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Monthly Mailbag - August 2023

There were a couple of releases this month that inflated the Rolen checklist. Topps dropped their 2022 Topps Chrome Platinum Anniversary Edition cards as well as their 2023 Topps Archives Signature Series. There are 34 new cards added to the checklist with the Platinum Anniversary release and who knows how many more with the Archives. The Archives checklist will continue to grow as those cards surface for sale.

Overall, it was a really great month! I added 39 cards to the collection, bringing my total unique card count to over 3,300! I was able to get a good jump on the Platinum Anniversary cards and I was able to pick up several other key cards. Here they are:

1997 Select - Tools of the Trade Mirror Blue #17. Let me start out by saying this: this scan here does not do this card justice! There are so many minute scratches on the one-touch that show up in the scan. These Mirror Blue parallels were inserted at a rate of 1:240 packs. And with 25 cards in the set, you could see just how difficult it would be to track down any specific card from the set (1:6,000 packs!) I've only seen a handful of these surface over the years and here recently, they've gone for quite a bit more money than I ever wanted to spend for this card. That is until this one surfaced on ebay with a very low buy it now option. I couldn't hit the button quick enough. Then I prayed that the seller would actually ship the card. A few days after purchasing it, it showed up in my mailbox. It is now forever locked up in my collection! Here is a photograph that I took of the card with my phone:

2003 Donruss Timeless Treasures - Rookie Year #RY-11, SN100. I almost passed this card up thinking I already had it. The price was so low though, that I had to double check my checklist. I'm glad I did because the card I already had was incredibly similar to this. The main difference was the foil on the front of the one I already had was more of a holofoil and it was serial numbered to 96 (as opposed the the 100 this one is numbered to). So, for a few bucks, I was able to add this card to the collection. The thing I really like about this card is the photograph of the jersey on the back from which the swatch was cut to make the card. I wish companies still did something like this instead of adding a random piece of fabric to a card and giving that lame disclaimer about the "memorabilia" not being from any specific player, event, game, yada, yada, yada.

2001 Donruss - 2000 Retro Stat Line Season #51, SN26. This card comes to my collection via a connection I made on a Facebook group - Super Collectors Unite! Fellow collector, John Campbell, reached out to me asking if I needed this card (which I did.) After some quick back and forth messages, a deal was made and the card was headed to me. John packaged the card very well and included a couple other Rolen cards for my collection. Sometimes, in order to land a card we've been looking for, we need connections in this hobby. Facebook has been a great way to connect with other collectors!

2003 Donruss - Gamers #G-28, SN500. A really simple card with a pretty bland jersey swatch that I have passed up multiple times before. But it just so happened that I was on ebay recently and saw this card. As I was looking at it, I looked at the seller's other items and noticed that he had a lot of Rolen stuff posted. I reached out and asked him if he combined shipping and he quickly replied and said he would combine shipping for multiple auctions won. I threw out the beginning bid on this card and won it (along with several more listed below). So this addition was one of those where it was at the right time at the right price.

2004 Leaf - Shirt Off My Back #SOMB-21. Another one of those right time at the right price acquisitions. Another pretty bland card with a plain white jersey swatch which made me not want to spend a whole lot of money on it. I actually thought I already had this card, but on closer examination, I realized the copy I already had was from the Second Edition of Leaf with the only discernible difference being a black "Second Edition" logo just below the foil Leaf logo on the front of the card. Being one of the many 2004 cards that I was missing from my collection, I was happy to add this one this month for not a lot of money.

2004 Topps Cracker Jack - Secret Surprise Signatures Redemption #CJA-SR. I was torn on whether or not to bid on this card at first. I mean, there is no picture of Rolen on the card. There are not stats of his on the card. But, it does pair well with the actual card that one would get when this card was redeemed. Since I already have the actual autographed card in my collection, I figured I would throw out the starting bid on this redemption card. I feel like this is something only a supercollector would appreciate in their collection. Now that I have the card, I really do like having it!

2004 Ultra - Season Crowns Game Used #79, SN399. This is another one of the right time at the right price cards that I obtained from the single seller on ebay. Again, it's nothing over the top exciting with just a small chip of a game used baseball bat. But it is another one of those many 2004 cards that I was missing from my collection. By now, if you've been following along with my collection, you know how much this card doesn't really appeal to me because of the fact that it is landscape oriented. I think I would have appreciated the photo a little more if it was the full picture of Scott diving for the ball. Or maybe if they would have chosen a photo of him batting; since there's a chip of a baseball bat on the front of the card.

2004 Upper Deck - Peak Performers Jersey Gold #PP-SR, SN165. Same song as the cards above. I got this one for the starting bid from the same seller who combined shipping for me. Another boring plain white jersey swatch, but at least this one is a parallel of the base version. This gold version is serial numbered to 165 and features a gold color on the front where the base version is silver.

