1978 Topps #309 - Cliff Johnson
Cliff Johnson was fortunate enough to be dealt from the Astros to the Yankees in the summer of 1977, just in time to be a part of back-to-back World Series championship Yankees teams in '77 and '78. He was shipped off to Cleveland mid-way through 1979 though, after a locker room brawl with teammate Goose Gossage. I was missing a #309 buyback until now, Cliff is in!
1978 Topps #404 - Detroit Tigers
The second entry in the trio of '78s is this beat up Detroit Tigers team card. The Tigers finished 10 games above .500 in 1978, but the 86-76 record was only good enough for 5th in the AL East. For a '78, this card is really beat up, and it has some competition for the franken-set as well:
1978 Topps #44 - Toby Harrah
Toby Harrah was with the Rangers franchise when they were still known as the Senators, and had some good seasons with the club after their move to Texas as well. He was selected as an All-Star three times during his time with Texas, and again as a Cleveland Indian in the early '80s. I've already got a buyback in slot 44 of the binder, let's take a look...
The next trio features '76 Topps buybacks...
1976 Topps #156 - Rico Carty
Dominican-born outfielder Rico Carty is most remembered for his impressive 1970 season, where he smashed the ball to the tune of a league-leading .366 average! The power numbers were there that season too, as he eclipsed 25 home runs and 100 RBI. Rico's up against a buyback from the '60s as far as the franken-set goes:
1976 Topps #282 - Dan Osborn
Next up from 1976 Topps, pitcher Dan Osborn of the White Sox. Dan actually went by the nickname "Ozzie", making him the second most famous Ozzie Osborn (or Osbourne) that I know of. While this particular Ozzie may never have been the front-man for Black Sabbath, he did make 24 relief appearances with the White Sox in 1975. Those 24 appearances constitute his entire body of work at the MLB level.
1976 Topps #32 - Danny Frisella
The last of the '76s for today is Padres hurler Danny Frisella. Danny would sadly pass away in a dune buggy accident near his home less than a year after this card was printed up. I wasn't alive yet, but it seems like that incident got a lot of coverage at the time, as seems to be the case any time an athlete passes in the midst of their career.
The third and final trio of buybacks for today features 1973 Topps, which seems to have been one of the more popular choices for inclusion in the 2015 buyback program...
1973 Topps #44 - Rick Monday
For the second time today we have a #44 card vying for a spot in the set, this time it's outfielder Rick Monday. Rick was a two-time All-Star but once was before his time with Chicago, and the other time was after he'd moved on from the Cubs.
1973 Topps #539 - Tom Murphy
Finally, after 6 straight confrontations, we have a new card number for the franken-set! Tom Murphy was with the Royals for just a portion of the 1972 season after they acquired him in trade from the Angels. He didn't last long in Kansas City either, and had moved onto the Cardinals by 1973 even though he's still pictured with KC here (he wasn't traded to St. Louis until May). Nice to fill a relatively high-numbered slot in the binder at least!
1973 Topps #379 - Cy Acosta
The final card in the '73 Topps trio, and the last buyback I'll feature today, is Cy Acosta. According to Wikipedia he was the first AL pitcher to make a plate appearance after the introduction of the DH position. He's also a member of the Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame.
9 new cards, and only 2 of them filled new numbers/slots. It's getting harder and harder to earn a spot in the binder here, and I'm not even close to the 50% mark yet.
Franken-set Progress: 325/792 (41%)
"Rejected" Buybacks: 112
Total Buybacks in Collection: 437