Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Buyback Franken-set: League Leaders

I'm still reeling over the seemingly impending doom of Zistle at the hands of the evil overlords at Beckett.  In fact, I typed up a giant rant on the topic last night but I'm trying to stay positive so that one will be staying in my drafts folder for now.  Instead let's look at a nice little order of a dozen buybacks I placed on Sportlots a couple of weeks ago now in an effort to further grow my franken-set...

1967 Topps #24 - Bob Allen

Seems like a good day to lead off with an Indians card, as they have a shot to punch a ticket to the World Series this evening.  Bob Allen was a career Indian too, he never played for another team during his 5 MLB seasons.  There's nothing overly spectacular about this card, but Bob makes the set for now as the only #24 buyback I've got so far.

1967 Topps #40 - Rick Reichardt

The twelve buybacks in this order came to just about $12 on the nose, so you figure a dollar each on average.  In reality though a couple of them were $2, and others like Rick Reichardt here were less than a buck.

Rick was a very highly touted two-sport star coming out of college.  His career was off to a promising start in 1966 when an illness forced him to have a kidney removed.  Though he'd ultimately return the following season and would last a few more years at the Major League level, he was never the same player as he was before the operation.  Rick makes the franken-set uncontested as well.

1968 Topps #267 - Herman Franks

I'm a sucker for a good manager card as it is, but with this one those awesome shades really put it over the top.  Herman's a pretty interesting figure, too.  He was actually a big league catcher in the late '30s and '40s, and even caught a no-hitter for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1940.  He served in the Pacific during WWII, rising to the rank of lieutenant.  After that he got into coaching, and depending on whose story you believe may have been the guy in center field stealing signals when Bobby Thomson hit his "Shot Heard Round the World".

At less than $1 this turned out to be one of my more interesting buyback purchases to date, happy to welcome Herman to the set in slot 267!

1968 Topps #308 - Pittsburgh Pirates Team

The Pirates were a mediocre team at best in 1968, failing to finish above .500 and finishing 6th in their division.  On top of that, this card is beat to hell, possibly the worst conditioned card of any of the buybacks in the franken-set thus far.  It only cost me 50 cents though, and it fills a spot in the binder that was open previously.  Also, this is probably the closest I'll ever get to having a Roberto Clemente card in the franken-set, so it has that going for it.

1976 Topps #70 - Roy Smalley/Roy Smalley Jr.

I want my franken-set to be as interesting and diverse as possible, so I jumped at the opportunity to land this Father & Son combo card of Roy Smalley and Roy Smalley, Jr.  In actuality, the Roy Smalley on the left here is actually Jr. and the one on the right is Roy Smalley III.  I love this unique buyback (you can barely make out the stamp in the dark, upper right), but it has some competition for slot 70...

This Milt Pappas card actually just joined the franken-set earlier this week, and it's already got a challenger here.  Not much of a contest here, as Milt Pappas has more than one card in the franken-set currently.

Milt is out, the Roy Smalleys are in!

1975 Topps #232 - Diego Segui

You had to know there would be at least one Red Sox buyback in this order, right?  Born in Cuba, Diego Segui was a forkball master.  He might be best known for having pitched in the first ever MLB game for both Seattle franchises (the Pilots in '69 and the Mariners in '77).  With no current competition for #232, Diego is sitting safely inside the franken-set binder.

1959 Topps #190 - Bill Virdon

This Topps Heritage Bill Virdon buyback represents my best bargain of this particular order.  I guess the pencil marks and crease in the upper right corner must have scared off a few prospective buyers because I landed this one for just 50 cents.  Not bad for a former NL Rookie of the Year!  Even better because I didn't have a #190 buyback previously, so the franken-set count increases by one.

1985 Topps #761 - Jerry Remy

I was drawn to this Jerry Remy for two reasons.  First, I can't even imagine how many hundreds of hours I've spent listening to Jerry's voice over the years as color commentator for the Red Sox here in New England.  In addition to that, this is a nice high numbered card.  In fact, it's the first buyback I've managed to pick up so far that's number 700 or higher in its set.  There's a bunch of empty sheets before and after this card in the binder right now, that's for sure.

1970 Topps #279 - Bill Lee

When I stumbled upon this buyback of Bill "The Spaceman" Lee's rookie card for just $1, I couldn't add it to my cart fast enough.  I picked up the O-Pee-Chee version of this card from COMC a while back, nice to have a buyback to accompany it.  Aside from the fact that Lee is one of the more interesting personalities in team history, I love that the Green Monster and Citgo sign are prominently featured.  This one makes the cut at card 279, and I highly doubt it will ever be replaced over the lifetime of the franken-set.

