2021 Year in Review - and a look ahead.

While I'm waiting for some recent pick ups to arrive, I figured I'd take a little bit of time and talk about how the collection grew last year. I missed my main goal of acquiring 50% of all Rolen cards ever produced, but there were a couple of reasons for that. For one, card manufacturers continue producing more and more cards featuring Scott (which isn't necessarily a bad thing). And the main reason I wasn't able to add more cards was because of a couple of absolute monsters that I added to the collection.


2021 brought a lot of great cards though. Overall, I was able to add 462 new cards. That brought my total number to 2,817 unique Scott Rolen cards in my collection. I've stopped counting how many duplicates I have, but one of my 2022 goals is to go through those duplicates and try to sell off a considerable amount of them. Hopefully someone else can get some enjoyment out of them like I have.


Now lets take a look at those monsters I told you about:


The first huge addition to the collection is this 1998 Donruss Crusade red that I picked up in April. It is largely considered a holy grail among fellow player collectors and limited to just 25 copies you'll be hard pressed to find these come up for sale on the secondary market very often. An icon of the 90s, these cards are absolutely incredible to look at in-hand. This one is certainly a highlight of my 2021 purchases and a favorite that will be locked up in my collection for many, many years. Like the rest of my collection of Scott Rolen cards, this card is not for sale or trade. That being said, if someone offered me $20,000 for it, I would strongly consider it. Afterall, everything has a price, right?


The second monster I was able to land was this 1997 Bowman's Best Atomic Refractor autograph. If a unicorn and a bigfoot had a baby, this card would still be more scarce! It was obviously on my checklist (like all other Rolen cards), but I had never seen one. Nor had I ever met anyone or talked to anyone who had seen one. Well, in May last year, this one finally surfaced on eBay. I knew that I would most likely never see one ever again, so I made sure I did whatever it took to get this card for my collection. Like the red Crusade above, this card isn't for sale or trade. But if someone offered me $250,000 for it, I'd be willing to entertain their offer, as long as it was paid in full, in cash, in person, at the bank.


These two cards are easily in my top five favorite cards in my collection. That said, please don't ask which three cards round out my top five favorite because I couldn't possibly narrow it down like that. I have so many favorites in my collection and with the addition of 460 other cards last year, my top 100 would likely change every day.


Back to some stats and some goals for this year. In 2021 I was able to get 50% or more for each of the years from 1994 through 2002. I need one more card from 1995 and then I'll have 100% of Scott's cards from 1994, 1995, and 1996. The card I need from 1995 is the SP Top Prospects promo card. I'm hoping to be able to add that card to the collection this year. I've only ever seen a handful of them available for sale over the years, but I think this is the year I should be able to put that year to bed. I still need to get six more cards from 2003 to be at 50% for that year, I should be able to get that accomplished this year. For cards made in 2004 and 2005, those are tough years. Just those two years alone, Scott has 2,294 cards produced!


As for collecting goals for this year, they are quite simple. I would to get to 50% for the years of 2003, 2006-2013. I'll add cards from 2004 and 2005 as I come across them to slowly chip away at those checklists. Scott stopped playing in 2012, so there are some gaps in years he was featured on cardboard. After 2013 we didn't see anything of him until 2015 for the Allen & Ginter buybacks and 2017 when Bowman did their 70th anniversary buybacks. I would like to find all of those variations and add them to the collection this year as well. After 2017, there wasn't anything until 2019 Leaf. Those aren't even on my radar though as none of them featured any pictures of him. In my opinion, those cards are complete garbage and I won't spend any money on them.


I used to keep a list of my Top 10 Wants. But I think I'll focus on some other specific cards this year. Here's a quick list of cards I'd love to add soon:

  • 1995 SP Top Prospects - Promos #22

  • 1998 Topps Tek (P1, P10, P13, P15, P17, P20, P32, P36, P45, P50, P53, P58, P60, P61, P62, P65, P67, P68, P70, P72, P74, P75, P80, P83, P84, P86, P87, P88, P89)

  • 1998 Topps Tek Diffractor (Any pattern)

  • 1999 Topps Tek (P4b, P8a, P14b, P18a)

  • 2000 Pacific Prism (Woodgrain pattern)

  • 2000 Pacific Prism (Proof)

  • 2007 Topps Moments & Milestones (1, 2, 8, 12, 14, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 31, 32, 33)

  • 2008 Topps Moments & Milestones (2, 10, 11, 15, 19)

Of course I'll add other cards to my collection as they present themselves and as the budget allows. 2021 was a really good year for Scott Rolen cards and I've been able to add several of those to my collection. Scott was added to the Topps Archives Signature Series Retired Player Edition though. So far I have found 74 different cards in that set alone, with most of those being 1/1s.


My ultimate goal this year is to get to 3,000 unique cards of Scott Rolen for my collection. Being just 183 cards away from that goal, I believe it should be relatively easy to achieve. Especially since I've already got a pretty good jump on that number in the first week of the year! Be sure to check back often to see the progress and as always, if you have anything you don't see here, please shoot me an email to see if we can work out a deal!


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