2022 Topps Series 1 Valuable Cards & Rookies to Watch For

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For a Topps flagship release, 2022 Series 1 was just about as good as it gets. You have the excitement of a new year of baseball mixed with one of the most-hyped rookies of recent memory, and the rest is history. I mean, just pulling the base Wander Franco rookie was something to boast, and this is coming at a time of astronomical print runs and decreasing values in gem mint PSA 10 RCs, etc.

Of course, value has come back down to earth for those “dime a dozen” entries, but the release still has a ton of value to show for it. Much if it is still based around Wander thanks to SP variations, along with the biggest names in the hobby both new and old.

So, let’s take a look at the most valuable cards from Topps 2022 Series 1.

Wander Franco RC Parallels

The number of parallels in today’s card releases can easily make one feel like they are ripping wax in a multiverse of madness—gold foil, independence day, vintage stock, and many more. You multiply all of this out across the 330 base card checklist and you’re in for a wild ride.

With literally too many to detail here, one very smart thing to do is if you pull a Wander Franco rookie card out of 2022 Topps Series 1, examine it closely. While some of these parallels are nearly impossible to miss (orange foilboard has entered the room), others can easily slide past even a trained eye (advanced stats says hello).

Here is a gold Wander:

And a green foilboard /499:

Here are some Wander parallels to watch for:

  • Gold Foil, not to be confused with Gold which are /2,022
  • Purple; if you’re buying cards from Meijer
  • Rainbow Foil, which is shiny finish like a refractor but not chrome
  • Foilboards (flashy colors and numbered; green /499, orange /299, red /199
  • Advanced Stats—turn it over and check the stats and look for /300
  • Vintage Stock, which is also tricky—check the Topps logo on the front and /99 on back
  • Independence Day, aptly numbered /76 and featuring stars on the front borders
  • Other colors, but not foilboards: black /71, Mother’s Day Pink /50, Father’s Day Blue /50
  • Camo printed which are /25
  • Platinum 1/1, which has already been pulled!

Wander Franco RC SP Variations

For the average collector, the SP or variation might still be somewhat of a cloudy term to wrap your head around. Especially if you’re opening sealed wax today, the excitement of pulling a Wander rookie could be quickly diminished by social media or even someone looking over a shoulder at a card shop and chiming in, is it an SP?

Well, for better or worse, that’s where we are with the hobby, and I personally love the fact that yes, we have the traditional base rookie card that many can get their hands on, but there are also more valuable chase cards in the form of shorter print variations.

While most of the above parallels are pretty easy to spot thanks to their different designs and numbering, image variations are definitely trickier given there isn’t any indication that the card is different from the base rookie unless you know what you’re looking for.

The best suggestion I can make is to burn the base Wander Franco card into your brain, and anything you pull that differs from that card is most certainly worth checking out.

Backswing and throwback uniform:

Pointing to the sky:

Star Shortprint, SSP, and Ultra SP Variations

Let’s not forget…it’s not all about Wander! Acuna, Trout, Judge, and more—the game’s biggest names have valuable SPs you’ll want to keep an eye out for, including:

Ohtani playful All-Star game shot:

Trout thumbs up in the dugout:

Aaron Judge in the cornfield for the Field of Dreams game (be on the lookout for Gerrit Cole, Tim Anderson, and others):

Ronald Acuna Jr. running the bases:

Beyond these, if you want something even more rare and valuable, you’ll want to check out the Beckett variations gallery, and then be on the lookout for super shortprint and even ultra shortprint variations.

For instance, while Trout and Acuna have SPs as noted above, they also have super shortprints, like these:

Not to mention that it’s not always the superstars, as some cards like this Dansby Swanson are ultra shortprints commemorating the Atlanta Braves World Series victory:

Legend Shortprints & Super Shortprints

Another great thing about Flagship releases is the always-considerate nod to the greats of the game, which seems to regularly feature Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Hank Aaron, and many more.

