1974 Topps #12 - Dave May
Dave May was coming off the best season of his career here. He hit .303 in 1973, with 25 home runs, 93 RBI, and the most total bases of any player in the league. I love the way Topps framed the bat barrel shot here, and it almost looks like Dave just "popped up" the buyback stamp in the upper right.
1974 Topps #140 - Darrell Evans
Next up is the man Bill James dubbed "the most underrated player in baseball history". Evans always struggled with his batting average, but could draw walks with the best of 'em, and possessed good power as well. He hit 20 or more home runs in 10 different seasons, and most impressively led the league with 40 round-trippers in 1985 at age 38!
1974 Topps #392 - Dick Green
Next we've got an awesome horizontal photo of Dick Green turning two! It's not just the photograph that makes this one a nice card however, as Green and the A's would win their third straight World Series championship in 1974. Dick won the Babe Ruth Award that post-season as well, and retired after the A's released him in the off-season. Talk about going out on top! With no current competition for slot 392 I'm pleased to say that this one makes the binder.
1974 Topps #442 - Alan Foster
Here's another one that makes the cut without contest, featuring right-handed pitcher Alan Foster of the Cardinals. The dugout backdrop here is unique, I'm amused by just how little protection there was between the field and the guys on the bench in those days.
1974 Topps #568 - Jack Brohamer
The Indians drafted Jack Brohamer in 1967, but he wouldn't make his MLB debut until a few years later. He actually got a hit in his first at-bat against the Red Sox, the team he would later finish out his career with between 1978 and 1980.
1974 Topps #571 - Rich Hand
A lot of nice higher numbers in this batch, actually. Rich Hand, whose MLB career actually concluded at the end of 1973, is in at #571. I love the busy background on this card.
1974 Topps #508 - Montreal Expos
The Expos were a middling team in 1974, finishing 4th in the NL East with a record of 79-82 (they must have had a rain-out that was never replayed), 8 1/2 games behind the division leading Pirates. The most notable player on the roster was probably rookie catcher and future HOFer Gary Carter, who was called up in September after putting up great numbers in AAA for most of the season. In order for this one to make the franken-set it will have to surpass this card:
1974 Topps #368 - Manny Mota
Manny Mota played for a few different franchises in the 1960s before catching on with the Dodgers in 1969. He'd play for Los Angeles through 1980, and then coached with the franchise all the way until 2013, one of the longest coaching stints anyone has enjoyed with a single team to date. Manny was coming off his lone All-Star season in 1973 here, and as my first #368 buyback he makes the binder.
1974 Topps #439 - Norm Miller
Next up, outfielder Norm Miller of the Braves. '74 was the final season of Norm's mediocre career, as a nagging back injury forced him from the game at age 28. At least he bothered to smile for the camera. This is not my first #439 buyback...
1970 Topps #323 - Wayne Comer
Here's the last card of the day; I tend to do these in batches of ten but had only nine '74s, so Wayne Comer is the odd man out. I'm always excited to land a new Pilots buyback, I have precious few of them and I'm a huge fan of the short-lived franchise.
Wayne Comer won a World Series with the Tigers in 1968 (including a pinch-hit in game 5!) after being called up earlier in the year as a spare outfielder when Al Kaline fractured his arm. He caught on full-time with the Pilots in 1969, and actually led the team in runs scored that year. While all of that is interesting enough, I'm more intrigued by the large, grassy hill behind Wayne in the photo here.
That's a wrap for today, just a couple more posts and I'll be crossing the 500 total buybacks threshold here!
Franken-set Progress: 344/792 (43%)
"Rejected" Buybacks: 133
Total Buybacks in Collection: 477