2012 Topps #192 - Active NL Home Run Leaders

Now we reach the portion of the post from which I derived its name; league leaders cards.  For just 75 cents this was a great opportunity to add three big names to the franken-set in Chipper Jones, Albert Pujols and Andruw Jones.  Just one problem, there is already a card in slot 192...

Both 2016 Topps buybacks, both red foil, but one features three stars and the other features a so-so shortstop with a badly damaged corner.

Sorry Mario...

1978 Topps #201 - 1977 Batting Leaders

We'll close out today's post with the two buybacks that I ponied up $2 each for.  First up, two big names (though only one is enshrined) on this 1977 Batting Leaders card.  Dave Parker paced the NL with a .338 average in 1977.  1978 was even better for him, as he again led the NL with a .334 average en route to his lone NL MVP award!

Rod Carew is represented on this card thanks to the insane .388 he swatted in '77.  Unreal.  Easy to see why he was voted AL MVP that year.  Like Parker, he'd win a batting title again the following year, for the 7th and final time in his impressive career.  Pretty cool that both of these guys would repeat as batting champs again the year this card was printed up.

I already had this 1979 Topps record breaker buyback in slot 201, but how can the record for most unassisted double plays by a second baseman in a game possibly hold up against those numbers I just mentioned?

Well, quite frankly, it can't!

1973 Topps #64 - 1972 Stolen Base Leaders

Last buyback for today is another great league leaders card, this time from the 1973 set.  First-ballot HOFer Lou Brock swiped 63 bags in '72, one of eight times that he would lead the league in stolen bases.  Campaneris stole 52 that year, the 6th and final time that he'd pace the AL in that category.  These speedsters have competition for card 64 though...

...just not much.  I don't think there are too many collectors, Astros fans aside (are there any?), that would choose Bob Bruce over Brock and Campaneris.

I'm certainly not one of them!

This was probably my favorite round of buybacks yet.  Out of 12 cards, 8 were slots that were empty previously and the 4 that had conflicts all won out over the competition.  With a little luck I can get over 20% complete over the course of the next couple of buyback posts.  Thanks for reading as always!

Franken-set Progress:  145/792 (18%)


Brett Alan said...

Love these posts. I'm not sure, though, that I'm ok with Topps taking a banged-up old team card like that and passing it off as, well, anything.

And the presence of 2012 cards in the buyback program makes me wonder whether (or should I say when) they'll do buybacks of buybacks!

shoeboxlegends said...

Thanks a lot for the comment Brett! That 2012 buyback is the most recent one I have by a good 20+ years. I'm not nearly as enthused about those as I am the vintage ones, but I figured if my franken-set was to be a good representation I should at least have a handful of them scattered throughout.

If they start making buyback buybacks I think that will be a sign that I need to find a new hobby ;-)

Bru said...

If you're letting that Bob Bruce go, he can have a happy home in my collection!

John Miller said...

I picked up a 1964 buyback Dean chance #32 this weekend, if interested e-mail me.

Anonymous said...

It took me a few seconds to realize what a 2012 card was doing in your buybacks, because it never occurred to me that it could be a buyback. I understand that they are ostensibly celebrating the full 65 year history of the company, but I'm not sure how I feel about that.

What do you do with your rejected buybacks? That's not a request to have some shipped to me, I'm just curious.

So what *is* happening with Zistle? As a non-Zistlarian (?), I only know that Beckett bought it and, as these things usually go, I'm sure they're at least letting it die of neglect. Are they actively working to shut Zistle down?

Shane Katz said...

Love that Bill Lee rookie Shane!! Somehow, I still need to find one for my collection.

shoeboxlegends said...

Bru, I'm keeping the rejects, at least for now, but that being said I have quite a few Astros cards looking for a home. I will hit you up!

John, I responded to your last comment with the same thing, but I can't locate your email anywhere on your blog or Google+ profile. Drop me a line at shanediaz82 at yahoo dot com if you want to trade.

Joe, right now I'm keeping the rejected buybacks in a small box sorted by year. My plan is that when I get 9 from any year I'll toss them in a binder page in a different, misc binder. As for Zistle, looks like dying of neglect to me, at least at this point. It's a long story so I just posted a rant about it now!

Shane, thanks, one of my favorite Spaceman cards! I don't think I have an extra but will take a look as I'm putting together your trade package!

forestrydave said...

This set is growing into a pretty awesome looking collection Shane! I am really tempted to try this with fact I just might :)

shoeboxlegends said...

Thanks Dave! I'm having an absolute blast with it, probably the thing that has kept me the most interested in the hobby over the last 6 months or so since I started it. I've only just scratched the surface because the posts get long if I do more than 10-12 cards at a whack, but I have some REAL gems coming down the line.

I'd LOVE to see you do a hockey version if you ever get around to it!

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