Monthly Mailbag - March 2022

This month wasn't as exciting as last month with regard to adding monster cards to the collection. But I was able to pick up several great cards that help push me closer and closer to 3,000 unique cards in my collection! Here is what I was able to add this month:


2002 Upper Deck Victory - Gold #431. Not a monster by any stretch of the imagination, but it was available cheap and I had the itch to cross off another 2002 card. Upper Deck Victory was a retail only offering and these gold parallels fell one in every other pack. There were 550 different cards in the set though, so pulling any specific player wasn't super easy. It was inexpensive though at a buck per pack. I don't recall ever opening any of these personally as there wasn't really anything to chase in this set other than these gold parallels. And lets be honest, they're not that exciting.


2003 Bowman Heritage - Diamond Cuts Relics #DC-SR1 (Bat). The odds of finding one of these cards was 1:133 packs. I have been buying Scott Rolen cards for quite some time now and I don't remember seeing too many of these made available for sale on the secondary market. I'm not sure if that's because they were just tossed into random dollar boxes throughout the country or if they actually have some scarcity. Either way, I'm happy to finally be able to add this one to my collection. I would love to be able to find the gold 1/1 version at some point as I love the look of these cards. The nod to a 1956 Bowman set that was never made reminds me of what baseball used to be.


2021 Topps Archives Signature Series Retired Player Edition - 2000 Topps Tek #26-12, SN1. Again, I have a love/hate relationship with this set. There are so many cards and there isn't a checklist for them. I've been trying to build a checklist for my own knowledge, but it's a slow process - scouring different websites trying to track down cards that I don't know exist. I was lucky to find this one though. Another collector, Taki (IG: ichiroshowcase), reached out to me on Instagram and asked if I would be interested in the card. After telling him that I would love to have the card in my collection, he quickly shipped it out to me! Thanks again, Taki!


2021 Topps Museum Collection - Single-Player Signature Swatches Dual Relic Autographs Gold #SPDRA-SR, SN25 (Patch). I thoroughly enjoy the design on these Museum Collection cards. The picture of young Scott Rolen from his days with the Phillies that they used looks great on this card . The sticker auto does detract from the overall appeal of this card for me, especially since the autographs on these cards look like they were signed at 3:00am after Scott had signed about 10,000 stickers and his hand was cramping so he started signing them with his left hand. Other than that though, I'm a fan of these. The patch on this one isn't a traditional patch. It's from the sleeve of one of his jerseys, which I guess Topps has deemed "prime" material since it's slightly more interesting to look at than the gray napkin next to it.


1995 SP Top Prospects - Promos #22. I'm relieved to finally add this card to my collection. I don't know exactly how rare they are but I've seen it suggested that there are fewer than 30 copies of each of the 27 different promotional cards from this set. I've seen this card offered for sale a handful of times over the past several years, but I never pulled the trigger until now. This card completes the 1995 checklist for me. This card is similar to the base card from the set in that it has a foil surface, but it has the logo placement and the same back as the autographed version of the card. With the main difference, aside from not being autographed, being that it has the diagonal verbiage across the back notating that is for promotional use and it is not a signature card.


1998 Bowman Chrome - Reprints Refractors #48. An absolutely gorgeous reprint of Scott's 1995 Bowman card, this card features that classic refractor finish instead of etched foil like the original. Topps redid this card again in 2002, which is why it has taken me so long to track this one down as a lot of them end up being misidentified. Without an image of the back of the card, it is impossible to tell if it is from the 1998 release or the 2002 release.


2005 Upper Deck Artifacts - MLB Apparel Rainbow #MLB-SR, SN99 (Jersey). This card is much better looking in-hand because it has a nice refractory rainbow finish on the front of the card. This particular one did suffer at the hands of the USPS during shipment though. The corner of the jersey window has a little wrinkle in it now. This card was inexpensive enough that I'll eventually pick up another copy to replace this one. For now, this one will do though, especially since it is a 2005 card and many of you know how I feel about cards from 2005 (there are so many of them!)


