Monday, February 21, 2011

I Cracked the Topps Picture Code

Topps was kind enough to scan all of their base cards from 1952 - 2010 for the million card give away last year and they are using the same pictures for the Diamond giveaway this year.

I was playing around at their web site and I think I've got the URL code figured out so you can get a look at the front or back of each and every card:

This url....

...will bring up this card, Ernie Banks,1959.

You can see there are several pieces to the URL, and they are fairly easy to decode.

Every card starts the same

Next, the season is added:

Next, comes the series marker, either TS1 for series one, or TS2 for series two. BUT, this applies only to cards from 1993 and beyond. Everything prior to 1993 is TS1.

The next piece is the cards number:

Now you add F for the front of the card or B for the back

And they all end with the same jpeg dimension:

If I want the back of Ron Santo's card from 1963, #252, the url would be

It only gets tricky for 1993 and beyond, when you need to know where series one ends and series two starts. This handy little chart of the series two numbers should help:

1993 397-825
1994 397-792
1995 397-660
1996 221-440
1997 276-496
1998 283-504
1999 243-496
2000 239-478
2001 406-790
2002 366-718
2003 368-720
2004 368-732
2005 368-732
2006 331-660
2007 331-660
2008 331-660
2009 331-660
2010 331-660

If you know a cards year, number, and for 1993 and beyond, series, you can find a nice clean picture of any Topps card quickly and easily. Then you can save it to your computer and load it into blogger.

To make it even easier, just cut and paste this template into your browser and make the appropriate changes to find your card.

I bookmarked the template, and so I just make the changes and I'm there!

Congratulations, you know have all of Topps baseball cards at your fingertips!

EDIT: As mentioned by Night Owl in the comments, here is a different way I came up with last year, though it is a bit more complicated.


  1. Cool -- this one is now part of my bookmarks :)

  2. I'm now going to use this to the fullest. Thanks!

  3. I still use the old post that you wrote on searching for cards for every year of the MCG site. I use it a LOT.

  4. I think this will be easier. With the old one there was some guessing to get to the right card. With this code, you can get to it right away as long as you've got the year and card number.

  5. There aren't enough hours in a day to allow for what this provides...