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2018 Guide to Baseball Card Variations

Last Updated 10/7/18 - Aaron B

We love variations, and the card manufacturers have realized that. Each set released so far in 2018 contains an increased number of variations. The days of a simple photo variation are long gone! In this guide, I will go through 2018 baseball cards set by set and detail the different types of variations, print run/odds if available, and card codes to help identify variations. The trickiest part of variations is identifying them and making sure they don’t get boxed up with commons. This guide will make it easier to identify a variation and how rare that variation is. As cool as it would be to do this project image-based, I don’t think anyone wants a nine thousand page PDF. I will incorporate images when I can, but most of this will be bulleted and list information for quick reference.  Cardboard Connection is a valuable resource for variation information, this guide will pull that information, along with Beckett’s information, and have it all in one spot for you. This project is really to compile the information that is already out there and have all the info in one convenient place. I will update this guide after the information from new sets comes out.

Variation vs Parallel??

First thing to clear up is, what’s the difference? A parallel is a card that is identical to the base but with a different color border, refractor, or other patterns. A lot of the these can be serial numbered. Parallels are always easy to spot. A variation will always contain something different from the base card. Usually it’s a different image, nickname, or error. These also can be serial numbered, but usually a variation is just a “new version” of the base and are tougher to spot than parallels.


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