2006 Topps Series 1

What I pulled--

Inserts and Parallels:
Gold Parallel (#ed to 2006) - Jeremy Reed, Julian Tavarez, Texas Rangers
Barry Bonds Home Run History - 667, 668, 678, 686, 690, 698, 700, 701, 707
Declaration of Independence - John Adams, Josiah Bartlett, John Hancock, George Wythe
Hobby Masters - Vladimir Guerrero, Curt Schilling
2K Sports All-Stars - Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez
Own The Game - Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira
Mickey Mantle Collection - 1998
Mickey Mantle Home Run History - #1 (x9)

One of my absolute favorite days of the year has arrived. 2006 Topps has been released.

All the way back to when I collected cards as a child, I was always giddy with anticipation of the newest
Topps sets to be released. I loved looking at the new designs on the front and the fun facts that were
loaded on the back. So, when I get my box of 2006s, I pored over them like I was a kid again.

This year's set is one of my favorite designs in recent memory. I love the borders in the team's colors. The
team name is once again featured prominently at the top of the card and is reminiscent of an unfurled
banner. The player name and position are large and clear at the bottom of the card. And, as is Topps'
trademark, the photography for this unparalleled. Topps has even gone so far to update uniforms of
players who changed clubs this off-season, with Carlos Delgado appearing in a Mets uniform being just
one example.

Since this is the first set of 2006, this is also the first chance for everyone to see the new Rookie Card logo, as well as just
how the rules are going to shake out. Most of the players who have the logo on the card (see the card to the right to see the
logo) have appeared in many sets in the past, so it will be interesting to see just what the impact is on collectors.

As far as inserts, anything you pull in this box is a bonus, but there were 33 bonuses in my box.
2006 brings with it a return to the Topps fold of hobby icon Mickey Mantle, and Topps goes full
bore with the content. New Mantle photos provided by the Mick's family are used on many of the
Topps designs of recent years. These cards fall 1 in 36 packs and are gorgeous. Topps is also
kicking off the Mantle Home Run History series here, although (and this is one of my few knocks
on the box) only card #1 is included and falls 1 in every 4 packs, which means I pulled the same
card nine times. I am definitely looking forward to seeing this continued in the future, though, just
as the Barry Bonds Home Run History continues here.

Other inserts include Topps stalwarts Own The Game and Hobby Masters, as well as a new one, 2K Sports All-Stars, which
caters to video game fans and carries some cheater codes for players. The Declaration of Independence is also celebrated in
this set, with cards of all of the signers of the important document, as well as a puzzle of the Declaration on the back of those
cards. There are relics and autographs possible in the boxes, buyt they fall at a combines rate of one in 137 packs per hobby
box, so you need a little luck on your side to pull one.

Let's be honest. There are few sets that are mandatory purchases. This is one. But when Topps clearly goes the extra yard to
make it look as good as this year's set does, only one grade is warranted.......................