2013 Topps Triple Threads - Unity Relics Gold #TTUJR-SR3, SN9. I found this card on Instagram by following the hashtag, #ScottRolen. Mike (IG: shamrockcardct) posted this one and I asked if it was available. He directed me to his website, www.shamrockcards.com, where I was able to grab it at a great price! Thanks again for the incredibly fast shipping! Scott didn't have very many cards produced in 2013. I surmise it is due to him retiring the season prior. Being the humble guy he is, Scott just kind of left baseball without any fanfare and slipped into being a full time dad. There were only 35 cards made of Scott in 2013 with nine of those being 1/1s. All of his cards from that year were relic cards, 18 of which have 10 or fewer copies in existence.


2015 Topps Allen & Ginter - 10th Anniversary Buyback 2008 A&G #91. Back in 2015, companies weren't producing new cards of Scott. Instead, we were blessed with these buybacks from Allen & Ginter. These buyback cards were seeded at 1:12 Hobby only packs, but it's tough to say exactly how many of each card were re-inserted into packs of 2015 product. There really isn't anything super special about this card. It's identical in every way to the originally released card aside from the "10th Anniversary Issue" foil stamping on the front of the card. Foil stamped buybacks aren't typically my favorite thing to collect, but since there wasn't anything else of Scott being made that year, I'll take it.


2022 Topps - 1987 Topps Baseball 35th Anniversary Autographs Gold #87BA-SR, SN50. Much like the base and black parallel that I added to the collection last month, this gold version is a welcomed addition to the collection. They certainly stretch the imagination with the "gold" on this one though. Similar to the black parallel (which looks gray to me), this gold parallel looks like a brown parallel. Regardless, I'm a fan of the wood grain borders, the relatively low serial numbering, and the on-card autograph this card has. The hunt for the platinum 1/1 continues.


1999 Topps Stars 'N Steel - Gold #17. After picking up the Gold Domed Holographic version of this card last month, I had to grab this one when it was made available for sale. This were inserted into packs at twice the rate of the domed version at 1:12 packs. At ten bucks per pack, it could prove pretty costly to chase your guy in this set. I'm a big fan of these metal cards though and I'm glad to have found this one for less than the cost of a pack of them.


2007 Topps Chrome - Blue Refractors #45. The blue on these cards is incredible! These were inserted into retail only packs at a rate of 1:6. While this one doesn't look quite as nice as the red refractor in my opinion, I still enjoy the photo they chose of Scott for this one. That wide stance, loaded up on the back leg, ready to take a huge cut on the next pitch. Not counting the Superfractors, I'm now down to just needing the red refractor #259 to complete the run for 2007 Topps Chrome.


2021 Topps - 1986 Topps Baseball 35th Anniversary Autographs Red #86A-SR, SN25. Fun story about this card: I actually purchased this exact card back in September of last year. I won it in an ebay auction on 9/21/2021 and paid for it immediately. The seller marked it as shipped the very next day and provided me with a tracking number. After a few weeks of checking the tracking for the card, it appeared to have stopped being tracked and it still hadn't been delivered. I reached out to the seller and they issued me a refund on 10/14/2021. I was pretty disappointed in the USPS for losing this card, as there are only 25 copies of the red parallel in existence.


I checked ebay routinely, searching for another red to add to my collection. After a long six months, another one was listed on ebay with a BIN lower than the price I paid for this one. As soon as I saw it, I hit the "buy it now" button and paid for it immediately. Once I got home from work, there were a couple of packages waiting for me. I ripped into them and low and behold - this card was in one of the packages. I checked out the label, and sure enough, it was marked 9/22/2021. It took the post office six entire months to get this card to me. I'm not sure where it was this whole time, but I'm definitely glad they were able to find it and get it to me. I reached out to the seller to let them know that it was finally delivered and was able to get the money back to them that they initially refunded to me!


2022 Topps - 1987 Topps Baseball 35th Anniversary Autographs Red #87BA-SR, SN25. Not too long after picking up the Gold version of this card, I finally found a realistically priced copy of the Red parallel. Like the Black and Gold copies though, they didn't add much red to this parallel as it looks more like pink to me. Especially when you compare it to the red in the box behind Scott's name on the front of the card. Oddly enough, each of the parallels for this card look more and more like the color they are described to be the longer I look at them and especially when you've got them all in-hand looking at them.


That's it for this month. I'm only 126 cards away from hitting that 3,000 unique Rolen cards milestone. Next month is already shaping up to be a good month for additions to the collection since I have multiple cards on their way to me as this month comes to a close. Here's to hoping the USPS can come through on all the shipments!


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