1960 Topps #185 - Jim Owens
I was happy to find slot 185 in the binder empty, as I have not run across very many 1960 buybacks so far. 1959 was Jim Owens' best season, even though the Phillies were pretty awful at the time, and by 1960 his career was in decline. So, not exactly a stellar card, but it's nice to get '60 Topps a little face time in the franken-set regardless.
1970 Topps #421 - Pat Dobson
Here's the card that represents Pat Dobson's lone season in San Diego. By 1971 he was part of the formidable Baltimore Orioles rotation, and is well-known as one of four 20-game-winners on the O's staff that year. This is about as bland a card as you could ever encounter...no hat, no logos, no uniform, and a solid color background. It's currently the only #421 buyback I have, but I have to believe that just about any other that I encounter will bump Pat here from the set.
1973 Topps #512 - Dalton Jones
Here's a "sunset" card of Dalton Jones, who actually made his last career MLB appearance at the end of the 1972 season. Jones is best known for being a key component of the 1967 "Impossible Dream" Boston Red Sox team. He was a clutch pinch-hitter that year, and came up big in some very significant at-bats down the stretch. Dalton is in at #512!
1978 Topps #181 - Ken Forsch
Ken Forsch's 1978 card here is the one that resulted in my first completed page (which you'll see at the end of this post). The high point of his career was probably the no-hitter he tossed in 1979, which is interesting in that Ken's brother Bob was the author of two no-nos for the Cardinals.
1975 Topps #514 - Jose Cruz
Jose Cruz, whose 1975 Topps card makes the franken-set in slot 514, is one of the better-known players to emerge from Puerto Rico. He was named an All-Star a couple of times in the '80s, and captured two Gold Glove awards as well. He's remained involved with the Astros in a coaching/administrative capacity throughout the years, and his number is retired by the franchise. Always pleased to add a colorful new 1975 Topps card to the franken-set!
1977 Topps #305 - Mickey Rivers
For the second straight buyback post we have a Mickey Rivers card. While this one may not be as aesthetically pleasing as the one that led off the last post, it's a nice card nonetheless. This one feels significant in that Rivers was coming off of the best season of his career (he finished third in MVP voting in '76), and the Yankees would win it all in 1977. Mickey is in, and that's six straight cards to make the set to begin this post!
1972 Topps #145 - Don Kessinger
Don Kessinger was named an All-Star for the fifth consecutive season in 1972, and captured two Gold Gloves at shortstop during that span as well. After struggling very early on in his MLB career he found more success at the plate after converting to a switch-hitter, which I find interesting. A nice card indeed here, and without any competition for slot 145 Don is currently in the binder.
1974 Topps #114 - California Angels
The California Angels had a brutal season in 1974, finishing 6th in the AL West with a rough record of 68-94. Ouch. Their most notable players were probably Nolan Ryan and an aging Frank Robinson, who actually swatted 20 home runs for the club before they dealt him away to the Indians in early September. As my only #114 buyback to date this card makes the cut as well.
1973 Topps #49 - Twins Coaches
Next up, a 1973 Topps Twins coaches card. The Twins had some big bats in their lineup in 1973, led by Rod Carew and Tony Oliva. On the mound, Bert Blyleven was their clear ace, putting together a 20-win, 250+ strikeout campaign. All of this was good for just an 81-81 finish however. For now, this card makes the set, but I don't expect it to last all that long.
That's nine cards in, and all nine making the franken-set uncontested. Can we go a perfect ten for ten today?
1959 Topps #220 - Frank Malzone
Nope! I've already got a #220 buyback in the binder. This 1959 Topps Frank Malzone makes for some stiff competition though as one of my favorite buybacks from this latest big lot I've been working my way through. Some aspiring collector used a pair of scissors to round the corners, but this is the oldest Red Sox buyback I've come across so far. Frank was both an All-Star (one of 8 times in his career) and a Gold Glove winner (one of 3 times in his career) in '59 too!
Which unlucky buyback gets to square off against Frank for a place in the set?
As I start completing some more pages here I'm considering putting a separate tab along the top of the blog for the franken-set, where I'll post each completed page in order. I think it will be cool as the set begins to take shape to see each page as though you were flipping through the binder. More on that next post maybe...
Franken-set Progress: 233/792 (29%)
"Rejected" Buybacks: 54