1959 Topps #57 - Al Cicotte
Coming out of the gate strong with a nice '59. I immediately thought of Eddie Cicotte of the infamous Black Sox team when I saw this one, and it turns out Al was a grand-nephew of Eddie's. About the only other interesting thing I could find of note quickly on Al was that his nickname was "Bozo". Al's got some competition for franken-set induction:
1974 Topps #432 - Chris Arnold
Chris Arnold specialized as a utility player and pinch-hitter for most of his relatively brief MLB career. He only hit four career home runs, but one was against Phil Niekro and another against Steve Carlton. He's in the franken-set for now as the first #432 buyback I've come across.
1978 Topps #308 - Jim Rooker
Jim Rooker was a solid pitcher for the Pirates for a good deal of the '70s, and was on the '79 championship team as well (though his career was in decline and he was used as a spot starter by that point). In order to make the franken-set he has to upstage this card:
1979 Topps #436 - Hector Cruz
Hector Cruz played 9 MLB seasons before heading overseas to finish out his career in Japan. If Wikipedia can be believed, which I'm not sure it can in this case, he went on to become a mail carrier for the USPS in Chicago after his baseball career wound down. A pretty boring card quite frankly, but since it's the first #436 buyback in my possession it makes the set.
1974 Topps #237 - Ken Brett
Whenever I see Ken Brett's name I think of his unlikely World Series appearances as a 19-year-old for the Impossible Dream Red Sox team in 1967. Brett was not expected to be on the Red Sox roster for that legendary World Series, but made the cut last minute in order to replace an injured Sparky Lyle. No current competition for slot 237, George's bro is in!
1979 Topps #279 - Jerry Grote
Jerry Grote was known primarily as a defensive specialist behind the plate. He managed to turn that into a solid 16-year career at the Major League level, but he's got a real challenge in front of him in terms of making the franken-set:
1974 Topps #365 - Steve Busby
This was a fairly nice buyback to end up with in the lot, as 1974 was the best season of Steve Busby's career. He was selected as an All-Star for the first time that season, won 22 games, and pitched his second of two career no-hitters! Unfortunately he would be plagued by a torn rotator cuff the following season, and despite surgery and an eventual return to the mound he never regained the level of success that he enjoyed during his first few years with the Royals. As far as the franken-set goes, this one is in!
1978 Topps #166 - Carlos Lopez
Carlos Lopez was born and raised in Mexico, and eventually enjoyed a three season stint of Major League Baseball. I don't really know much about him, but this is a nice look at the get-up the Mariners were sporting in the late '70s.
1975 Topps #292 - Ron Schueler
The penultimate card is a nice, new '75, which makes the franken-set uncontested. After he retired from the game, Ron Schueler became a pitching coach for a few different organizations during the '80s, then eventually went on to serve as the GM for the White Sox throughout the '90s, stepping down after the 2000 season.
1960 Topps #217 - Charley Grimm
The very last buyback from the lot is easily one of my favorites. The 1960 Topps manager subset is just awesome, never thought I'd be fortunate enough to land one in buyback form. Charley Grimm was basically a baseball lifer, having played in the Majors himself between 1916 and 1936, then serving in a variety of positions for a few different clubs throughout his post-playing days. He was the last manager for the old Boston Braves of the NL.
That's all for today. This lot takes me to just about 1/3 of a completed franken-set on the nose. I was fortunate enough to recently land my biggest buyback lot yet, consisting of hundreds of buybacks for a price that basically broke down to about 30 cents each. That, along with a bunch of smaller lots and singles I've grabbed over time, should give me plenty of ammo to keep this project going strong through 2017 here!
Franken-set Progress: 261/792 (33%)
"Rejected" Buybacks: 71
Total Buybacks in Collection: 332