2006 Topps Rookies 1952 Edition

What I pulled--

Inserts and Parallels:
SPs and Variations - Anderson Garcia, Andy Marte, Geovany Soto, Melky Cabrera 1952 logo, Mickey Mantle red background
Chrome Parallels (#ed to 1952) - J.J. Furmaniak, Jason Kubel, David Pauley, Ty Taubenheim
Chrome Refractor Parallels (#ed to 552) - Aaron Rakers
Flashbacks - Nomar Garciaparra, Greg Maddux, David Ortiz
Flashback Refractors (33ed to 552) - Albert Pujols
Dynamic Duos - Hermida/Willingham, Cabrera/Karstens, Zumaya/Verlander, Papelbon/Lester,

Enrique Gonzalez, Jonathan Papelbon, John Van Benschoten

I'm a little conflicted about this set, but it is by no fault of Topps. So, which do you want first...the good news
or the bad news?

OK. Let's go with the bad. The concept for this set is right. It is very simple - players who have earned the
"Rookie Card" logo this season. Normally, that idea would be worthy of a parade. Of course, with the new
MLBPA rles, what that means is an overwhelming majority of the cards are players who have had cards
issued in the past, in many cases for multiple years. That makes the player list a bit lackluster for a set that
SHOULD be a slam dunk.

Now, the good. And the good, in this case, trumps the bad by a wide margin. These cards are just
beautiful. The 1952 set design is timeless, and is used flawlessly here by Topps. The 275 card base set
is brimming with gorgeous photos tinted to give them all a great throwback feel. It is sets like this that got
me back into collecting five years ago.

Above the 275 card base set are dozens of short prints and variations, some featuring 1952 style logos.
The star of the variations, though, is card 311, which, of course, is Mickey Mantle - the same card number
he was in 1952. The Mantle comes with five different colored backgrounds and falls one per box and is a
great way to tie the original set into this version. In addition, there is a veteran flashback subset featuring
many of the big stars of today as rookies, giving the box a little more value and collectors a look back at
photos of their favorite stars as rookies (check out David Ortiz as a Twin!!!).

You want more? Here you go. Chrome and Chrome Refractor Parallels abound. And each box comes with
three autographs, from shortprinted ones such as Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez to new stars like Jonathan Papelbon.
Some will look at the autos as a bonus, others will look at them as the driving force to the set. Either way, everyone will be
smiling. There are also very unique relics featuring actual ticket stubs from games this season that featured major league
debuts of set members. These cards are number to 10 and fall one in just over 6,000 packs, so if you get one, congrats on
pulling something different and original.

Topps has done a wonderful working within the parameters set for them by the MLBPA, and this set is about as masterful as
possible all things considered. Whether you are a setbuilder, a rookie card collector or an autograph collector, you will be
thrilled with a box of Topps Rookies 1952 Edition. Now if we can just get those rules undone.......................