When Topps 206 came out last year I was pretty excited because it was a set I always liked. Unfortunately, I didn't like the set very much. This year's 206 is better but not nearly as good as Allen & Ginter. I think I like it better than National Chicle. There are 353 base cards. Cards numbered 301-353 are short-print, alternate versions of some of the players in the first 300 cards. There is also an alternate short-print card in the first 300 featuring Stephen Strasburg.If anyone cares, I'd nickname this set "Men without hats" or perhaps, the Forehead set. For whatever reason, Topps chose this set to feature baseball players standing around without their caps. This Jered Weaver card is a typical pose. This or with arms hanging at the sides. Not too many players managed to look as wan and forlorn as Weaver.
Without hats, you learn that some players have rather startling hair like rookie Mike Leake.
As with last year's 206, there are a lot of pictures with sunset backgrounds. Here's Michael Bourn, apparently being raised up to heaven.
Some cards feature closeup shots. The sky background with little white clouds is a popular one. This is Adam Lind squinting, after apparently making a face-first slide.
And some cards just have a colored background like this one for Starlin Castro. Although he's only 6 feet tall, he looks like he's 6'8". There are several cards with skewed perspective like this. I also feature this card, as, I think, young Mr. Castro here may be the first card I own of a player born in the 1990's who has made his major league debut. He played his first game in May and, with 106 games played, he must be playing pretty regular shortstop for the Cubs.
Johnny Bench in front a new background for 2010. It looks like a prison.
And here is Bench's 2010 National Chicle card. Yea, it looks like the same picture to me as well. And yes, this is the photo from his 1969 Topps card.
Of the approximately 90 (out of 300) base cards I have, this is the only one with anything like an action shot. And notice that Geovany lost his cap.
Andrew McCutchen is the only card I have who has, at least some, of his hair covered.
Clayton Kershaw posing outside of prison.
This is probably my favorite card of the one's I have.
Carlos Beltran with another new background. It looks like it is in a baseball stadium but I can't guess what the large white rectangles are supposed to be. Whitewashed billboards?
In a later post I'll feature some of the short-print cards and the minis.