Saturday, May 27, 2017

Buyback Franken-set: Mel & Davey

Let's lead off today's buyback post with a name from the '60s that I think most baseball fans are familiar with...

1967 Topps #225 - Mel Stottlemyre

Mel Stottlemyre was a key piece of the rotation for the Yankees from the mid '60s through the mid '70s.  He tossed a lot of complete games during that stretch, and was named an All-Star five times between 1965 and 1970.  Folks from my generation remember him more as pitching coach for those dominant Yankees teams of the late '90s.  I like the pre-game photo here with all the bats strewn about in the background.

This Ramon Martinez rookie card was already sitting snugly in slot 225.  I enjoy this one mostly due to the great Dodger Stadium backdrop, but...'s not enough to best that '67 Stottlemyre.

1979 Topps #360 - Amos Otis

Though Amos Otis began his career with the Mets, and finished it with the Pirates, he really flourished with the Royals throughout the '70s.  Like Stottlemyre, he was selected as an All-Star five times.  Add to that three Gold Gloves, the AL stolen base crown in 1971, and enshrinement in the Kansas City Royals HOF, and you've got a great career.  Didn't have a #360 buyback yet either, so this one's in.

1974 Topps #164 - Tom House

I guess the most interesting thing I can say about this one is that Tom House was the guy who caught Hank Aaron's historic 715th home run in the Braves bullpen the season this card was printed up.

Is that enough for the card to win out against this late-career Mickey Lolich that's already occupying slot 164, though?


1966 Topps #313 - Chris Zachary

Don't know the first thing about Chris Zachary, who pitched for a few different franchises to the tune of a career 10-29 record with an ERA north of 4.50.

Already had this '65 Jimmie Schaffer buyback in slot 313.

At least Jimmie is wearing a cap, albeit backwards.  Hat-less Chris Zachary is out.

1974 Topps #518 - Derrel Thomas

I have to be honest and say that this isn't exactly the most interesting photo that 1974 Topps gifted us with, not by a long shot.  To each his own I guess, but for me just about any other buyback would probably bump this one from the binder.

Certainly so for this Bob Veale, which currently occupies slot 518.

Easy choice there.

1973 Topps #186 - Bill Fahey

This buyback of backup catcher Bill Fahey has really been through the wringer.  Smashed corners, surface scratching, creases, it truly has it all.  I do enjoy the advertisements on the outfield wall at least.

A brutal match-up here, as Fahey has the misfortune of being pitted against the single oldest buyback in the binder.

No chance.

1979 Topps #98 - Ray Burris

Ray Burris grew up on a farm in rural Oklahoma, and wound up pitching at the Major League level for 15  years.  He is currently serving as a pitching coach within the Phillies organization.  He's somewhat washed out in a sea of blue on his '79 Topps release here.

Another tough match-up, with a '63 Heritage buyback blocking Burris' path to the franken-set.

Had to go with the '63.

1978 Topps #253 - Jim Kern

Jim Kern was a solid bullpen arm, particularly in the late '70s.  He was named an All-Star for three consecutive seasons beginning in 1977, and even won the AL Rolaids Relief Man Award in 1979.  He certainly seems to be enjoying his success in this photo on his '78 Topps release.

Between Kern and the franken-set stands probably the single most beat-up buyback I've acquired to date in this '58 Don Mueller.

This is one of those cases where I'm second-guessing myself, especially since Kern was at the pinnacle of his career in 1978, but it was hard for me to choose this buyback over any '58.

1979 Topps #521 - Sam Ewing

A first round pick of the Montreal Expos in 1969, Sam Ewing would play with the White Sox and Blue Jays in MLB before finishing up his career in Japan.  The best thing I can say about this one is that after a long stretch of conflicts we finally have a new number for the franken-set!

1968 Topps #273 - Dave Johnson

Last card for today is an early-career Davey Johnson!  This one has seen better days as well, but I don't mind in the least.  Johnson was a very talented second baseman before he later enjoyed a lot of success at the coaching level.  1968 was the first time in his career that he was named an All-Star, which earns this one some extra points.

Tough match-up here, as this is a fine-looking '62.  Not only that, but Gary Bell would go on to make a start for the Red Sox during the infamous 1967 World Series.

Even still, I had to go with the Davey Johnson card.

Well, that was one of the rougher groupings to date, with just two new numbers for the project and eight conflicts.  Oh well, you can't win 'em all!  I'll be back with another batch early next week...

Franken-set Progress:  425/792 (53%)
"Rejected" Buybacks:  223
Total Buybacks in Collection: 648


Mark Hoyle said...

Lots of great choices here. I would have gone with bell,over Johnson.

Tim B. said...

I love these posts! That's a great Mel.

Kin said...

I have to say, your Franken-set posts are some of my favorites out of any blogs. Always enjoy them!

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