As a collector of all sets great and small, I have an undying desire to own all the little boxed sets labeled "traded", "update", "rookies", "rookie/traded", and so on. This practice seems to have ceased entirely by 2001. To my recollection, the last of this kind was the 2001 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects boxed set. This ended the legacy originally forged by 1981 Topps Traded.
By 2001, the tradition had already fallen into infrequent use. From 1996-1998, there was no Topps Traded set at all. Fleer had issued update sets through 1994 and then went a little crazy in 1995 before returning with the traditional flavor in 1998-2000. Donruss stopped issuing its Rookies sets after 1992 and didn't exist in the same form by 2001. Pinnacle decided it didn't like them after 1992.
In the waning bronze age of the little boxed sets (defined as 1998-2001), there were some twists to get collectors to buy these little boxes that had no packs. Fleer tried a strategy of nothing and it fizzled out after 2000. Topps, though, decided upon its return in 1999, to try two new things: they inserted an auto one per factory set and also issued a chrome version of the little boxed set.
But they made it so you had to choose....the lady (the auto) or the tiger (the chrome) and never shall the two meet within.
The 2000 Topps Traded set has many notable rookies. However, none are as notable as the reigning Triple Crown winner, Miguel Cabrera. He only has two rookies, 2000 Topps Traded and 2000 Topps Chrome Traded. Why is this non-chrome version a part of my "Cornerstone Collection" and not the chrome version?
The answer is simple; I only buy the sets and I wanted the 1:80 chance at also receiving the Miguel Cabrera auto. Call it the gambler's fallacy; I didn't know anyone else who had one, so I must be the 80th person in line. The chrome version, though nice, costs nearly 2x as much set-wise and holds no (albeit slim in the other one) chance of receiving the auto.
There were also other bonus rookies in the set that makes it a worthwhile add to a collection.
There are other interesting rookie cards in the set such as Juan Pierre, Aaron Rowand, K-Rod and Rocco Baldelli. The price has already spiked on these over the past year, but for the rookie card collector and mini-thrill seeker, it's a hearty addition to the collection