Bowman AFLAC is a series of card sets released in conjunction with the All-American Classic, an annual all-star game featuring some of the best high school players. The first game was played in 2003 and has been played every summer ever since. The American Family Life Assurance Company (AFLAC) was the game's presenting sponsor from 2003-2010. Perfect Game, which organizes the All-American Classic, picked up the sponsorship in 2011.
From 2004 to 2013 Topps was a sponsor of the AFLAC/Perfect Game All-American Classic and produced a card set for each game -- including on-card autographs. Since all players in the game were entering their senior year of high school, Topps could not release the autographs until after they had signed a professional contract (and not all players did).
For the 2004 and 2005 games, Topps seeded into packs of that year's Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects redemption cards good for an AFLAC set. Fulfillment of these sets could not begin until after the players had graduated, been drafted, and signed with an MLB team. As a result, the 2004 set was not fulfilled until January 2006 and the 2005 set until January 2007.
Beginning with the 2006 game, the unsigned version of the AFLAC/Perfect Game set has only been available to attendees of the All-American Classic game. Since the actual game is sparsely attended, the print runs on these cards are extremely scarce (Topps also gives each player an allotment of his own card). As part of Topps's sponsorship of the game, each player was required to autograph a number of cards (usually no more than 250) which would then be saved and used as inserts in various Bowman products, as soon as the player signed a professional contract.
2013 was the final year Topps produced this set as Leaf Trading Cards picked up the license.
Production of the 2006 Topps AFLAC set has been estimated at 250 copies, with each player receiving 100 of his own card. This was the only year in which the design of the Topps flagship baseball set was used for the AFLAC set.
NOTE: A "Promo" version of the 2006 set exists. Each Promo has the phrase "FOR PROMOTIONAL USE ONLY" printed on the front and has a different photo of the player.
NOTE: Beginning in 2009, Topps began, as a security measure, serial-numbering all pack-inserted AFLAC autographs. Collectors should be advised if collecting autographs from this set that are NOT serial-numbered. It is possible for an unnumbered autograph to be genuine -- a collector could have attended the game, received a card, than had it autographed by the player without it passing through Topps' hands. Or, it could have been one of the cards that was inserted into packs of 2008 Bowman Draft. Then again, it is also possible that someone could have forged a signature onto a real 2006 AFLAC card.
Once again a Promo set exists featuring game-action photography. Also, cards of coaches were made.
This was the last year the All-American Classic game was sponsored by AFLAC.
NOTE: Autographs inserted into packs of 2011 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects were NOT serial-numbered. To placate collectors who pulled such cards, Topps offered to have them professionally graded by PSA at no charge provided they were sent back to Topps by July 1, 2012. Cards sent back to Topps as part of this program would be notated as having been pack-pulled on the label by PSA.
NOTE: 2011 was the first year Perfect Game sponsored the All-American Classic game.
2013 was the final year Topps sponsored of the AFLAC/Perfect Game All-American Classic game.
The first batch of autographs were inserted into packs of 2014 Bowman Draft.