In one sense it's probably just as well, as I've been picking up quite a bit of new cardboard online recently and have pretty much exhausted my allotted card budget at the moment. Since I can't be up there digging through the boxes this weekend, I might as well do up another installment of what has rapidly become my current favorite hobby project, my buyback franken-set!
Let's whip through another ten cards and see how they fare, beginning with a very fitting "lead-off" card in speedster Dave Lopes:
1976 Topps #660 - Dave Lopes
Davey led the NL in stolen bases in both 1975 and 1976. I think just about anyone who's a baseball fan has heard of the infamous Garvey, Cey, Russell, Lopes Dodgers infield of the '70s. Davey was a 4x All-Star, Gold Glove winner, and won a World Series in 1981 with the Dodgers. A solid addition to my franken-set at #660, indeed!
1972 Topps #65 - Cesar Cedeno
Cesar Cedeno burst onto the MLB scene as a 19-year-old rookie in 1970. His .310 batting average over 90 games that season was good enough to place fourth in NL Rookie of the Year voting. His average dipped the following year, but he led the league in doubles and drove in 81 runs as well. 1972 is when he really caught fire, which is why I like this card so much. Beginning that season he'd win five straight Gold Gloves in center field, and garner both All-Star honors and MVP votes in four of the next five seasons, while averaging more than 20 home runs a year during that span.
Cesar is in at card #65 without a doubt.
1973 Topps #69 - Phil Gagliano
What can I say about Phil Gagliano? Well, he won two World Series with the Cardinals in the '60s. By the time he came to Boston he was being used primarily as a pinch-hitter, a role in which he thrived. He's the first #69 buyback I've gotten my hands on, so another Red Sox card makes the binder here.
1976 Topps #136 - Dave Goltz
Dave Goltz went 14-14 as a starter in 1976. The following year he'd win 20 games for the only time in his career, tied for first in the American League. He actually signed as a free agent with the Dodgers before the 1980 season, and was a teammate of Davey Lopes on the '81 World Series winning squad.
1977 Topps #583 - Paul Lindblad
Random fact about Paul Lindblad...on the final day of the 1975 season he combined with three other pitchers (including the great Rollie Fingers) to throw a no-hitter against the Angels. Paul should be relatively safe within the set, I don't imagine I'll come across another #583 buyback anytime soon.
1978 Topps #104 - Lee Lacy
Another Dodger. Lee Lacy actually had two separate stints with Los Angeles, separated by just a half season with the Atlanta Braves. He signed on with the Pirates as a free agent after the '78 season. Not a bad choice on his part! Another previously empty slot in the binder gets filled.
1968 Topps #127 - Paul Lindblad
Pretty random to find two different Paul Lindblad buybacks in the same sampling of ten. Paul retired as a World Series champ, hanging up the spikes after winning it all with the Yankees in 1978. I've already got a #127 buyback in the binder, let's take a look...
1974 Topps #191 - Al Fitzmorris
Next up is member of the inaugural '69 Kansas City Royals' pitching staff Al Fitzmorris. Al looks like he's standing around on a farm or maybe a fairground on this card. Again, no competition for inclusion in the set here, this one's in by default.
1977 Topps #76 - Tim Foli
This is the second Tim Foli card that currently sits in the binder. Tim's '73 Topps release is located a few pages before this one in slot 19. Foli was also a member of the '79 Pittsburgh Pirates championship team.
1979 Topps #694 - Burt Hooton
We started with an LA Dodger, and we'll end with one. Burt was a critical component of the Dodgers team that won it all in 1981 with 4 wins in 5 post-season starts that year. He picked up NLCS MVP honors during that same impressive run. Hooton's '79 release here is also one of the highest number buybacks I've tracked down so far.
Franken-set Progress: 177/792 (21%)