Details on 2013 Topps Heritage variations emerge as packs are ripped, cards hit eBay


 By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Hey, Washington Nationals fans … we bet you didn’t know Bryce Harper played in “Pittsburfh” last season.

That’s the case according to the rare short-printed error variation of the reigning National League Rookie of the Year in 2013 Topps Heritage, which officially arrived on Wednesday.

It’s one of six cards with error-related variations — each nods to uncorrected errors in the 1964 Topps set that Heritage emulates this year.  How much did the first one sell for on eBay? A modest amount.

Other variations that have been confirmed via pulls from collectors and eBay are below and include:

4 — American League Pitching Leaders: An errant apostrophe after “PITCHING” on top back.

125 — Yu Darvish: Rarer version incorrectly lists his birth year as 1942.

325 — Rafael Betancourt: Rarer version incorrectly lists his birth year as 1932.

335 — Jonny Venters: Rarer version incorrectly lists his birth year as 1930.

355 — Chris Tillman: Rarer version incorrectly lists his birth year as 1931.

Click here for a look at the checklist      |    Click here to see the latest Heritage auctions on eBay

Color swap variations
These are a simple one to tell. Each card has the same color type up top and the tan bar at the bottom. (See the list of who has these cards on the checklist link above.)

Image swap variations
These are also simple to spot once you know the list of players (link above) and once you have spotted the standard cards. This is Harper’s action card, which avoids the mug used on his regular card, the “Pittsburfh” and color variations.

Senators variations
These cards, which could be confused for action variations, show four members of the Nationals — including Harper — in throwback Washington Nationals uniforms. The Ryan Zimmerman was a big sale on eBay already going for $999 — that’s not a typo. Harper should be the biggest seller of the bunch, of course, while the other two are Ian Desmond and Ross Detwiler. Asking price on the first Harper to hit eBay? Even steeper.

A note on Venezuelan parallels
According to one big breaker, it appears that the black-backed Venezuelan parallels have been made for all 500 cards including some short-printed variations as well. That’s a bit of a surprising move that will make the tough-to-pull set even tougher to build to completion. Confirmed so far are action variations with Venezuelan backs.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


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  1. Tom W 6 March, 2013 at 23:03

    Every year the same crap we have take a magnifying glass to see what is sp or suppedely a sp. Perhaps they could stop this nonsense and get back to makig a better product add a guarentee something.
    I mean Heritage has sp from the past but the escelation from multiple shots and gimmicks tell you one thing ….we lack an idea after all didn’t we see this years ago and Billy Ripken.
    Don’t ge me wrong if I pull any sp from this from my LCS or Target or WALMART I’ll sell it.
    That’s because after a while all you have left is just a gimmick and those values won’t stay there for long.
    just saying

  2. Raylon 7 March, 2013 at 02:57

    I find it hardly to believe in today age and technology that Topps has that many errors and on key players.

  3. David Johnson 7 March, 2013 at 08:06

    I HATE HATE HATE these dang variations and SPs that aren’t easily distinguishable. It is really annoying when you don’t know about these little variations on the back of a card and trade it away thinking it was just the regular version.

  4. THorst 7 March, 2013 at 08:39

    I agree with Tom W. I’m a big fan of Heritage and the Topps basic set. However, with so many SPs and variations in makes putting together a set a real pain. I’m fine with a few SPs, but have you seen the 2012 Topps set? It’s a mess of variations and SPs and makes the set a confusing nightmare. I think Topps should keep it simple with its basic set and save the variations for other sets. Heritage rocks, but please keep it from becoming a nightmare Topps.

  5. shad 7 March, 2013 at 09:56


    They are intentional errors not ones that slipped by. They represent errors from the 1964 set just on today’s stars and cards.

