2006 Topps Updates and Highlights Baseball Review

The evolution of Topps Traded continues with 2006 Topps Updates and Highlights Baseball. With so many products on the market compared to 20 years ago, there's a lot more opportunities to find rookies. That meant those cool little box sets printed in the millions became a thing of the past. But have no fear for Topps has repackaged the concept and added every last highlight from the 2006 season into what is essientially Topps Series 3 but with an annoying numbering scheme.

The concept of the set is pretty simple: collect all the year's rookies and traded players and pad the set with various league leader and post-season highlight cards. Done to the same design as the 2006 Topps base set, it's a complimentary bookend to the 2006 baseball season. To that end I don't mind the set. But then you have to question what's left for 2007 Topps Baseball besides the added line of stats. Between the three Topps base sets, there are almost 1,000 cards to cover every angle of the year.

I found the design to be not up there with Topps' best base set efforts. The generous blocks of silver foil give the card fronts a blocky look. I'm not a big fan of the solid colour lines as well that make up the border. And when you get into the multi-player league and team leader cards, there's very little visual space to make the photos stand out.

The card backs have a retro sort of feel, largely because of the cartoon that adorns each card. One of the big draws for me to the Topps base set has always been the complete career stats. My one complaint about the backs is the numbering starting with UH as I'd have much preferred either a continuation from where Series Two left off. But that might not have been an option so I'll just have to deal with it.

Like any Topps base product, I'm buying it to build the set. There's no reason why I shouldn't have been able to put together the 330-card base set, yet I'm still 17 cards short. Yet I have 82 doubles. Shucks, I'll have to do some trading. There were a couple other minor collation issues with the inserts, but nothing that I'm concerned about.

I didn't buy this box for the inserts but I always enjoy finding them for trade bait. The Bonds and Mantle cross-brand Homerun History cards are a neat idea but there's so much repeat in the design Yes, it would have been a lot to put together different photos for each of their respective homers, but that would have made me want to chase at least the Bonds cards, if not both. The Gold parallels are back, which I guess is good for the sake of continuity. The idea behind the Rookie Debut cards is nice, but why not just make a note of their first game on their base card. With the new rules surrounding what is and isn't a rookie, this should become easier and easier as time goes by and the last of the pre-rookie year Bowman rookies debut.

I don't generally look for a single card to make a box for me, but this is an instance where one card did save it for me. I don't get too excited about pulling a jersey card now unless it's a Canadian-born player or someone I really like. In my first pack I pulled an All Star Stitches Jason BAy card featuring a swatch from his All-Star Workout jersey. Whoop-dee-doo, right? When I first saw the card I thought it was a regular insert. It turns out the jersey swatch features the pirate face from the All-Star game logo as well as '06. It's a beauty for me on many levels: 1) It's a Canadian, 2) It's fancy looking and 3) Not only is Bay a Pirate, but the 2006 All-Star Game was in Pittsburgh making the swatch doubly appropriate. This is defintely one that goes right into my personal collection.

All in all, this box wasn't great save for one card. The set is a nice completion of the 2006 season, even if it is not a particularly great one.

2006 Topps Updates and Highlights Baseball Box Breakdown:

Packs per box: 36
Cards per pack: 12
Total cards: 431

Cards in set: 330
Singles: 313
Doubles: 82
Triples+: 0

Inserts: 36

  • Gold Parallel (1:4, /2006): 9 (UH41. Shawn Green [0759/2006], UH59. Shawn Chacon [0960/2006], UH69. Kyle Lohse [0548/2006], UH99. Francisco Cordero [1079/2006], UH131. Jose Molina [1080/2006], UH198. Anthony Reyes "Postseason Highlights" [0253/2006], UH247. Chris Capuano "All-Star" [1207/2006], UH265. Roy Oswalt "All-Star" [0500/2006], Johan Santana/Francisco Liriano "Classic Duos" [0476/2006]
  • Platinum Parallel (1:12,000, /1): 0
  • First Day Edition Parallel (1:36): 0
  • Rookie Debut (1:4): 8 (RD-2. Ian Kinsler, RD-6. Dan Uggla, RD-8. Carlos Martinez, RD-14. Reggie Abercrombie, RD-19. Fabio Castro, RD-23. John Rheinecker, RD-35. Zach Jackson, RD-38. Chad Billingsley)
  • Rookie Debut Autograph (1:1,180 - 1:10,600): 0
  • Bonds Homerun History (1:6): 6 (709, 730, 731, 732, 733, 734)
  • Bonds Homerun History Autograph (1:42,400): 0
  • All-Star Autograph (1:48,000): 0
  • Bonds 715 Insert (1:36): 2 (715-BB (2))
  • Mantle Homerun History (1:4): 9 (104, 112, 118, 127, 155, 171, 172, 179, 198)
  • Mantle Homerun History Relic (1:5,100): 0
  • All Star Stitches Relic (1:43): 1 (AS-JB. Jason Bay)
  • All Star Stitches Dual Relic (1:2,550): 0
  • All Star Patch Relic (1:2,300): 0
  • Touch 'em All Relic (1:610): 0
  • Midsummer Cover Relic (1:7,750): 0
  • Derby Digs Relic (1:4,200): 0
  • Signature Moves Autograph (1:9,800 - 1:300,000): 0
  • Topps Chrome Rookie Card Box Topper (1/box, /599): 1 (CRC36. Yusmeiro Petit [585/599])

 

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