

Variation – Mickey Mantle 1991
Base – Nelson Cruz 1973

130 Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels

Variation – red pitching icon
Variation – kneeling, 1962 green tint
Base – yellow batting icon

164 Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays / Vladimir Guerrero, Montreal Expos

Base

169 Bo Bichette, Toronto Blue Jays / Dante Bichette, Colorado Rockies

2021 Topps Archives Baseball Variations Bo and Dante Bichette
Variation – Dante Bichette portrait
Base

190 Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn Dodgers

2021 Topps Archives Baseball Variations Jackie Robinson
Variation – batting
Base – throwing

200 Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels

2021 Topps Archives Baseball Variations Mike Trout
Variation – batting stance
Base – facing forward

207 Mickey Mantle, New York Yankees

Variation – Mickey Mantle 2011
Base – Dale Murphy

221 Daulton Varsho, Arizona Diamondbacks / Gary Varsho, Philadelphia Phillies

Base
Buffalo Blue Jays

2021 Topps Archives Variations – Buffalo Blue Jays

Here’s a look at Toronto Blue Jays players who have 1974-style variations listing their home city as Buffalo. The code on the back puts them together with the Emblem variations.

18 Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
79 Cavan Biggio
134 Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
146 Nate Pearson
169 Bo Bichette
263 George Springer
273 Teoscar Hernandez
294 Hyun-Jin Ryu

Red Hot Foil parallels used for some variation images.

18 Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

Buffalo (Red Hot Foil)
Base

79 Cavan Biggio

2021 Topps Archives Baseball Variations - Buffalo Cavan Biggio
Buffalo
Base

134 Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Base – Vladimir Guerrero Sr.

146 Nate Pearson

Buffalo (Red Hot Foil)
Base

169 Bo Bichette

Base

263 George Springer

Buffalo (Red Hot Foil)
Base

273 Teoscar Hernandez

Base

294 Hyun-Jin Ryu

Buffalo
Base
Emblem / Topps Logo

2021 Topps Archives Variations – Emblem

The following breakdown includes a visual comparison for each design as well as full checklists.

Shop for Emblem Variations on:

1991

2021 Topps Archives Baseball Variations - 1991 Emblem Ernie Banks
70 Years Emblem Variation
Base – 40 Years Emblem

181 Bob Gibson, St. Louis Cardinals
182 Starling Marte, Oakland Athletics
184 Keston Hiura, Milwaukee Brewers
185 Johnny Bench, Cincinnati Reds
186 Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
187 Ichiro, Seattle Mariners
188 Sixto Sanchez, Miami Marlins
190 Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn Dodgers
191 Jarred Kelenic, Seattle Mariners
192 Alex Kirilloff, Minnesota Twins
193 Rogers Hornsby, St. Louis Cardinals
194 Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
195 Lou Gehrig, New York Yankees
196 Javier Baez, New York Mets
198 Willie Mays, New York Giants
199 Ernie Banks, Chicago Cubs
200 Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels

2001

2021 Topps Archives Baseball Variations - 2001 Emblem Rod Carew
70 Years Emblem Variation
Base – 50 Years Elblem

203 Trevor Rogers, Miami Marlins
204 Carlos Delgado, New York Mets
205 Roy Campanella, Brooklyn Dodgers
206 Dave Winfield, San Diego Padres
207 Dale Murphy, Atlanta Braves
209 Luis Garcia, Washington Nationals
212 Eddie Murray, Baltimore Orioles
214 Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
215 Adolis Garcia, Texas Rangers
216 Frank Robinson, Cincinnati Reds
218 Thurman Munson, New York Yankees
219 Rod Carew, Minnesota Twins
220 David Peterson, New York Mets
221 Daulton Varsho, Arizona Diamondbacks
222 Dick Allen, Chicago White Sox

223 J.T. Realmuto, Philadelphia Phillies
225 Will Clark, San Francisco Giants
227 Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals
228 Deion Sanders, Cincinnati Reds
229 Shane McClanahan, Tampa Bay Rays
230 Gio Urshela, New York Yankees
231 William Contreras, Atlanta Braves
232 Jim Palmer, Baltimore Orioles
234 Kyle Hendricks, Chicago Cubs
235 Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
236 Hank Aaron, Atlanta Braves
237 Ryan Weathers, San Diego Padres
238 Jose Barrero, Cincinnati Reds
239 Vida Blue, Oakland Athletics
240 Alec Bohm, Philadelphia Phillies

2011

2021 Topps Archives Baseball Variations - Emblem 2011 Juan Soto
70 Years Emblem Variation
Base – Topps Logo

242 Roberto Clemente, Pittsburgh Pirates
243 Carl Yastrzemski, Boston Red Sox
244 Rhys Hoskins, Philadelphia Phillies
245 Cristian Javier, Houston Astros
246 Bobby Dalbec, Boston Red Sox
247 Pavin Smith, Arizona Diamondbacks
248 Dylan Carlson, St. Louis Cardinals
249 Larry Walker, Colorado Rockies
250 Barry Larkin, Cincinnati Reds
251 Edward Olivares, Kansas City Royals
252 Ozzie Albies, Atlanta Braves
253 Willie McCovey, San Francisco Giants
255 Gleyber Torres, New York Yankees
257 Josh Donaldson, Minnesota Twins
258 Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers

259 Babe Ruth, New York Yankees
261 Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers
262 Mickey Moniak, Philadelphia Phillies
263 George Springer, Toronto Blue Jays
264 Tris Speaker, Cleveland Indians
265 Pee Wee Reese, Brooklyn Dodgers
266 Ryan Jeffers, Minnesota Twins
268 Brailyn Marquez, Chicago Cubs
269 Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox
271 Kirby Puckett, Minnesota Twins
272 Evan White, Seattle Mariners
274 Juan Soto, Washington Nationals
275 Roger Clemens, Boston Red Sox
277 Don Mattingly, New York Yankees
279 Rickey Henderson, Oakland Athletics

2091

2021 Topps Archives Baseball Variations - Emblem 2091 Fernando Tatis Jr.
70 Years Emblem Variation
Base – 140 Years of Topps Emblem

281 Bob Feller, Cleveland Indians
282 Anthony Rendon, Los Angeles Angels
283 Derek Jeter, New York Yankees
284 Al Kaline, Detroit Tigers
286 Nolan Arenado, St. Louis Cardinals
287 Cristian Pache, Atlanta Braves
290 Kyle Lewis, Seattle Mariners
291 Trea Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers
292 Harmon Killebrew, Minnesota Twins
293 Ted Williams, Boston Red Sox
295 Giancarlo Stanton, New York Yankees
296 Eddie Mathews, Milwaukee Braves
298 Luis Robert, Chicago White Sox
299 Willson Contreras, Chicago Cubs
300 Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres

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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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3 comments

  1. JDonovan 9 November, 2021 at 18:51

    Using Buffalo and the Jays in the 1974 design is a very clever modern update of the “Washington Padres” cards.

  2. Taylor F 4 December, 2021 at 18:27

    I think the 2011 cards have code 287, all 13 of the 2011 cards I’ve gotten have that code #.

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