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Monthly Mailbag - February 2022

I was hoping that a short month didn't mean fewer pickups and this month certainly did not disappoint!

1999 Topps Stars 'N Steel - Gold Domed Holographic #17. The first card I added to my collection this month is this gorgeous card! Back in 1999, the price tag on these was pretty salty for a kid. At $9.99 per three-card pack, the odds of pulling a Gold Domed Holographic were 1:24, so getting a copy of your guy could cost quite a bit. While these lack any serial numbering, it has been speculated by many in the hobby that as few as 30 copies exist of each player in the 44 card set. The rate at which these become available on the secondary market seems to support that notion, as I've seen less than five of these over the course of the past 20+ years of collecting Scott Rolen cards. This particular card had been for sale on COMC for quite some time but it wasn't until another copy surfaced on eBay that I pulled the trigger on this one.

2005 Leaf - Gamers Quantum Die Cut #G14, SN50. This scan doesn't show it, but this card has some SHINE! I have a love/hate relationship with cards from 2005 for multiple reasons that I've covered in the past, but this is definitely one of the cards that I enjoy. It's shiny, die cut, and serial numbered to just 50 copies. The picture used for this card exemplifies Scott's prowess at the hot corner, firing the ball over to fist base for the guaranteed out. 2005 Leaf would be the last year for anything of actual quality to be produced under that name as Donruss didn't renew their licensing for the following year.

1999 Skybox Thunder - Super Rave #279, SN25. This one is tough for me. While I appreciate the scarcity of the card itself, I'm not a huge fan of this one. I think if they would have used the foil treatment on a larger area, the card would be more visually appealing. As it is, the text is tough to make out where the special foil was used. I'm certainly happy with having this one in my collection though as it does have a cult like following with the 90s collectors and it finishes the rainbow for me. The prices of these, much like other rare cards from this era, aren't getting any cheaper, so as they say, "Buy now or pay twice as much later."

1999 Finest - Double Feature Refractor Left #DF7. These cards feature a full refractor treatment on the back of the card and just half of the front of the card has the refractor treatment. There is also a refractor right as well as a full refractor version. These half refractors were inserted into Series 2 and fell 1:56 packs. This particular one is missing the protective peel that originally came on the cards, so eventually I would like to pick up another copy that still has the peel intact.

2000 Pacific Crown Collection - Holographic Purple #215, SN199. These purple foil parallels were the easiest ones to find compared to their counterparts (Platinum blue #/67 and Premiere Date #/27). That doesn't make them any less special in my heart. I'm a big fan of the holographic purple foil cards! In true Pacific fashion, the serial numbering printed on the front isn't anything special, but I'm glad this is a clean copy without any smearing of the serial number like I've see on other cards with this type of numbering.

2000 Stadium Club Chrome - Refractors #120. This is one of the cards that slipped through the cracks of my collection checklist for years. I thought I already had it, so I passed on several of them that I had seen offered for sale over the years. While going through things, I realized I was missing this one and I had to correct that right away. Like many others, scans just don't do this card any justice. The shine on these is incredible. Now I just need to locate the Fist Day Issue version that is serial numbered to 25.

1998 Topps Chrome - Refractors #25. Why is this card so tough to find? Why has it taken me so long to add one to my collection? Why are they selling for so much recently? Set builders. That's the only reasonable explanation. Regardless, I have to send a huge shout out to my buddy, Michael Moler (IG: doublexthebeast), for trading this card to me and finally allowing me to check it off of my checklist. I get why so many people want this card. It's stunning! An early Topps Chrome refractor in all its shiny goodness. It's got a great shot of Rolen mid-swing - almost certainly about to connect with the ball and send it soaring over the outfield wall. And it is a Topps Rookie Cup card. It has several things going for it which is another reason the price of these has seen a steady increase recently.

1997 Finest - Embossed Refractors #133 SIL. From the Bob Waddell collection. Not quite as rare as the Gold Refractors or the Gold Embossed Die-Cut Refractors (which Scott has neither in this set), but still a fairly tough pull is this Silver Embossed Refractor. Coming at a rate of 1:192 packs, you just don't see this card offered for sale very often. And like many cards of this era, when you do see it, you typically have to pay up for it. I love that the refractor treatment was applied to not only the front, but also the back of this card. You can't really see it in the scan here, but this thing SHINES, both front and back!

1997 SPx - Grand Finale #SPX39, PR50. TOP 10 CARD FOUND! This is a card I thought I'd have to wait for forever to acquire. After seeing one sell on ebay for over $300, I figured I'd have to wait at least 10 more years before I'd come across another one. But, low and behold, Mr. Waddell came through once again. I was able to work out a deal with him for this card and in just a couple of short days it has arrived. I couldn't be more excited to finally add this card to my collection. I promise to be a good steward and provide a nice home for this card for many, many years to come!

2020 Topps Rip - Mini Image Variations #M-7, SP. I have a feeling that a lot of these cards are still hiding inside of the rip cards they were inserted into. I haven't seen too many of these come up for sale on the secondary market which makes this acquisition even sweeter. I'm still missing several of the different color parallels from this set, but I have a feeling I'll be waiting a long time to add them all to the collection. Topps Rip was an online exclusive offering and they were $100 per four card box. In order to get these mini cards, one would have to rip open the standard size card to reveal these. Even the standard size cards were limited; serial numbered to just 99 copies each. Luckily for me, Scott didn't have a standard size card in the set, so the chase is limited to just these mini cards.

2022 Topps - 1987 Topps Baseball 35th Anniversary Autographs #87BA-SR. This year brings new Rolen cards to chase early with the release of Topps Series 1 on February 16th. They brought back the 1987 design for these and I personally love them. They scream nostalgia to me. The well-known wood grain borders was pretty common for me as a young collector when the original 1987 cards were released. I'm glad that Topps once again came through with the on-card autographs instead of slapping sticker autos on these cards. Once I saw Rolen on the checklist for these, I knew I wanted to get the jump on adding them to my collection as soon as possible.

2022 Topps - 1987 Topps Baseball 35th Anniversary Autographs Black #87BA-SR, SN199. They should have called this the "gray" parallel instead of black. The wood grain border on these isn't really black. Either way, this card was made available soon after the official release of Topps S1, and with it being serial numbered 017/199 (Rolen's jersey number with the Phillies), I had to pick this copy up immediately. Now I just need to find a copy of the gold, red, and maybe even the platinum 1/1!

That wraps up the February pick ups. Overall it has been a great month and I'm making some real progress towards getting to 3,000 unique Scott Rolen cards in the collection. I might have to swing by some of the go-to sites to pick up some cards I've been dragging my feet on and get them into the collection. As always, if you have anything you would entertain selling that you don't see here, please feel free to reach out!


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