1990 Topps #718 - Gary Sheffield
A great start today with a Topps All-Star Rookie Cup card from one of my favorite sets. I was pleased to find that this one made the binder uncontested as my first #718 buyback. Sheffield is represented fairly well now, with each of his first two major Topps releases now included.
1989 Topps #57 - Alejandro Pena
Next up is an '89 Alejandro Pena. Pena and the Dodgers were just coming off of their improbable 1988 World Series victory against the powerhouse Oakland A's team when this card was printed up. Unfortunately for Alejandro, when it comes to the franken-set he gets pitted up against one of my favorite buybacks from recent months:
1989 Topps #516 - Eddie Whitson
Eddie Whitson pitched at the Major League level for a good long stretch, between 1977 and 1991. He finished with a record just a hair above .500 at 126-123, and a career ERA of 3.79. This one makes the cut as my first #516 buyback. Good Lord the Padres sported a lot of brown in the late '80s...
1989 Topps #525 - Chili Davis
One more 1989 buyback for today, the great Chili Davis! Chili was the first player born in Jamaica to appear in an MLB ballgame. He was a 3x All-Star during his career, and won three World Series' as well. These days he's serving as hitting coach for the Boston Red Sox. This one makes the binder as well!
1990 Topps #149 - Steve Farr
How about another pair of buybacks from 1990 Topps, the set everyone loves to hate? Steve Farr was a closer for most of his career. He pitched for five teams, but spent the bulk of his time with the Royals (the team with which he won a World Series in 1985). This one makes the binder, let's check out the other...
1990 Topps #359 - Jimmy Jones
Jimmy Jones here brings me to 19 total 1990 Topps buybacks now. He pitched a few seasons in MLB, then finished his career overseas with the Yomiuri Giants. I'm still not sure I'll ever really go off the deep end and attempt a complete 1990 buyback set, but I'm happy to have almost 20 of them piled up now. I already had a #359 buyback in the binder:
2005 Topps #UH57 - Livan Hernandez
Next we've got Cuban hurler Livan Hernandez on the 2005 Topps design. Livan was an original Washington National, as he was with the team during their transition from Montreal. He was the World Series MVP when the Marlins won it all in 1997, and actually hung around the big leagues all the way through 2012.
2014 Topps #419 - Lucas Harrell
Here's one of the more recent buybacks I've encountered to date; it's definitely sort of odd to see a card from 2014 in buyback format. Lucas Harrell was actually designated for assignment in April of 2014, and since then has bounced around with the Diamondbacks, Tigers, Braves and Rangers, and even played briefly in South Korea. These days he's pitching in the minor leagues with the Blue Jays organization. In the absence of another #419 buyback he makes the franken-set for now.
1968 Topps #293 - Bruce Howard
Don't know the first thing about Bruce Howard, who pitched in the Majors for just a handful of seasons in the mid-'60s. 1968 would actually be his final season, and he split it between the Orioles and the Washington Senators.
1962 Topps #157 - Wes Covington
Last card, and probably my favorite from today's grouping. Wes Covington was the recipient of some great cardboard over the course of his career. While this one isn't quite as nice as his fantastic 1961 Topps issue, I still jumped at the chance to purchase this buyback from COMC for $1.24.
50/50 split today between new numbers and conflicts, not bad at all at this stage of the endeavor! I'll be back over the weekend or early next week with the next batch for evaluation...
Franken-set Progress: 419/792 (52%)
"Rejected" Buybacks: 209
Total Buybacks in Collection: 628