Exactly what the title says. I came terms that my multi-tieried "Hobbyist Rookie Card" system will never come to be accepted by the mainstream for reasons that are two-fold...
1) Collectors posessing valuable rookie cards would suddenly find themselves in posession of what are tantamount to XRC's and...
2) The MLBPA would still never recognize it.

After spending two months analyzing the market for rookie cards, pre-rookie cards, Bowman type cards, whatever, I think I finally found a system that would jive with the MLBPA's regs yet at the same time still recognize the first card of a player in an MLB uniform. With the recent decision that 2007 Donruss Elite Extra Edition was a Major League issue (which horrified the MLBPA and I can guarantee you that they're just sitting on their posteriors) and the cards "could" be considered XRC's within the next 6 months, this makes things a bit easier (initially I had no idea what I would do with '07 Donruss EEE). So as to save myself about fifty paragraphs of writing, I think I'll give an example of my new system, THEN explain it. The player in question is 2006 number one overall draft pick Luke Hochevar.

-2006 Bowman Sterling Luke Hochevar FYC
-2007 Bowman Chrome Luke Hochevar PROS-1
-2007 Bowman Heritage Luke Hochevar PROS-1
-2007 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Luke Hochevar PROS-1 or XRC (?)
-2007 Bowman Draft Luke Hochevar PROS-1A
-2008 Topps Luke Hochevar MLBPA RC

Initial reaction: "What the heck IS all that alphabet soup??? And why did you have to go about adding numbers to it???" Well, this is the sad truth when it comes to categorizing the Bowman and Donruss prospect cards...it's gonna be complex. So, let's get the ball rolling...

"-2006 Bowman Sterling Luke Hochevar FYC"

This means that 2006 Bowman Sterling is Luke Hochevar's First Year Card, or FYC. A First Year Card has for all intents and purposes displaced a rookie card as well, a rookie card.

"-2007 Bowman Chrome Luke Hochevar PROS-1"

After an FYC, a prospect who has still not played an inning in the Major Leagues can have Prospect Cards after an FYC, abbreviated as "PROS." Because a player will usually have multiple prospect cards that decline in value as the years pass inbetween his FYC and MLBPA RC, I found a need to number these cards. A "PROS-1" is a player's first prospect card after receiving an FYC. It is produced in the year immediately after the FYC UNLESS there is a delay of one year or more (i.e. Hunter Pence's FYC is 2004, but his PROS-1 is 2006) where no card is produced. However, there are subdivisions of "PROS" that go even further beyond the numbering system...

"-2007 Bowman Draft Luke Hochevar PROS-1A"

Okay, so what does "PROS-1A" mean? That means it's the second card produced for the same marketing niche during the same year by the same company. Right now, the Bowman type prospects are the only cards that have "PROS-1A" or even in some cases "PROS-1B." So, now I'm sure you're wondering why his 2007 Bowman Heritage is also a PROS-1 and not a PROS-1A if I haven't put you to sleep yet. That's because Bowman Heritage was marketed significantly different enough than Bowman, Bowman Chrome, and Bowman Draft to warrant a seperate designation.

An XRC as currently designated by Beckett, if it enters the marketplace during the same time as the various PROS and FYC cards floating around, will go for about the same amount of money an FYC will go for. If Donruss Elite Extra Edition is classified as an XRC as is looking likely, this fits right in.

Then, finally, you have the MLBPA RC. In Hochevar's case, it's a true rookie card, but not an FYC. Oddly enough, until a player gets an MLBPA RC, he can keep having PROS cards. Example...

-2004 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Hunter Pence FYC/RC
-2006 Bowman Chrome Hunter Pence PROS-1
-2006 Bowman Draft Hunter Pence PROS-1A
-2007 Bowman Chrome Hunter Pence PROS-2
-2007 Bowman Draft Hunter Pence MLBPA (RC)

Here we have an example of a guy whose FYC is also technically his RC. However, said RC was not an MLBPA RC. Thus, he's allowed to have PROS cards inbetween his RC and MLBPA (RC). But what about a player who has both an FYC and an MLBPA RC in the same card year?

-2007 Bowman Chrome Tim Lincecum FYC
-2007 Bowman Chrome Tim Lincecum FYC/MLBPA RC

I could list a few other cards, but don't believe it's necessary. In Lincecum's case (as well as that of Joba Chamberlain, who has quite a few more cards), it doesn't matter that he has both a non-MLBPA FYC and an MLBPA FYC. They're still both FYC's. This should also demonstrate that if a player has no Bowman type FYC/PROS card or Upper Deck (remember Prospect Premieres?) or Donruss XRC, and just has Minor League cards, then his MLBPA RC is also his FYC. I hope I haven't put you to sleep by now and hope this clears a few things up. Would a moderator mind stickying this?