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Monthly Mailbag - May 2024

Just as I suspected, this was a much slower month for new cards for The Rolen Collection as far as quantity. Even though it was a slower month, that doesn't mean that I didn't add any cards. Here are the newest additions to the collection:


2023 Topps Rip - Mini Autographs Blue #TRA-SR, SN10. I really enjoy these tobacco sized cards. I think part of the reason that I like them so much is because I have penny sleeves that are designed to fit inside normal sized toploaders. That, in and of itself, makes storing these cards with my collection even easier. I love the image that Topps used of Rolen on these cards too. That batting stance, the fierce look in his eyes, and of course, he's in a Cardinals uniform! The other great thing about this card is the autograph is on-card! With the addition of this card, I'm only missing the Gold /5 and the Red /1. I know where the Red is and it'll likely never be in my collection. But I might just try to track down the Gold parallel to put it with the rest of these in my collection.


2006 Flair Showcase - Autographics Printing Plates Magenta #SC-SR, SN1. It is rare that I see something of Rolen that I don't recognize. This happened to be one of those things. When this printing plate was listed for sale on ebay, I had to look at it a couple of times because I didn't recognize anything about it. It was listed with an insanely low "buy it now" price so I went ahead and hit that button. Then I proceeded to look it over again. And again. And then again. After looking at it a few times and not being able to place it, I looked at my checklist. To my surprise, this printing plate (and the card it was supposed to have made) did not appear anywhere on my checklist. After researching it a bit more, the plate (nor the card) were on any checklist I could find. I checked TCDB and BaseballCardPedia. Neither of them listed this one. So, while I don't normally chase printing plates, I'm certainly happy to add this oddity to the collection this month!


2023 Topps Update - 1988 Topps Baseball All-Star Autographs Gold #88ASA-SR, SN25. Patience. That's one thing that is echoed quite often around here. And once again, patience has paid off with this card because I picked it up this month at a great price! It's the first from 2023 Topps Update that is in my collection. And now that I have this Gold parallel, I want the others! I thoroughly enjoy everything about this card. From the nostalgic throwback design, to the photo used, to the on-card autograph.


2021 Topps Archives Signature Series Retired Player Edition - 2001 Topps Reserve #35, SN1. It's always a great month when I can pick up an Archives Signature card! Just one of the copious amounts of 1/1s that came from this product, but I liked it enough for the price, so I added it to the collection this month. I have a feeling this one was recently opened too because the case is in great shape for being from a 2021 product.


1998 Pinnacle Plus - Team Pinnacle Gold #14. This is a card that you don't see come up for sale very often. This one had been hanging out on ebay for a while with a "buy it now" price and a "best offer" option. I sent an offer and it was quickly accepted. These Gold parallels were inserted at a rate of 1:199 packs; but I'm not sure if that's the entire story as there is also a "gold foil back" version of this card as well. There is also a Mirror Gold version, but only the Nomar side got that treatment. I'd love to track down the gold foil back and the Mirror Gold copies sooner rather than later so I can finish off this run of gorgeous cards!


2024 Bowman - Buyback Autographs - 2003 Bowman #153, SN3. My first 2024 card! And it isn't even really a 2024 card. It is a buyback of a 2003 Bowman that was signed by Scott, stamped with a foil stamp, and inserted into 2024 Bowman baseball product. The odds on pulling one of these is all over the board. First, there are 13 players in the "checklist". I say it like that because we aren't told which cards are signed, nor do we know how they are numbered. But as for the odds, they are pretty tough. Your best bet for pulling any of the 13 different players is with Bowman HTA at 1:6,020 packs. Hobby odds are 1:19,288! Other forms of distribution are somewhere in the neighborhood of 1:16,000 packs! As you can see, the odds aren't really in your favor of pulling one of these from a pack. Which is why when I saw this one posted on Facebook, I immediately messaged the owner. After a few messages back and forth, a deal was made and the owner listed it for sale on Mercari for me. He had it in the mail immediately and I received it within just a few days. I'm definitely happy to add this one to the collection this month!


