This has been another incredible year for The Rolen Collection! While I didn't add quite as many cards to the collection as I did last year (295 this year versus 462 last year), I was able to achieve several of the goals I set for myself this year. Lets take a look at some of those goals and how they turned out:
Reach 3,000 unique cards in The Rolen Collection
Obtain: 50% of all Rolen cards produced (excluding anything numbered to 5 or less)
Obtain: 1995 SP Top Prospects - Promos #22
Obtain: 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)
Obtain: 1998 Topps Tek Diffractor (Any pattern)
Obtain: 1999 Topps Tek (P4b, P8a, P14b, P18a)
Obtain: 2000 Pacific Prism (Woodgrain pattern)
Obtain: 2000 Pacific Prism (Proof)
Obtain: 2007 Topps Moments & Milestones (1, 2, 8, 12, 14, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 31, 32, 33)
Obtain: 2008 Topps Moments & Milestones (2, 10, 11, 15, 19)
Goal #1 - achieved!
In September of this year I was able to finally hit that big overall goal of reaching 3,000 unique Rolen cards in the collection. I couldn't have done it without the help of my friend, Michael. This was a huge goal of mine, especially once I started to get into the upper 2000s. Now that I've reached that milestone, I think the rest of my collecting journey will be a marathon as opposed to a sprint.
Goal #2 - achieved!
While this goal did involve a little bit of data manipulation, it was achieved. The checklist that I have pieced together over the years included every Rolen card I could track down. With me adding cards to the collection, I would check the check box but that overall number wasn't coming down all too quickly. I rearranged some things on the checklist though and removed the check boxes from any card numbered to 5 or less. Doing so increased the percentage of cards I owned from each and every year. I like to think of this as a more achievable goal as any card with less than 5 copies can be incredibly difficult to find.
Goal #3 - achieved!
Added: 3/12/2022. I didn't realize just how difficult it would be to find one of these promo cards. It has been speculated that there just weren't very many produced. Some people claim that there may be as few as 30 copies of this card in existence. Over the past several years, I have seen these cards offered for sale a handful of times, but it wasn't until this year that I actually tried to add it to the collection.
Goal #4 - achieved (partially)!
As you can see here, I was able to add eight different patterns to the collection this year. This brought my total up to 69 of the 90 different patterns for these 1998 Topps Tek cards.
Goal #5 - achieved!
For these beautiful 1998 Topps Tek Diffractors, my goal was to add just one to my collection because of how tough they are to find. Not only was I able to do that, but once again thanks to Michael, I was able to add five of these gorgeous cards to the collection this year!
Goal #6 - achieved (partially)!
Added: 10/26/2022. 1999 Topps Tek - pattern 4b. Honestly, I fell short on this overall goal because I feel like if I would have put more time into these, I probably could have finished off this run of 1999 Topps Tek. With this one in the collection now, I only need three more to finish it off. Without getting too far ahead of myself, this may be revisited for my 2023 goals for sure!
Goal #7 - fail!
I still have not seen a 2000 Pacific Prism Woodgrain pattern show up for sale. This makes me incredibly sad as a collector. I feel like these should be far easier to find as there was a print run of 331 for this card.
Goal #8 - achieved!
Added: 8/12/2022. 2000 Pacific Prism - Proof. I thought for sure I would be able to find the Woodgrain pattern version of this card long before I was able to track this one down. But alas, I was able to not only find this one and add it to the collection, but I was able to do so at a fraction of the price I thought it would actually sell for. I'm really excited to have been able to add this card to the collection this year!
Goal #9 - achieved (partially)!
I may have been able to make more headway with these cards if people didn't freak out over the fact that they are serial numbered. Most of the times they are asking far too much for a card that has this many copies available. But, perhaps that is just me being frugal (cheap). I still need 15 more to be able to stick a fork in this run of cards from Topps.
Goal #10 - achieved (partially)!
Added: 11/18/2022. Like the cards above, I just couldn't find the cards I'm missing at a price I was comfortable paying for such a card. While I still think it would be cool to have all 21 of these cards in my collection, I just cannot see myself going hard for them. I am down to just needing four more for the complete run though, so maybe I'll try a little harder to track down the missing pieces over the course of the next year.
So, as you can see, of the 10 goals I had for 2022, I was able to achieve nine of them. I'd say that was a really great year for collecting. Especially when you consider the fact that these were just my goals for the year and not even necessarily what I found to be the most exciting pickups of 2022!
I hate to be "that guy" but I think my goals for 2023 are going to be a little different from years past. For next year, I'm not going to make a list of specific cards that I want to add to the collection. I just want to continue picking up the new release stuff while also finding those harder to find cards from the 90s and early 2000s that I really enjoy.
My ultimate goals for 2023 are going to be: have fun, make more hobby friends, and thoroughly enjoy my collection that I've built over the past couple of decades!