  6. Pat 7 March, 2013 at 11:12

    Chris Possible error on Venters… 2006 did not play and does not list atlanta but does on the 2013 topps card

  7. JonathanI 7 March, 2013 at 13:05

    Wow. Topps is really being creative now. They actually think we will spend money looking for “errors”? Do they think we are trained seals? When someone purposefully limits production number to jack the false price, people generally complain. Think: OPEC. Is the oil really worth more? No. But people panic and buy it up. At least on the international market you have options of where to buy a product. Wouldn’t that be nice with baseball cards?

  8. Jason 7 March, 2013 at 15:09

    Wow, having these error variations is nothing new in Heritage.
    But then again, having people complain about baseball cards is nothing new either.

  9. Chris 7 March, 2013 at 15:56

    Do the variations and sps have different codes on the back? Regular set cards end in 80, high numbers end in 81. How about the short prints?

  10. Sam Rose 7 March, 2013 at 21:48

    Opening a box of this porduct now and every pack has a Purple Chrome refractor in it. Opened a box earlier that had none of them. Must be some “hot box” action here or just a big “whoops” by Topps!!!!

    FROM MOD: Hot box.

  11. Geordie 7 March, 2013 at 21:50

    Image swaps end in 84
    Color swaps end in 85 (although color swaps are sorta obvious)
    SSPs look like they end in 89, at least the Harper “Pittsburfh”, Darvish and Tillman does. The scan that’s up on eBay of the Desmond looks like it ends in 83, though – I can’t tell for sure.

  12. bill johnson 7 March, 2013 at 21:58

    i was really excited for heritage to come out this year. i love the brand and it has become one of my favorites since returning to the hobby. i see a lot of people complaining and yes i do have a complaint. with all the star cards being short printed what exactly is the point of spending 20 bucks on a box to get nothing. as i did tonight. i think the highlight of my box was a buster posey blue and a michael bourn refractor. did i make my money back in those cards. maybe. but not all of us are out to get game used or autograph cards. myself i like pulling a mets card or a player i collect like heyward, wright, or mccutchen. tonight i decide that i would hold onto my money and what for allen and ginter and archives. sorry topps, but not all of us like spending 20 bucks for semi stars or are out to make thousands on ebay.

  13. Paul 8 March, 2013 at 06:58

    @Chris Yes the codes are different. This is what I’ve found

    Base cards cmp003280
    SP cards cmp003281
    SP Senators Var cmp003283
    SP Action Var cmp003284
    SP Color Var cmp003285

  14. Richard 8 March, 2013 at 13:04

    I don’t know why I’m always surprised when so many of these cards, who have an undetermined but
    still decent level of production, sell for so much more than cards that are actually serial #’d or autographed.
    For the price paid for the Heritage Harper SP, you could buy an even scarcer card from Topps that was
    serial #’d AND autographed on card.

    Must be nice to have so much money that you can just spend it like that without a care.

  15. David Brewer 9 March, 2013 at 01:05


  16. Richard 9 March, 2013 at 08:39

    I agree with Jason,people stop complaining…it’s getting old.,please stop alread.

  17. Adam 9 March, 2013 at 21:28

    I bought a hobby box yesterday and got the Ross Detwiler Senators variation. I BEAT THE ODDS!!! It was only my second box!

  18. Shaun 10 March, 2013 at 18:32

    So far in all my boxes all the variations have been easy to spot as they been backwards from all the other cards. So they shouldn’t be too hard to spot/find. @ Chris Olds, Is there any info on these hot boxes? I pulled one the other day, was wondering what the print run for these purple ref’s are as they are not serial numbered? The appear to be poorly collated as well as about half my purple ref’s were dupes. Not to mad though as I got an extra Profar/Olt RC purple ref. :)

  19. shad 12 March, 2013 at 12:00

    Someone on another site posted a Franklin Gutierrez card with a pic of Greg Halman on the front. Not sure if it’s a photo swap error or what. If so it’s very distasteful given Halman’s tragic death last year.