2023 Topps Pristine - Around the Diamond Gold #ADR-SR, SN50. For some reason I thought I already had this card in my collection. As it turns out, I didn't. So I rectified that this month. I was able to pick this card up for a fraction of the price compared to when these were initially released. If you've been following along with my collecting journey, you already know that I have mixed feelings about cards like this. I'm not really a huge fan of landscape oriented cards, but this one is nicely done. It's from one of my favorite releases; Pristine. And the autograph is on-card! Those two things and the fact that they featured Rolen in his Cardinals jersey on these made it an easy choice to pick up this month, especially for the price I paid!


2023 Topps Museum Collection - Museum Framed Autograph Patch #MAP-SR, SN1. WOW! This card is an absolute stunner! It was a "splurge" card for me this month. I was just randomly looking through ebay listings one day and saw this one pop up as a new listing. The seller listed it with a "buy it now" or "best offer". I didn't want to risk not picking this card up because I know of a few other guys who may have just smashed that "buy it now" button as soon as they saw it. So, I smashed the button and hoped my payment would process quickly enough to land this card. This card has so much going for it. First, it's a portrait oriented card. It has a nasty patch that comes from the Reds logo right there on Rolen's chest. And the autograph is on-card! I'm definitely excited to add this card to my collection this month!


2024 Topps Archives Signature Series Retired Player Edition - 2000 Bowman #120, SN2. Hold onto your hats! Another year, another Topps Archives Signature Series release. I'm still building the checklist for the previous few years' releases and now I have to start building this year's checklist. I've seen several of these listed already; with quite a few of them numbered less than five. Just like in years past, I'll pick these up when the price is right and as long as we can actually see the autograph on the card.


2023 Topps Chrome Platinum Anniversary #136. Would you look at that. Another year, and another late release from Topps (Fanatics). This 2023 Topps Chrome Platinum Anniversary was just released this month. Aside from the late release, I do thoroughly enjoy this card. Just like in years past, there are a bevy of parallels of this one to chase. And once again this year, Rolen has an autographed version of the card (which is slightly different due to the design.) Once again, I will be chasing all of the different parallels of this card because I love shiny cards!


I was also able to add these three parallels: Speckle Refractor, Topps Refractor, and the X-Fractor.



2023 Topps Chrome Platinum Anniversary Autographs #CPA-SR - Refractors, SN199. Topps decided to include Rolen in the autographed version of their Platinum Anniversary release. They used the same photography for these, but they flipped them around and instead of using his facsimile "Topps rookie signature", they left a little blank area for him to sign these on-card! There are several parallels of these as well and this one here is the refractor parallel. I'll continue to add the different parallels of this one as the prices cool off a bit.

2024 Topps Archives Signature Series Retired Player Edition - 2002 Topps #610, SN15. I've seen several of these Topps Archives Signature Series card hit the market recently. I feel like this is a "strike while the iron is hot" type of release if I want to get as many of the different cards as possible. The signature is a little tough to see on this one, but I scored it for a great price, so I couldn't pass it up. I fully expect to add several more of these before the year is over. I just hope Topps didn't go overboard with hundreds of different Rolen cards for this year's supply.


2024 Topps Archives Signature Series Retired Player Edition - 2002 Topps Post Cereal #14, SN4. You guessed it! Another one this month! These (unsigned) Post cards are super common and fun fact: it's an uncorrected error card. Just look at the back and check out where it says Rolen was born. This, in my opinion, is what we would expect of a Topps card from 2002. It has a pretty solid image of Rolen throwing the ball, team logo in the bottom corner, and some fancy graphics. It also looks like Topps was at least a little mindful about where they put the Archives Signature Series foil stamp as it's not covering anything of importance.


2024 Topps Archives Signature Series Retired Player Edition - 2010 Bowman #42, SN24. The last Archives Signature Series card I was able to pick up this month. I literally can't say anything new about these cards as I have added so many of them to my collection over the years. I do know one thing, these cards would not grade well (if that is your thing). They must have stacks upon stacks of these cards sitting around the offices at Topps.


Overall, I think it was a really good month for new additions to The Rolen Collection! I did not anticipate picking up this many new cards this month, but here we are. I imagine next month I'll make some more progress on the Topps Chrome Platinum Anniversary release and I'm 110% sure I'll add some more Archives Signature cards. Check back next month to see what else I've added!


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