2021 Topps Series 2 Baseball Variations Guide

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Of course there are 2021 Topps Series 2 Baseball variations. Lots of them.

For starters, there are both Short Print (SP) and Super Short Print (SSP) Variations. This means multiple levels of rarity.

Something that’s definitely not a shock is the return of retired legends to the variations lineup. These are consistently some of the most popular each year.

For 2021 Topps Series 2, it also means the return of Mickey Mantle to the Topps flagship for the first time since 2012. Both his SP and SSP Variations have #52 on the back, but it’s definitely from Series 2. It even notes as such under the card number.

2021 Topps Series 2 Baseball Variations Mickey Mantle

Mantle also has a third Ultra Short Print Variation (SSSP). If the photo looks familiar, it’s because it’s the one that was used for his 1952 Topps card.

2021 Topps Series 2 Baseball Ultra Short Print Variations Mickey Mantle
1952 Topps Mickey Mantle

Mantle isn’t alone with the Ultra Short Prints. Some key 2021 rookies have reverse negative SSSP cards. For these, the images are flipped and things look backwards when you look closely.

Current players are also part of the 2021 Topps Series 2 variations lineup. There’s no unifying theme, although there are many taken during candid moments and before games. Many of the rookie variations are fairly standard in their photo choices and don’t necessarily jump out right away as being anything different.

How Tough Are SP and SSP Cards to Pull?

Curious as to how rare variations are? It might take a bit to gather odds for all pack types, but here’s what we know at this point (odds are per pack):

SP Variations

  • Hanger Boxes (Retail) – 1:9
  • Blaster Boxes (Retail) – 1:40

SSP Variations

  • Hanger Boxes (Retail) – 1:248
  • Blaster Boxes (Retail) – 1:1,187

Odds for Ultra Short Print Variations are not known.

Confirmation Codes for 2021 Topps Series 2 Baseball Variations

Yes, card backs once again offer another way of confirming SP and SSP cards. Like many other Topps sets, including Series 1, you can use the CMP code at the end of the fine print to identify different types of cards. Card numbers and the main checklist are usually the easiest route, but for variations that look like base, this is sometimes the best option. It’s also a quick way to double check and make sure.

The CMP code endings you’ll want to note for telling base cards from variations are:

  • Base – 423
  • Short Print (SP) – 441
  • Super Short Print (SSP) – 442
  • Ultra Short Print – 443

These codes are not really meant for collectors. They’re part of the production process. But once collectors figured out they offer a clue, they’ve been a popular route in short print identification. It might not be as fun as photos, but it works.

2021 Topps Series 2 Baseball Variations Checklist

Here’s a quick 2021 Topps Series 2 Baseball variations checklist so you can quickly see who to be looking for. This is a list of confirmed names so far. It’ll be expanding in the days ahead as more SP and SSP cards surface. If you’re looking for a specific card, click on the links to see what’s currently on eBay.

52 Mickey Mantle – SP | SSP | Ultra
331 Jose Abreu – SP
336 Ty Cobb – SP
346 Cal Ripken Jr. – SP | SSP
347 Jackie Robinson – SP | SSP
351 D.J. LeMahieu – SP
357 Yu Darvish – SP
360 Jose Ramirez – SP
362 Garrett Crochet – SP | SSP
366 Randy Johnson – SP
371 Jake Cronenworth – SP | SSP
374 Jose Garcia – SP
381 Luis Campusano – SP
388 Greg Maddux – SP
390 William Contreras – SP
391 Dean Kremer – SP
398 Ha-Seong Kim – SP | SSP

400 Stephen Strasburg – SP
404 Brailyn Marquez – SP | SSP
406 Estevan Florial – SP | SSP
408 Shane McClanahan – SP
412 Roberto Clemente – SP | SSP
413 Alex Kirilloff – SP | SSP
417 Lewin Diaz – SP
429 Don Mattingly – SP
431 Alec Bohm – Ultra
431 Andrew McCutchen – SP | SSP
432 Jose Altuve – SP
441 Daz Cameron – SP
449 Babe Ruth – SP | SSP
450 Corey Seager – SP
456 Clarke Schmidt – SP | SSP
466 Walker Buehler – SP
468 Wade Boggs – SP
472 Hank Aaron – SP
475 Trevor Story – SP
476 Xander Bogaerts – SP
489 Francisco Lindor – SP | SSP
491 Ted Williams – SP | SSP