  20. Chris Borden 17 March, 2013 at 00:30

    Hi, as a former newspaper copy editor and superior proofreader, I just discovered while going through my Heritage Harper variations that Topps has also (mistakenly?) labeled the Bryce Harper permutations with “outfield” or “outfielder”, depending on which one. The base card says “outfield”, and all the other variations I have EXCEPT the “Pittsburfh” error, say “outfielder.” The codes are different on all but the two versions of the action shot, which share the same code, oddly. Has anybody else noticed this? If these are indeed real errors or undiscovered variations, I’m very fortunate because I bought all except the Senators version, which says “outfielder”. Do I sense a new feeding frenzy imminent in 2013 Heritage?

  21. Jason 17 March, 2013 at 10:46

    Just bought my first 2013 topps heritage box from my local hobby store. I pulled one Prince Fielder SP action variation venezuelan parallel. I pulled a Bryce Harper, Albert Pujols, Stephen Strasburg, Mike Trout, King Felix, Matt Kemp High Numbered cards. Pulled a base chrome Paul Konerko numbered 999, Alex Gordon Relic and a Gold Miguel Montero Numbered 3/5. I went back the next day and got another box. The pulls weren’t as good but I did get some pretty nice cards. Derek Jeter SP variation, Joe Mauer SP variation. Two base chrome cards numbered to 999. Elvis Andrus relic. Nelson, Cruz, Jered Weaver, Jose Reyes, David Ortiz, Carlos Gonzalez, Buster Posey, Giancarlo Stanton and Adam Jones High Numbered cards.

  22. mark 19 March, 2013 at 17:08

    where do I find these codes on the back. the back of the card the box the pack
    pls help as this yrs set is driving me nuts
    response to david brewer and paul

    pls help
    thx mark

  23. James 13 April, 2013 at 15:32

    Its obvious to me that the whole “old school” thing Topps is trying to recreate with the Heritage set is lost on many of you. As one other poster pointed out, these are INTENTIONALLY done by Topps, not because of a lack of creativity or to gimmicky, but because they are trying to encompass the look, style, feel of the ’64 set, which, comtained such errors as wrong birth dates, wrong positions, statistical errors etc.
    I can’t help but read through the comments on these posts and laugh to the pint of tears at the comments by some folks, who just don’t “get it”. I do, however,take into consideration that the card HOBBY ( its is a hobby folks) is like anything else in life, you’renot going to please everyone. If Topps didn’t do things like the errors and SPs, the same people would be complaining about them would post things like “Another mundane set by Topps. Same mem cards, same autos every year. Its getting old.” So its really a no-win situation with these folks. Personally I like the SPs and errors. It, like I said earlier, helps enhance the experience of ripping into a pack of 1964 Topps back in the day. I give kudos to Topps for these types of sets. I think its exciting and pretty darn cool. Then again, I am “old school” when it comes to the hobby.

  24. Dan Baxa Jr. 27 April, 2013 at 06:51

    I am reading the foolishness at the top and growing more frustrated as I read on. I felt the need to respond, but couldn’t decide how to say it…. Until I read Jason above. Couldn’t have put it better. IT IS IN THE NAME people!!! HERITAGE!! Know what you are buying. This is not Topps Heritage’s first BBQ. This ideal has been around for a while now. Therefore, Topps needed to find a way to make 2013 fresh. Break down the product and you will see. Using the term rather loosley, Heritage is quite genius! You maintain enthusiasm with “Old School” collectors by giving them a large, single-series, set to chase, with and old fashioned look and feel. Yes, it does include 75 SP’s, but they seem to be very available and affordable via auction sites. For your more “New Age” collector; there are the SSP and what seem to be SDSSP’s(SuperDuperSuperShortPrints), memorabilia cards, cut autos, patch autos, chrome (with, of course, refractors), and, oh yeah… REAL ONE AUTOGRAPHS. Above all else, EVERYONE IN THEIR MLB UNIFORMS!! Just saying….. And, by the way, has anyone seen what some of these SSP variations have been selling for? Error cards – no auto – no serial #’s – no cut sigs or bat knobs or laundry tags – just simple variations. All in all, 2013 Topps Heritage is fantastic. Around $100.00 for a hobby box, well worth the chase. Well done Topps.

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