The 1996 baseball cards that I own continued.
For 1996, Leaf offered a 220 card set featuring full bleed photography with a glossy finish. The logo was in silver foil. The left and bottom edges have a foil finish. The backs feature a full photograph and a smaller head shot, plus last season and career stats. Leaf was another premium set started in 1991 and published by Donruss. 1996 is, by far, my least favorite year of Leaf in terms of design. There was only one subset, the Gold Leaf Rookie. I think this design is much nicer than the base card.
Leaf Bronze Press Proofs
Just as with the Donruss base set, Leaf came with parallels called Press Proofs in Bronze (2,000 sets), Silver (1,000 sets) and Gold (500 sets). The cards were not serial numbered. I acquired this Bronze card on eBay in 2004 for $3.00. I don't have any of the Silver or Gold
Leaf All-Star Game MVP Contenders
This 20-card insert set was randomly inserted in Leaf Packs. According to Beckett, you could redeem one of these for the a set of the Gold version, it you were the among the first 5,000 to send back the card before the All-Star Game. The Gold version was limited to 5,000 sets. I probably pulled this from a pack. I don't remember the redemption promotion.
Leaf Gold Stars
A 16-card set, inserted at 1:190. I got this on eBay in 2004 for $4.25. The card is designed to look like a gold ingot. It is numbered to 2,500.
Leaf Picture Perfect
This 12-card set was inserted at a ratio of 1:40. I paid $4.50 for this one on eBay in 2005. It is serial numbered to 5,000. This is one of the first cards that I know of that was made of wood. It is an attractive card but the card is warped due to the glossy finish on the back.
Leaf Total Bases
Another attractive insert card (1:72), also serial numbered to 5,000. The front has a matte finish but it has a high gloss finish on the back. The logo and card title are in gold foil. This was obtained on eBay for $3.99 in 2005.
There are 3 inserts I don't have: Leaf Hats Off (inserted at 1:72, numbered to 5,000), Leaf Statistical Standouts (inserted at 1:210, numbered to 2,500) and Leaf Thomas Greatest Hits. There were 7 cards in the Thomas Greatest Hits set, inserted at 1:210, with a print run of 5,000. An 8th card was available through a mail-in redemption.