Early 2019 Topps Series 1 Baseball Notes and Observations


2019 Topps Series 1 Baseball has arrived. That means spring is just around the corner. As packs get shredded and cool cards get shared, there are some things to take note of if you’re undertaking the set or just busting a few packs.

Big Insert Sets, Fewer Packs

On the hobby side, 2019 Topps Series 1 Baseball packs have undergone a change. Instead of 36 packs of ten cards, they consist of 24 packs with 14 cards.

If you’re working on some insert sets, this could prove to make a significant difference versus past years. For starters, there are some large chase sets. 150 Years of Baseball has 150 cards. 1984 Topps Baseball has 100 cards. Neither are particularly tough to pull as far as singles go.

But spread it out over the course of the set, and you’ve got something tough, especially 150 Years of Baseball as you can expect to find only three or four per hobby box.

Short Print Variations MIA in 2019 Topps Series 1 Baseball Hobby Jumbo Packs

According to what’s printed on hobby jumbo wrappers, short print variations (not the tougher legends SSP cards) are supposed to fall 1:17 packs. That’s a little better than every other box.

It turns out they might not be in the packs at all. There are numerous people who have opened hobby jumbo boxes and cases in significant quantity and not found any. This points towards the issue being more than just a small, bad run.

There are no reports of regular hobby packs or retail configurations having similar issues.

Adam Jones’ Number

In the base set, Adam Jones is #8. There’s nothing strange there. It’s as it should be.

Adam Jones Base #8

Like 74 other current players in the main set, Jones has a variation short print. But it’s #262 on the back, not #8.

Adam Jones Short Print Variation #262

So it’s an Adam Jones variation for Mitch Moreland’s spot on the checklist.

Mitch Moreland Base #262

Numbers of the Revolution

The Revolution of the Game insert set tracks some of the changes baseball has seen over the years. It has ten cards with some varied subject matter.

But if you’re building it, the numbers won’t add up quite right. Things lined up nicely on the checklist Topps released. But on the actual cards, it’s not quite as straightforward.

For starters, there’s no #REV-1. It was supposed to be Henry Chadwick. But he’s actually #REV-7 — just like Tony LaRussa.

2019 Topps Series 1 Baseball Revolution of the Game REV-7 Henry Chadwick

Also missing is #REV-4. Instead, Happy Chandler is #REV-11.

Revolution of the Game is a ten-card set. According to the card backs, the checklist is as follows:

REV-2 Kenesaw Mountain Landis
REV-3 Casey Stengel
REV-5 Albert Spalding
REV-6 Tommy Lasorda
REV-7 Henry Chadwick
REV-7 Tony LaRussa
REV-8 Joe Torre
REV-9 Bill James
REV-10 Branch Rickey
REV-11 Happy Chandler

Stars of the Name

One other switch between Topps’ checklist and the final cards is the name of the retail-only Stars of the Game chase set. You may also see them called as Superstars of Baseball. That’s what Topps listed them as on the checklist. Also, the numbering prefix ‘SSB-‘ suggests that probably was the name at some point.

But the fronts of the cards say Stars of the Game instead.



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. JDonovan 30 January, 2019 at 20:21

    My observation is that the SP cards on the red carpet are the ugliest baseball cards I have seen in a long time. I am a hardcore Rockies collector and I don’t know if I even want the Charlie Blackmon SP. It is hideous.

    That aside, it’s really not a bad looking set in general from what I have seen. Best flagship set since 2015.

  2. Chad Bitler 31 January, 2019 at 09:33

    Ryan, any idea of the odds for the Stars of the Game inserts? I like the looks of them. Couldn’t find the odds on the wrapper and they are going for absurd amounts on EBay…can’t tell if they’re rare or if they are just inflated prices.

  3. fred 31 January, 2019 at 09:56

    With all the months they spend planning and designing these sets you’d think there wouldn’t be these kinds of things going on.

  4. Chuck 31 January, 2019 at 12:51

    Thank you for this article, Ryan.

    Jonathan Loaisiga and Ryan O’Hearn’s 2019 Topps cards have the RC logo, but so did their 2018 Topps Now cards. I wonder if Topps meant for their rookie cards to be in 2018 Topps Now or 2019 Topps.

  5. Rick 20 February, 2019 at 23:35

    I have bought 7 blaster boxes from walmart and target. I have pulled 4 sp cards. Acuna, Devers and 2 Trevor bauers

  6. Ben 23 March, 2019 at 19:17

    my observation is that these packs are a total rip off. Ill be buying any autos , short prints, relics, and rare variations on ebay cause you sure wont get them in packs.

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