500 Ozzie Albies – SP
502 Honus Wagner – SP
506 Ken Griffey Jr. – SP | SSP
509 Reggie Jackson – SP
510 Adonis Medina – SP
517 Michael Conforto – SP
520 Frank Thomas – SP
521 Keston Hiura – SP
523 Shane Bieber – SP
525 Lou Gehrig – SP | SSP
528 Jonathan Stiever – SP
537 Aaron Nola – SP
538 Jazz Chisholm – SP | SSP
549 Marcus Stroman – SP
550 Jo Adell – Ultra
550 Anthony Rendon | SP
551 Alejandro Kirk – SP
552 Ryan Jeffers – SP
561 Derek Jeter – SP | SSP
563 Trevor Rogers – SP
566 Stan Musial – SP | SSP
567 Nolan Ryan – SP
568 Carl Yastrzemski – SP
573 Eddie Murray – SP
577 Mariano Rivera – SP
580 Johnny Bench – SP

609 Chris Sale – SP
611 J.T. Realmuto – SP
613 Rickey Henderson – SP | SSP
616 Willie Mays – SP | SSP
622 Rafael Marchan – SP
633 George Springer – SP
635 Tanner Houck – SP
641 Chipper Jones – SP
642 Giancarlo Stanton – SP | SSP
644 Ke’Bryan Hayes – SP | SSP | Ultra
650 Trevor Bauer – SP
654 Sam Huff – SP | SSP
660 Kris Bryant – SP | SSP

2021 Topps Series 2 Baseball Variations Gallery

SP = Short Print, SSP = Super Short Print

Please note that any gaps will be filled in ASAP.

52 Mickey Mantle, New York Yankees

Note Series 2 on reverse.

2021 Topps Series 2 Baseball Variations Mickey Mantle
SP – Mickey Mantle swinging
2021 Topps Series 2 Variations Mickey Mantle Super Short Print
SSP – Mickey Mantle holding three bats
Ultra – one bat on shoulder (1952 Topps photo)
Base – Archie Bradley (Series 1)

331 Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox

SP – backwards cap
Base – batting

336 Ty Cobb, Detroit Tigers

SP – Ty Cobb
Base – Victor Reyes

346 Cal Ripken Jr., Baltimore Orioles

SP – Cal Ripken Jr. portrait
SSP – tipping cap
Base – Jose Iglesias

347 Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn Dodgers

SP – Jackie Robinson gray jersey
SSP – Jackie Robinson two bats on shoulder
Base – Kenley Jansen

350 D.J. LeMahieu, New York Yankees

SP – kneeling
Base – pinstripe jersey, batting

357 Yu Darvish, San Diego Padres

SP – holding bottles, horizontal
Base – throwing

360 Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians

SP – pointing finger
Base – batting

362 Garrett Crochet, Chicago White Sox

SP – front leg up
SSP – back leg up
Base – close-up, one foot visible

366 Randy Johnson, Seattle Mariners

SP – Randy Johnson
Base – Yusei Kikuchi

371 Jake Cronenworth, San Diego Padres

SP – batting, name on back of jersey visible
SSP – celebrating with teammate
Base – batting, front of jersey visible

374 Jose Garcia, Cincinnati Reds

SP – no helmet
Base – batting

381 Luis Campusano, San Diego Padres

SP – face visible
Base – swinging

388 Greg Maddux, Atlanta Braves

SP – Greg Maddux
Base – Mike Soroka

390 William Contreras, Atlanta Braves

SP – batting cage
Base – running, dropping bat

391 Dean Kremer, Baltimore Orioles

SP – white jersey
Base – orange jersey

398 Ha-Seong Kim, San Diego Padres

SP – holding helmet
SSP – pointing
Base – batting

400 Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals

SP – red shirt
Base – white jersey

404 Brailyn Marquez, Chicago Cubs

SP – arm extended, horizontal
SSP – fist bump
Base – knee up, vertical

406 Estevan Florial, New York Yankees

SP – carrying bat, sunglasses
SSP – batting, dark jersey
Base – batting, pinstripe jersey

408 Shane McLanahan, Tampa Bay Rays

SP – white jersey
Base – blue jersey

412 Roberto Clemente, Pittsburgh Pirates

SP – Roberto Clemente bat on shoulder
SSP – Roberto Clemente batting
Base – Gregory Polanco

