Monday, March 27, 2023

2022 Topps Chrome Baseball, Sonic Base Cards Are Different. Here’s How to Tell Them Apart.

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When 2022 Topps Chrome Sonic Baseball arrived, at first glance it looked like it was simply a different box type for the year’s main Topps Chrome set only with some exclusive parallels. It turns out the base cards are different but you’ll need to look closely to see the difference.

How to Differentiate 2022 Topps Chrome Baseball and 2022 Topps Chrome Sonic Baseball Base Cards

There are three differences that can be used to tell the base cards apart.

1. Topps Chrome Logo Placement

The first, and probably easiest, is the placement of the Topps Chrome logo on the front. In regular Topps Chrome, most of the time (but not all) the logo is on the right side of the card. For Sonic, the logo is on the left.

Topps Chrome – logo on right
Topps Chrome Sonic – logo on left

This is the quickest method but it’s not perfect. A handful of Topps Chrome cards have the logo on the left to fit with the photo. So even at a glance with the two versions side by side, they look the same.

2. RC Badge

For rookies, there’s another fast way to tell the two sets apart. For Sonic, Topps made the RC badge bigger than the main Chrome set.

The obvious thing here, though, is that the rookie mark is only on about a quarter of the base cards.

Topps Chrome – small RC badge
Topps Chrome Sonic – large RC badge

3. CMP Codes on the Back

If you were thinking that squinting at the fine print on the back was in the rearview following 2023 Topps Series 1 Baseball’s Golden Mirror Image Variations, not quite.

There is one way that works in telling 2022 Topps Chrome from 2022 Topps Chrome Sonic base cards.

Flip the card over and go directly to the fine print. At the end of that block is a code. The end of that code is the key as it’s different for the two versions. It’s small but helpful.

Cards from Topps Chrome Baseball end in 967. Codes for Topps Chrome Sonic cards end in 439.

Are These Variations Significant?

For a lot of collectors, they’re probably not going to care too much about which side of the card the Topps Chrome logo is on. However, a lot of player and team collectors will. There might be some reluctance for having to track down another card with a minor difference, but they will.

They are variations and should be considered separate sets. Whether you feel the need to go after them is all personal preference.

It’s worth noting that the differences carry over to the Refractors and Prism Refractors that are in both Topps Chrome and Sonic as well. The same three methods as the standard base cards, including the codes, can be used.

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