The way to spot these? Well, frankly, if you pull a retired player out of a pack and it appears to be a regular base card and not an insert, be sure to do some research. Here are some examples:

Here is Babe Ruth kissing a bat:

Cal Ripken holding up a trophy:

Derek Jeter jump throw SSP:

Wander Franco 1987 Design

Alright, we have Wander pretty well covered, but it’s worth mentioning there is even more to watch for. I won’t detail too much here, but you’ve probably noticed by now that every flagship release, Topps brings back an “anniversary” design to commemorate a 35th anniversary. Thus, for 2022, that’s the collecto-favorite “wood grain” look from 1987.

For Wander, you’re going to have the base 1987 card, along with different-colored parallels including red /10, gold /75, and the blue border which isn’t numbered. If you want shiny, there are silver pack entries as well, following the classic chrome number and coloring scheme of:

  • Red /5
  • Orange /25
  • Gold /50
  • Purple /75
  • Green /99
  • Blue /150

Home Field Advantage Inserts

Taking a page out of the Panini playbook, Topps has recently started adding “Home Field Advantage” inserts which greatly resemble Panini’s famous Downtown inserts (like these on our Tom Brady cards to collect guide and top Walter Payton cards list).

Here is Ken Griffey Jr.:

And Roberto Clemente:

Rookie Cards

This category is a bit different, because frankly, 2022 Topps Series 1 doesn’t have a whole lot to offer in the rookie category beyond Wander Franco and potentially Jarren Duran. Plus, the valuable cards of these players are going to be in the form of SPs or variations as mentioned above. So, again, make note of what a base RC looks like, and pay attention to anything that strays from that basic image.

All that said, here is a lit of rookies you’ll find in S1:

CARD #PLAYERTEAM
2Gavin SheetsChicago White Sox
18Emmanuel RiveraKansas City Royals
20Jake CousinsMilwaukee Brewers
22Bryan De La CruzMiami Marlins
25Vidal BrujanTampa Bay Rays
30Kyle MullerAtlanta Braves
31Matt ManningDetroit Tigers
38Mason ThompsonWashington Nationals
43Josiah GrayWashington Nationals
58Lars NootbaarSt. Louis Cardinals
61Jakson ReetzWashington Nationals
62Luke WilliamsPhiladelphia Phillies
66Connor WongBoston Red Sox
71Ernie ClementCleveland Guardians
78Aaron AshbyMilwaukee Brewers
85Rodolfo CastroPittsburgh Pirates
97Curtis TerryTexas Rangers
108Zach PopMiami Marlins
111Tony SantillanCincinnati Reds
130Tyler GilbertArizona Diamondbacks
131Luis GilNew York Yankees
133Zac LowtherBaltimore Orioles
134Tylor MegillNew York Mets
135Chas McCormickHouston Astros
140Ivan CastilloSan Diego Padres
148Zack ShortDetroit Tigers
158Riley AdamsWashington Nationals
160Anthony BenderMiami Marlins
163Stuart FairchildArizona Diamondbacks
166Patrick MazeikaNew York Mets
184Hoy ParkPittsburgh Pirates
186Jake BurgerChicago White Sox
187Jarren DuranBoston Red Sox
201Reid DetmersLos Angeles Angels
215Wander FrancoTampa Bay Rays
217Eli MorganCleveland Guardians
227Zach ThompsonMiami Marlins
231Ronnie DawsonHouston Astros
243Brandon MarshLos Angeles Angels
258Andre JacksonLos Angeles Dodgers
263Trey AmburgeyNew York Yankees
264Jackson KowarKansas City Royals
277Cal RaleighSeattle Mariners
295Jake MeyersHouston Astros
298Drew EllisArizona Diamondbacks
308Sammy LongSan Francisco Giants
316Matt VierlingPhiladelphia Phillies
325Max KranickPittsburgh Pirates
1118Alex WellsBaltimore Orioles
CARD #PLAYERTEAM

Autos, Patches & More!

Now, you’ll notice I didn’t really get into all of the different autos, patches, and other valuable cards from 2022 Topps Series 1. Reason being, this guide is intended to help people spot cards they might have otherwise overlooked. Thus, if you pull an auto, patch or anything else that is serial numbered and or immediately looks special – especially if of a superstar – then you probably have something special!

It’s definitely in your best interest to do due diligence, as a few seconds to check comps and or the checklists and variation galleries mentioned above can save a lot of heartache in the future!