Coming off a strong April, I didn't have very high hopes for the month of May. But, as it turns out, it wasn't too bad of a month. Here is what I was able to add to the collection this month:
2004 Fleer E-X - Clearly Authentics Pewter Bat-Patch #CA-SR, SN44 (Missing SN). While not technically a new unique addition this month, this card is different enough for me to consider it a unique card for my overall card count. This card is very similar to the serial numbered copy that I already have in the collection, but this one is missing the serial numbering on the back of the card. I believe this may have been part of the "bankruptcy sale" that ended up flooding the market with cards that are real cards, but they're missing serial numbers. There are a lot of different cards like this out there from the bankruptcy sale, and whenever I stumble across them, I'll add them to the collection. They are real cards, produced by the manufacturer, but they never made it out into packs. I'm not sure how many of these exist, but I'm fairly certain they are more rare than the packed out versions. And this one has a pretty sweet patch too!
1998 Topps Gallery - Player's Private Issue Auction 100 Point #NNO. These cards were "one per pack" but don't let that fool you about the scarcity of them. There are multiple things that factor into this card not being very plentiful. First, lets take a look at the set. Each of the 150 different cards in the set had these auction point cards. Next, each of the auction point cards were available in four different " point values": 25, 50, 75, and 100. These cards were used to "bid" on the original artwork of 10 different players from the set. Collectors could send these auction cards in to bid on the artwork. And that's where these get even more scarce. If you sent these cards in to place your bid, Topps did not return these cards to collectors. So, basically, there really isn't a way to know exactly how many of them are still in circulation, but what I can tell you is that these 100 point cards (at least for Rolen) don't come up for sale very often.
1998 Topps Gold Label - Class 3 #53. These cards aren't terribly tough to track down, but for some reason this card just hadn't been added to my collection until this month. The Class 3 cards fell at a ratio of 1:4 packs with 100 different players in the set. These Gold Label cards are some of my all-time favorites. They have a nice, high quality feel to them. The foil treatment is particularly nice on these Class 3 examples. And there is just the right amount of variations among the different classes mixed with the different foil used on them. There is also the challenge of tracking down the Red variations which are numbered to 100 (Class 1), 50 (Class 2), and 25 (Class 3). And lets not forget about the 1/1 of each of the classes!
1998 Topps Tek - Pattern 65 #88. It's always a great month when I can add another '98 Topps Tek to the collection! With the addition of this Pattern 65, I have 77 of the 90 different patterns from this released. It has been a really fun project for me so far. The only thing that I'm not really a fan of is people holding cards "hostage". What I mean by that is, they know I need a certain pattern, so they inflate the price of their card in hopes that I'll buy it. That may be true when I get down to needing just one or two patterns to complete the run, but for now, I can be patient with this collection. I mean, it's already been 25 years since the cards were initially released. (I cannot believe it has been that long!)
2004 Donruss Elite - Aspirations #145, SN73. This card was added this month by accident. It was included in a lot that I was going for that had a card I really wanted. Just quickly looking over the cards in the lot, I thought I already had this one. But, as it turns out, I needed this one too! The card that I already had is very similar to this one - it's the 2004 Donruss Elite Extra Edition - Aspirations. The serial numbering on this card is stamped with a silver foil whereas the Extra Edition version is stamped with a red foil. This card is also lacking the "Second Edition" foil stamping on the front. But otherwise, these cards look enough alike that at first look, I thought I already had this one. Another 2004 card added to the collection is perfectly fine by me!
2004 Donruss Studio - Private Signings Gold #183, SN10. This is the card that I was really shooting for in the lot I talked about above. There are three different versions of this card: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. All of them are serial numbered to 10 on the back of the cards. And they all look really similar in scans and photographs. Even the holofoil on the front of the cards look similar to one another, until you have them in hand. Once they're next to each other, you can see the slightest of difference in coloration of the foil. The foil stamping on the serial number is also different on the cards. This Gold parallel has gold foil stamping.
