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Monthly Mailbag - April 2022

This month wasn't overly exciting as far as pickups for the collection. I've been incredibly busy with work and that has taken some of my focus off of baseball cards. That said, I do still try to check all the common sites to see if I can find anything good. I have only added a dozen new cards to my collection this month so hopefully that pace will pick up next month to get me closer to that 3,000 unique card goal! Here's what I was able to add this month:

2021 Topps Tier One - Tier One Talent Autographs Silver Ink #T1TA-SR, SN10. I was finally able to pick one of these up for a really reasonable price! With less and less of this product being opened, I feared that I had missed the boat on this card. Luckily my persistence has paid off though and I was able to add this nice on-card autographed card to my collection. Now I just need to find the one of Scott in a Cardinals uniform numbered to 10 and I'll be able to complete this run, minus the 1/1s of course.

1998 Zenith - Epix Moment Orange #E11. I enjoy these cards so much I bought this one twice! The foil on the front is extremely condition sensitive and the first one I picked up had severe chipping around the entire card. A rather confusing set, this particular card was inserted into packs of 1998 Zenith, and were embedded into larger 5"x7" cards that had to be torn or ripped open to reveal the card inside.

2021 Topps Archives Signature Series Retired Player Edition - 2011 Topps Heritage #205, SN29. I picked this card up for a great price. I'm a big fan of the Heritage cards to begin with, so this buyback that has an on-card autograph was an easy choice for me to pick up. The background of this card lends well to the autograph without obscuring it.

2021 Topps Museum Collection - Single-Player Signature Swatches Dual Relic Autographs #SPDRA-SR, SN199 (Jersey). I enjoy the overall design of this card, but as most know, I dislike the sticker auto that Topps chose for this set. This is actually one of the better looking Rolen signatures I've seen on these cards, as most of them look like he signed the stickers at 3am with his left hand.

2001 Fleer Triple Crown - Glamour Boys #3GB. I have passed up on this card so many times in the past because it is incredibly condition sensitive. The foil on the front of these cards tends to chip all the way around the card, and this one is no different. But, the price was right for this one and I figured I could always upgrade it later if a nicer copy comes up for sale.

2002 Topps Traded & Rookies #T72 SP. One of Scott Rolen's first cards as a St. Louis Cardinal comes to us by way of 2002 Topps Traded. For some reason, Topps decided to short print all of the veterans in this set, which makes this card really tough to track down. Even in the midst of the junk wax era, with cards being mass produced, you'll rarely see this one come up for sale. And when you do, be prepared to pay up for it. I mostly blame set collectors for the elevated price of this card.

2003 Topps Pristine - Corners Relics Refractors #RM, SN25 (Bat/Bat). This card looks great in-hand. Like most refractors, scans just don't do it justice. Inserted at 1:285 packs, and serial numbered to just 25 copies, these weren't exactly easy to pull. And at $15 per pack, chasing one of these was no cheap feat. Luckily I was able to add this card for a fraction of the cost of a pack back in 2003.

2005 Donruss Diamond Kings - Non-Canvas #210. I'm not a huge fan of anything from 2005 since there seem to be an endless number of parallels, but this was a big addition to the collection. These non-canvas cards are extremely limited; just 20 copies of each card exist. Tracking them down can be nearly impossible too, if you're just looking at pictures of them online. They are nearly identical to the more common canvas version, with the big difference being the stock they are printed on. These cards have a smooth surface similar to most other base cards. They're not serial numbered, which I believe is what leads to a lot of them being tossed into commons boxes.

1998 Donruss Preferred - Great X-Pectations Die Cuts #22, SN3000, PR300. I was finally able to add this gorgeous card to my collection this month! I've missed out on a few of them in the past; mostly because I was trying to be cheap. Well, that finally paid off and I was able to grab this one for a steal of a price. The insertion rates aren't exactly known on these cards, but what is known, is that only the first 300 cards of the overall 3,000 card print run were die cut. The front of this card has that beautiful holofoil finish that the back is lacking, but I'm ok with Scott sharing a card with a Hall of Fame third baseman.

1998 Panini Venezuelan Stickers #48. This one has been incredibly tough to track down! These stickers are super thin and flimsy, so I can't imagine too many of them survived over the past 24 years. On top of their age, I'm fairly certain these were not produced in high numbers to begin with. I've seen only a few of them surface in all the years I've been collecting Rolen cards and the previous two were priced far too high for my liking. These were designed to be peeled and stuck inside a collector catalog similar to a magazine. Luckily, this one remained unpeeled and ended up finding its way into my collection. I'm hoping to find the other two Rolen stickers from this set sometime in my lifetime!

1999 Flair Showcase Legacy Collection Row 2 #17L, SN99. Who doesn't love a 90s card, shiny surface, blue foil, serial numbered to just 99 copies? I know I do! On top of that, Scott was the player that Flair used in 1999 to feature on their promo cards that were sent out to dealers to showcase these gorgeous cards! This particular card is my second Legacy for the 1999 released. I'm still missing the Row 3 version of the card. I'm hoping to locate that one soon so that I can focus on the 1997 release of these cards.

2001 Donruss Elite - Back 2 Back Jacks #BB-14, SN100 (Bat). Randomly inserted into packs, this card is serial numbered to 100. But you won't find one of these serial numbered lower than 26 without being autographed. Cards with serial numbers 1-25 were used for the autographed version of this card which means just 75 copies of this version exists. I thoroughly enjoy game used cards from this era. Even though the piece of game-used bat is tiny on this card, it at least features an image of the actual bat on the back of the card. Which is a lot more than can be said of card manufacturers these days!

1998 Finest - Centurions #C4, SN500. TWINS! How on Earth does something like this happen? It's not the same card posted twice as you can see by the placement of the wording on the peel on the front of these cards. I came across these 269/500 Centurions on ebay recently (in the same auction) and I just had to have them for my collection. If for nothing else, the novelty of having them since they have identical serial numbers. I've looked at these cards countless times now and I keep going back and forth on whether I believe they were both distributed in packs by Topps, or if they were a couple of the non-serial numbered copies that found their way into the secondary market and then stamped by someone. Either way, I'm happy to have them in my collection.

That does it for this month. Be sure to check back next month to see what else I add to the collection! I'm hoping to add a couple of big cards as well as many more new ones to get me even closer to that overall goal of 3,000 unique Rolen cards in the collection!


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