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Monthly Mailbag - September 2023

This has been another great month! I was able to add 18 cards to the collection. I was able to continue adding to the 2022 Topps Chrome Platinum Anniversary rainbow, coming pretty close to completing it within a month after its release. I was also able to make some pretty decent headway on the 2023 Topps Archives Signature Series release. And of course, I was able to pick up some missing pieces. Here is what I added this month:

2022 Topps Chrome Platinum Anniversary #224

2007 Topps Allen & Ginter - Mini #43, SP. I really believe the "SP" part of this card. Despite being produced in 2007, they just don't come up for sale very often. I'm sure I've missed a handful over the years, but when this one popped up, I couldn't pass it up again for the price. There were 50 different mini SP cards in the set which were inserted at a ratio of 1:13 packs. So approximately 1:650 packs to pull this Rolen card. I've been a big fan of Allen & Ginter ever since it was first brought back by Topps so adding this piece to the collection was a no-brainer for me.

2023 Topps Archives Signature Series Retired Player Edition - 2001 Stadium Club #80, SN13. This card is probably one of my least favorite additions to my collection. Then why did I buy it? Well, because it's Scott Rolen, it's limited to just 13 copies, and the price was cheap enough for me to snag it. The unfortunate part is that this card could have been really nice. I'm not typically a fan of landscape oriented cards unless they are signed. The problem is, in the case of this card, the blue ink just plain gets lost in the background of the card. You can barely see the signature. I think Topps could have really stepped it up if they had him use a silver or even a gold color pen for this one. Just one of the few problems with buyback cards like this one I suppose.

2023 Topps Archives Signature Series Retired Player Edition - 2009 Topps #228, SN40. Another Topps Archives added to the collection this month. This one is FAR nicer than the one directly above this one, in my opinion. The signature is once again on-card, it's bold and clearly visible, and it just fits with this card. Another nice thing about this card is that it has Scott in his Blue Jays jersey, which there just aren't a lot of out there (until this product anyway.) The cost of this card was also a lot less than sending a card in to a private signing to have him sign. I'm really pleased with this addition!

2023 Topps Archives Signature Series Retired Player Edition - 1999 Topps #125, SN20. Have you picked up on this month's theme yet? With these Archives Signature Series cards being produced en masse, I want to try to add as many of them as I can while they're being pulled. As long as they're cheap enough and they look good to my eye. I almost feel like it is pointless to talk about the serial numbering on these cards. It almost feels completely arbitrary at this point. Like they have the athlete sign however many they purchased in a large lot of that specific player.

2023 Topps Archives Signature Series Retired Player Edition - 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter #91, SN58. Another perfect example of what I was talking about before with Topps buying back a large lot of player's cards and just having them sign some random number of cards. There were 57 of these cards signed back in 2001 for the Archives Signature cards that year. But this one here, it's different. Kind of. It does have the "Hall of Fame" foil stamp on the front. And there is one additional copy made for this release.

2023 Topps Archives Signature Series Retired Player Edition - 2009 Topps 206 #14, SN13. I really enjoy the "throwback" nod to the 206 cards. Similar to the Allen & Ginter revival. I'm not entirely sold on this particular picture Topps used of Rolen for this one, but the autograph on these looks clean enough for me to want to add it to my collection. And as an added bonus, I've not seen this particular card used in the Archives Signature lineup in recent years.

2023 Topps Archives Signature Series Retired Player Edition - 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter #236, SN64. I'm a big fan of the Allen & Ginter lineup of cards, so this pick up was a no-brainer. I love how these cards look to begin with, then you throw in the added bonus of an on-card autograph and you've got me hooked. Having said all of that, this one sings a similar song as several other Archives Signature cards of the past, and it has been used again and again. Here's the 2001 release. They did reduce the overall number of this particular card though; from 95 in 2001 down to just 64 this year.

2023 Topps Archives Signature Series Retired Player Edition - 2000 Topps #328, SN20. I've always liked this card. Back in the late 90s and early 2000s, Topps just did it right. Their simplistic overall design with this great shot of Rolen taking off for fist base, just makes for a great card. Buy it back, have him sign it, and put a foil stamp on it and they turned it into a card I just could not say "no" to.

2023 Topps Archives Signature Series Retired Player Edition - 2011 Topps Update #US310 AS, SN54. It seems as if Topps may have shifted gears a bit with Rolen's cards in this year's Archives Signature Series. In the two years prior, most of the Rolen cards that came from this set were 1/1s. So far, I've seen a handful of 1/1s from this year's release, but most of them have been numbered to 13 or more. As is the case with this card; numbered to 54 copies. I'm not sure whether I should rejoice in the fact that a higher number of cards should keep the overall cost down, or cringe by the fact that there are that many Rolen autographed cards out there.

2011 Topps - Walmart Black Border #192 Cincinnati Reds TC. While not "officially" a Rolen card, this team checklist card does feature Scott prominently on the front. These "All-Black" cards can be found exclusively in Blasters sold at Walmart. Each are inserted in two full packs in each Blaster. I'm not sure how many of them exist, but they don't surface for sale very often. That could speak less to scarcity and more to the fact that there may just be several of these sitting in commons boxes across the country; waiting to be tossed into the trash as mothers clean out their children's bedrooms as the kids grow up and move out of the house.

2023 Topps Archives Signature Series Retired Player Edition - 2010 Topps Heritage #175, SN43. I feel like DJ Khaled over here with these Archives Signature Series cards - "another one!" I really like the bold on-card auto on this particular copy and it cost me less than the price of lunch. I also have a soft spot for the Heritage lineup that Topps puts out. Even though it's kind of lazy from a design standpoint, recycling the design of a card that was produced years ago, I think it works with baseball cards for the nostalgia. Not to mention the fact that card design from days gone by was clean and simple.

2023 Topps Archives Signature Series Retired Player Edition - 2011 Topps Heritage #205, SN33. This is another Archives Signature Series card that I probably would have passed on if the price wouldn't have been right. They released 29 copies of this one back in 2021, so having another 33 copies this year isn't anything new. Like I said before though, I'm a fan of the throwback (recycled) design that Heritage is known for. And the autograph on this card looks clean.

That does it for this month for my regular mail bag post. Don't forget to read all about the HUGE additions I made to the collection via the purchase of Ron's collection! Be sure to check back next month to see what else I've been able to pick up. And as always, if you've got a Rolen card you haven't seen on this site, chances are, I want it! Shoot me a message and let me know what you have!


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