Monday, January 9, 2017

Buyback Franken-set: Last of the Big Lot

Today I finally reach the end of the 113-card buyback lot that was one of two large lots I picked up in 2016.  Let's take a look at the final ten cards...

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:

A nice '73 Derrel Thomas featuring an "interesting" pants/uniform combo... not enough to win out against a '59 buyback.

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:

Pirate-on-Pirate matchup, interesting.  Even though this team card is beat up, I don't think I can really choose Jim Rooker over the entire team of Pirates that includes the great Roberto Clemente.

You're out, Jim.

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:

There is just no way in hell that this Red Sox fan is choosing the Grote over this buyback Bill Lee rookie card.

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.

This card already sits in the franken-set binder in slot 166, however.  Not exactly a thrilling match-up...

I decided to go with the Lockwood card, however I'm second guessing myself since neither card really sticks out to me but I do enjoy the Seattle uniforms from this era.  Maybe I'll reverse this call someday...

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.

This well-loved '64 Topps Jim King buyback stands in Grimm's way as far as franken-set induction goes.

Not really a tough choice, though I really do like this card as well.

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


Mark Hoyle said...

Where do the rejected ones end up. At the back seat f the binder

shoeboxlegends said...

Right now I have them all in a two-row shoebox I've been filling up. I'm not sure what I'll end up doing with them just yet. I've thought about starting a second binder and each time I end up with 9 rejects from any one Topps set just putting them in a page. Would be kind of cool to have a binder where each page has nine buybacks all from the same original set. We'll see I guess...

night owl said...

So, Topps takes a mint-like '75, just about the nicest looking card there could be, and plasters a stamp on the player's head. ... Just heartbreaking.

shoeboxlegends said...

Thought you'd like that one Night Owl! ;-)

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