2006 Baseball Cards
In 2006, the St. Louis Cardinals ended a title drought of over 25 years by claiming the MLB Championship. 2006 baseball cards also saw a change that came in the form of rookie card designations. Starting with products in 2006 and going forward, official rookie cards, with the rookie card logo, would only be issued after a player appeared on a major league roster. Any official cards issued for a player before joining a major league roster would be included as an insert in a separately-numbered subset. Due to this change, the rookie card term became even more blurred for baseball cards. This is damaging to the hobby because new and less-knowledgeable collectors can be easily confused by players that have “rookie cards” which fall over several years.
Other than a few All-Star players, the rookie class in 2006 is relatively disappointing. Top options include Clayton Kershaw, Justin Upton, Evan Longoria, and Jon Lester. Technically, Hanley Ramirez and Matt Kemp also have their first official rookie cards in 2006 products, but most collectors do not consider these to be true rookie cards. Also in 2006, Allen & Ginter returned after a considerable absence under the Topps brand to much acclaim.
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2006 Bowman Chrome saw a major shift as Prospects with no major league experience were given a separate insert set, graying the definitions of what some consider to be rookie cards. Key autographs in the set include Prince Fielder, Justin Upton and Alex Gordon.
Outside of Evan Longoria and Clayton Kershaw Bowman Chrome autographs, 2006 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects Baseball is an overall weak release for the brand. However, there are a couple of dark horses collectors can watch for. And, as always, Refractor rainbows remain a popular choice.
With roots in a release more than a century earlier, 2006 Topps Allen & Ginter Baseball is a wildly popular set that mixes vintage and modern collecting.
2006 Topps Baseball is a transition year for the flagship brand. It sees a new set configuration, the return of a legend and the inclusion of a card that wasn’t supposed to be.
Although 2006 Topps Updates & Highlights Baseball doesn’t have any major rookie cards, the set does provide a detailed bookend to the 2006 season. Inserts include career looks at Barry Bonds and Mickey Mantle and their home run chases.