1999 Topps Gallery - Player's Private Issue #12, SN250. These cards were inserted at a rate of 1:17 packs. They are serial numbered to 250 copies. But they do not show up for sale as often as one would think. I've seen a handful of them surface over the years, but finally added one to the collection this month. There isn't anything overly exciting about them other than the serial numbering. And there is a little extra gold foil on the front running under the Topps Gallery logo to indicate that this is a Player's Private Issue.
2022 Topps Chrome Black - Autographs Gold Refractors #CBA-SR, SN50. This card came out of the gate HOT upon initial release. Being the frugal collector that I am, I knew patience would pay off and I would be able to add this one to my collection for a fraction of the price if I just waited a little while. This card finally popped up for sale at a solid price, so I quickly hit the buy button and here it is! I really like the design on these Topps Chrome Black cards. And I love that these autographs come encased and "uncirculated" much like the Topps Pristine. I also appreciate the fact that these are on-card autographs so we're not looking at an ugly sticker.
2006 Topps Co-Signers - Changing Faces Silver Bronze #13c, SN125. This card arrived safely this month. It's a rather large set with numerous parallels that I've been trying to piece together for a while now. The problem seems to be with how sellers ship these cards. They are thick cards, but if they're not well protected in shipping, they will bend. I've got a stack of these sitting here that I cannot add to the collection because they have creases in them. I think the whole run will look great once it is complete. I've got quite a ways to go before completing this one, but you can check out my progress here: 2006 Topps Co-Signers Changing Faces.
2022 Topps Dynasty - Dynastic Decoration #DAP-SR6 (Reds), SN10. Topps knocked it out of the park again this year (last year) with their Dynasty release! These cards are absolutely stunning in hand! Just look at that big chunk of game used patch and the on card autograph! The patch sits behind a beautiful gold foil frame, decorated by some pearls. And the autograph is directly on that refractory finished background. Speaking of background, the rolling flames behind the picture of Rolen really pops on these cards. The cost of these cards, if purchased by the box, is nuts! Anywhere from $900 - $1,000 for a box that contains just one card is way out of my league. I'm not a gambler at all, so I definitely prefer picking up singles when they hit the secondary market or when someone has one they offer to trade to me.
2004 Upper Deck Diamond Collection Pro Sigs - Gold #48. Back in 2004, parallels were kept to a minimum. There was the base, Silver, and this Gold parallel. I'm not sure what the odds are to pull one of these Gold parallels, but I haven't seen a whole lot of these Rolen cards come up for sale. Although, I'm not sure if that is indicative of their rarity or if people just don't care to go through the trouble of listing them for sale on ebay. Either way, I'm happy to add this one to the collection this month as it completes the run of these cards for me.
2022 Topps Chrome Black - Autographs Green Refractors #CBA-SR, SN99. Like the Gold parallel of this card that I posted above, there is a lot to like about this card. Again, I took my time adding this one to my collection due to the overpriced nature of them upon initial release. I was able to snag this one at auction for a very fair price. Like many cards in my collection, to truly appreciate this card, one would have to see it in-hand. The refractor finish doesn't really show up well in a scan, but it really shines in person!
1999 Metal Universe - Gem Masters #277 MLPD, SN1 and 1999 Ultra - Thunderclap #15TC (Blue Print Proofs)
While I don't consider these to be "cards" that I count for the total unique cards in my collection, I do consider them to be cool enough oddballs to add to my collection. These were made available by a fellow collector on Facebook recently. As he described them, they are part of the blue sheet printing process before the final cards were fully created. These were cut from full sheets that were obtained directly from Fleer at some point. I'm not sure how many of them exist, but there cannot be too many of them. These are literally paper thin as they were printed on some kind of paper (as opposed to card stock). Now if I could just find that Metal Universe - Gem Masters card!
That wraps up the month of May for me. I'm hoping to be able to add more great cards to the collection next month! I would really like to make some more progress on the 1998 Topps Tek run and maybe pick up a couple more Dynasty cards. We'll see what the month brings!