1978 Topps #417 - Mike Garman
Mike Garman kicks off a trio of 1978 Topps buybacks. Originally a draft pick of my beloved Boston Red Sox in the '60s, Garman was just finishing out his career here. He'd make his last Major League appearance in 1978 with the Expos after LA dealt him there. As far as the franken-set goes this one fills a need!
1978 Topps #397 - Greg Gross
Greg Gross was a prolific pinch-hitter who enjoyed a long big league career. He played for four different MLB franchises but is probably most remembered for his long stretch with the Phillies, where he won a World Series in 1980. 397 was a number that was missing from my franken-set previously as well, so we're 2-for-2 to begin today's post.
1978 Topps #344 - Sam Ewing
I confess to never having heard of Sam Ewing before. Looks like he wrapped up his MLB career in 1978 as well, and went over to try his luck in Japan. If you can believe Wikipedia he's a college professor these days, which is cool. You have to respect guys who line up a solid "plan B" career when their playing days wind down. Like the other two '78s, this one is in!
1977 Topps #275 - Mike Hargrove
I remember Mike Hargrove more as an MLB manager than a player, though he had a couple of good seasons early in his career. He won Rookie of the Year in 1974, and was selected as an All-Star in '75. With no current competition for slot 275, this '77 Topps release makes the franken-set.
1976 Topps #143 - Jerry Grote
Jerry Grote's 1979 Topps card came up short against Bill Lee's rookie card in a buyback post I put up a week ago now, but this one is a much more interesting card. I love the close-up shot of Jerry donning the "tools of ignorance" here, especially since he was known as a defensive specialist. This time around Jerry isn't facing any competition for the set, so I'm happy to say this card makes the cut.
1974 Topps #262 - Ed Kirkpatrick
Ed Kirkpatrick enjoyed 16 seasons of play at the MLB level. After his playing days were over he unfortunately had an almost unreal string of bad luck, from a car accident to a blot clot, brain surgery, heart attack, coma, paralysis and eventually he passed away from throat cancer in 2010 at age 66. On a more upbeat note, this one fills a gap in the franken-set and gets me a card closer to finishing.
1974 Topps #181 - Cesar Geronimo
Next up, a '74 Cesar Geronimo from 2014 Topps. Cesar was a very, very good center fielder and an important member of the back-to-back Reds World Series championship teams in the mid-'70s. For the first time today though we've got a conflict when it comes to franken-set induction. If Cesar wants in he's got to surpass this card:
1974 Topps #45 - Dave Johnson
Here's another guy who has had a ton of managerial success, including the infamous '86 World Series where he led the Mets to a championship over the Red Sox. That was just the beginning though. When he joined on with the Orioles in 1996 he was at the helm for the franchise's first playoff berth (wild card) since 1983, and the year after that they dominated the division and he'd win Manager of the Year. In 2012 he led the Nationals to their first playoff berth since the days when the franchise resided in Canada, and collected his second Manager of the Year award. Happy to welcome this one to the franken-set!
1974 Topps #577 - Mike Sadek
I'm not too familiar with Mike Sadek, whose career as a backup catcher concluded before I ever drew my first breath. At #577 this is a nice high-numbered buyback though, so this one makes the cut and I expect it to stick around for some time as well...
1974 Topps #324 - Steve Kline
Last card for today, yet another '74. This is Steve Kline, the right-handed pitcher from the '70s. Not to be confused with Steve Kline, the left-handed pitcher who debuted in 1997. In order for right-handed Kline to make the franken-set he has to best this card:
That was a great round of ten, with eight brand new card numbers contributed to the franken-set. I've still only got one complete page in the binder to date, however it was updated today when Cesar Geronimo bested Ken Forsch:
Franken-set Progress: 269/792 (34%)
"Rejected" Buybacks: 74
Total Buybacks in Collection: 343