413 Alex Kirilloff, Minnesota Twins

SP – carrying bat
SSP – wearing sunglasses
Base – batting

417 Lewin Diaz, Miami Marlins

SP – foot on bag
Base – glove down

429 Don Mattingly, New York Yankees

SP – Don Mattingly
Base – Clint Frazier

431 Alec Bohm, Philadelphia Phillies

Ultra – Alec Bohm reverse negative
Base – Andrew McCutchen

431 Andrew McCutchen, Philadelphia Phillies

SP – diving, blue jersey
SSP – holding cap
Base – diving, cream jersey

432 Jose Altuve, Houston Astros

SP – batting cage
Base – batting, wearing gray jersey

441 Daz Cameron, Detroit Tigers

SP – bunting
Base – swinging, gray jersey

449 Babe Ruth, New York Yankees

SP – Babe Ruth in dugout
SSP – Babe Ruth bat on shoulder
Base – Mike Tauchman

450 Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers

SP – holding award
Base – batting

456 Clarke Schmidt, New York Yankees

SP – gray jersey
SSP – black jersey
Base – pinstripe jersey

466 Walker Buehler, Los Angeles Dodgers

SP – hugging
Base – pitching

468 Wade Boggs, Boston Red Sox

SP – Wade Boggs
Base – Jonathan Arauz

472 Hank Aaron, Atlanta Braves

SP – Hank Aaron
Base – Marcell Ozuna

475 Trevor Story, Colorado Rockies

SP – backwards cap
Base – fielding

476 Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox

SP – batting cage
Base – fielding

489 Francisco Lindor, New York Mets

SP – Francisco Lindor batting
SSP – Francisco Lindor in dugout
Base – Jeff McNeil

491 Ted Williams, Boston Red Sox

SP – Ted Williams reading paper
2021 Topps Series 2 Baseball Variations Ted Williams SSP
SSP – Ted Williams swinging
Base – Michael Chavis

500 Ozzie Albies, Atlanta Braves

SP – holding cap
Base – wearing helmet

502 Honus Wagner, Pittsburgh Pirates

SP – Honus Wagner
Base – Kevin Newman

506 Ken Griffey Jr., Seattle Mariners

SP – Ken Griffey Jr. cap backwards
SSP – Ken Griffey Jr. in dugout
Base – J.P. Crawford

509 Reggie Jackson, Oakland Athletics

SP – Reggie Jackson
Base – Robbie Grossman

510 Adonis Medina, Philadelphia Phillies

SP – ball in glove
Base – throwing, ball visible

517 Michael Conforto, New York Mets

SP – catch at fence, pinstripe jersey
Base – running for ball, gray jersey

520 Frank Thomas, Chicago White Sox

SP – Frank Thomas
Base – Yoan Moncada

521 Keston Hiura, Milwaukee Brewers

SP – pinstripe jersey
Base – blue jersey

523 Shane Bieber, Cleveland Indians

SP – wearing mask
Base – pitching

525 Lou Gehrig, New York Yankees

SP – Lou Gehrig standing on bag
SSP – Lou Gehrig bats on shoulder
Base – Gary Sanchez

528 Jonathan Stiever, Chicago White Sox

SP – two fingers pointing down
Base – throwing

537 Aaron Nola, Philadelphia Phillies

SP – overhead photo
Base – gray jersey

538 Jazz Chisholm, Miami Marlins

SP – “Respect Miami” shirt
SSP – close-up portrait
Base – holding bat

549 Marcus Stroman, New York Mets

SP – blue jersey
Base – pinstripe jersey

550 Jo Adell, Los Angeles Angels

2021 Topps Series 2 Baseball Variations Jo Adell Ultra Reverse Negative
Ultra – Jo Adell reverse negative
Base – Anthony Rendon

550 Anthony Rendon, Los Angeles Angels

SP – batting
Base – fielding

551 Alejandro Kirk, Toronto Blue Jays

SP – batting
Base – catcher’s gear

552 Ryan Jeffers, Minnesota Twins

SP – at dugout, blue jersey
Base – crouching, red jersey

561 Derek Jeter, New York Yankees

SP – Derek Jeter fielding
SSP – Derek Jeter warm-up shirt
Base – Didi Gregorius

563 Trevor Rogers, Miami Marlins

SP – gray jersey, horizontal
Base – white jersey, vertical

566 Stan Musial, St. Louis Cardinals

SP – Stan Musial swinging
SSP – Stan Musial bat on shoulder
Base – Matt Carpenter

567 Nolan Ryan, Texas Rangers

SP – Nolan Ryan
Base – Corey Kluber

568 Carl Yastrzemski, Boston Red Sox

SP – Carl Yastrzemski
Base – Jackie Bradley Jr.

