Yep, I knew it all along. The MLBPA did indeed change the definition of "ROOKIE CARD." At least for this year. (Mad props to Tuff Stuff for finally getting to the bottom of this.)
"Regarding players like (Prince) Fielder, Jose Capellan and Jonathan Papelbon who have received RC logos this season but were in the majors before Sept. 1 last year, (Evan) Kaplan (the PA's trading cards and collectibles czar) said they were a one-year exception, included as RCs this year because they were Rookie of the Year eligible and baseball licensors didn’t want this new RC system to debut in a year in which the Rookie of the Year didn’t have a 2006 rookie card." (emphasis added)
Hmmm... Fielder, Capellan and Papelbon. Where have I heard those names before?
"'We wanted players who qualified for a rookie this year and had the opportunity to win the Rookie of the Year this year (to receive the RC logo),' Kaplan said. 'Moving forward, it’s going to be an Aug. 31 cutoff.'"
To sum up, if a player has ROY eligilbility this season, and has made his Major League debut by the time you read this, all of his remaining 2006 cards will be eligible to have the "ROOKIE CARD" logo. That, and the guidelines the PA previously announced for this year, won't go into effect until next year. Fair enough.