2005 Upper Deck - Matinee Idols Jersey #MI-SR. This was the last card of the several that I bought from the single seller on ebay. I've passed over this card several times in the past as well, due to the price of the card and shipping combined were always more than I wanted to pay for the card. This combined shipping situation created a way for me to keep the overall cost of the cards down enough for me to finally add this one to the collection.

2021 Topps - Reverence Patch Autographs #RAP-SR, SN10. One of my Instagram friends, Devin, reached out to me at the beginning of the month and asked if I needed a couple of cards. He sent me a picture of this card and I instantly knew I needed it. We quickly talked about a price that worked for both of us and a deal was made. I really like the clean on-card autograph on this card paired with the picture they used of Scott. The chunky multi-colored patch on the card is a really nice touch as well. I mean, it should be, the card is limited and serial numbered to just 10 copies.

2022 Topps Dynasty - Dynastic Deed #DAP-SR5 (Blue Jays), SN10. This was the first card Devin actually asked me if I needed. Like above, we quickly agreed on a price and sealed the deal. I'm a big fan of these Dynasty cards. They are incredibly well done in my opinion. I love the big patch, the on-card autograph, and in this case, that Scott is featured in a Blue Jays jersey. He doesn't have a lot of nice cards in his Blue Jays gear, so it's nice to see some blue every once in awhile in my otherwise sea of red cards.

2023 Topps Archives Signature Series Retired Player Edition - 2002 Topps Heritage #246a, SN32. Topps has gone and done it again with their Archives release. Rolen is once again in the checklist this year and I'm not quite sure if I'm excited about that just yet. On one hand, there are now an untold number of additional autographed cards of Rolen out there. But on the other hand, Rolen is now officially a Hall of Famer, and Topps added a little additional flair to this year's release. Above their logo, for the Hall of Famers, they have included a little extra foil that says, "Hall of Fame"! I like that little touch enough to want to add even more previously released cards that I already have signed to my collection. There are several cards released in this year's Archives that have also been released in the previous couple of years' releases. But just look at that "Hall of Fame" foil!

2023 Topps Archives Signature Series Retired Player Edition - 2001 Bowman Heritage #56, SN33. I was able to snag this card for a great price! So far, as of the writing of this blog, I have identified 26 different Rolen cards in this year's Archives release. I'm sure by the time all is said and done, I will have identified at least five times as many! While it's daunting to think about, I'm sure I'll continue to pick these cards up for even less money as time goes by. And why wouldn't I want to pick up an on-card autograph of a Hall of Fame player who I happen to collect? As long as the card looks good signed, and the price makes sense, I'm your huckleberry!

1998 Stadium Club - Co-Signers #CS-1, #CS-4, #CS-5 (Backdoor - No Auto)

I've said it before and I'll say it again - networking, in this hobby, is a great way to land cards for your collection! That is how these three ended up in my collection. I was perusing Facebook one day and got a notification that I was tagged in a post in one of the baseball card groups I'm in there. When I checked out the post, I saw a fellow collector who had an entire set of these Stadium Club Co-Signers cards...unsigned. Knowing that Rolen was on three of the cards, I replied to the post telling him I was interested in buying these three. He sent me a private message and it was a quick deal to come up with a good price. A few short days later I got these in the mail and got super excited! When I put the first one in the one-touch case to scan it for the website, I noticed that the card is noticeably smaller than the pack issued cards that were signed. I'm not sure if these were extras that were left over during production for possible replacements, cut from a sheet, or where they came from. They have the foil stamping on them just like the pack issued cards and the card stock seems very similar, if not the exact same, as the pack issued cards. I don't question their authenticity, but I do have questions about their existence. If you have any additional details about these cards, please send me an email!

2022 Topps Chrome Platinum Anniversary #224

Released August 9, 2023; "Better late than never" must be the office motto over at Topps. There's nothing quite like a "new" release of 2022 cards after over half of 2023 is over. Regardless, it's another Scott Rolen card to add to the collection! With 33 different parallels to collect, I'm sure I'll never complete the full rainbow. Especially since I'm still chasing several of the 2021 Topps Chrome Platinum Anniversary parallels that I'm missing. But I'm well on my way with this release. I'm hoping to make good progress on these while the product is still being opened regularly. I'm currently at 23 of the 34 total cards in this release. I'm kind of glad that Topps didn't include Scott in the autograph checklist for this one!

That wraps up another great month! It'll probably take me another few months (hopefully not years) to complete the 2022 Topps Chrome Platinum Anniversary rainbow. Perhaps I'll have it finished before the 2023 series comes out in 2024! Regardless, thank you for taking the time to check out my pickups for this month. Check back next month to see my progress on the new rainbow and to see what else I've been working on!


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