573 Eddie Murray, Baltimore Orioles

SP – Eddie Murray
Base – Trey Mancini

577 Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees

SP – Mariano Rivera
Base – Luis Severino

580 Johnny Bench, Cincinnati Reds

SP – Johnny Bench
Base – Tucker Barnhart

609 Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox

SP – sitting on boxes
Base – crowd in background

611 J.T. Realmuto, Philadelphia Phillies

SP – catcher’s gear
Base – batting

613 Rickey Henderson, Oakland Athletics

SP – Rickey Henderson running
SSP – Rickey Henderson with Lou Brock, holding trophy
Base – Ramon Laureano

616 Willie Mays, San Francisco Giants

SP – holding bat out
SSP – flipped up sunglasses
Base – Alex Dickerson

622 Rafael Marchan, Philadelphia Phillies

SP – gray jersey
Base – white jersey

633 George Springer, Toronto Blue Jays

SP – batting cage
Base – with fielding glove

635 Tanner Houck, Boston Red Sox

SP – white jersey, dugout in background
Base – throwing, navy blue jersey

641 Chipper Jones, Atlanta Braves

SP – Chipper Jones
Base – Nick Markakis

642 Giancarlo Stanton, New York Yankees

SP – pinstripe jersey
SSP – gray jersey, no bat
Base – batting

644 Ke’Bryan Hayes, Pittsburgh Pirates

SP – ’21’ visible on jersey front
SSP – batting, ’13’ visible on jersey front
Ultra – reverse negative
Base – fielding

650 Trevor Bauer, Los Angeles Dodgers

SP – holding camera
Base – pitching

654 Sam Huff, Texas Rangers

SP – high-fiving teammate
SSP – arm over head
Base – light blue jersey, batting helmet

660 Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs

SP – blue shirt
SSP – bag on shoulder
Base – running

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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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22 comments

  1. Jared 11 June, 2021 at 13:58

    I pulled the Babe Ruth and the Cal Ripken Jr SP in back to back hangers today. Pretty cool!

  2. Kurt 12 June, 2021 at 03:31

    SSSPs exist in series 2. Saw an Adell code 443. It’s a reverse image of him batting left handed.. card number 550 which is Anthony Rendon’s base card number.

  3. Richard Shea 13 June, 2021 at 21:10

    20 ssp cards and with the new addition of Stanton, 6 of them are yankees. And 10 sp cards and the mantle ultra sssp card. Not fair to the yankee collector, topps is making it impossible to do master yankee sets.

  4. Scott Spiller 15 June, 2021 at 08:57

    Glad I’ve stepped away from trying to complete a Yankees master collection. The amount of cards devoted to the Yankees has gotten out of hand. I think of the money I’ve spent over the years chasing a copy of each, and what I could do with the money if I had it back. As I unload my cards to better homes, I can look at the prices and just smile knowing Topps is no longer receiving any of my money. @Richard Shea, best of luck chasing that Mantle USP. I know you have other competition from like-minded collectors. Take solace knowing you don’t have to compete against me anymore, which should (??) keep prices a little lower.

  5. Rich 15 June, 2021 at 09:30

    Alec Bohm #277 has an SSSP card in Series 2 that is a reverse negative of the Series 1 base card.

  6. Derek 16 June, 2021 at 23:31

    I came across a Alex Kiriloff SSP last night, which is a horizontal carding featuring a close up head shot. Kiriloff is wearing sunglasses in the photo. It’s a very cool card!

  7. James Stram 18 June, 2021 at 16:54

    Sure would be nice to have some actual production # ‘ s for all of these supposedly short printed versions . Just another type of manipulation from the Topps Company to get the card card collectors to buy more and more and more …………………….

    • Ryan Cracknell 18 June, 2021 at 17:15

      @James – They do have the odds printed on the wrappers for all but the Ultra. One could do the math and compare it to other cards that are serial numbered to get in the ballpark.

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