1991 Topps #731 - Jeff Gray
A Red Sox buyback is never a bad way to start out, and this is an interesting one, too. Jeff was an up-and-coming young bullpen arm with Boston in 1991 when he suffered a stroke in the locker room after pre-game warm-ups. It was so severe that he was told he may never walk again. While it did effectively end his Major League pitching career, he impressively regained pretty much all of his motion within just a couple of years duty to a steady diet of hard work, courage, and determination.
An inspiring name to have join the binder indeed, happy that Jeff makes the cut as my first #731 buyback!
1991 Topps #164 - Edgar Diaz
I don't have an exciting tale like that to tell about Edgar Diaz. He was pretty much a AAAA utility infielder whose entire MLB career consists of 5 games played in 1986, and another 86 in 1990, both seasons with the Brewers. He doesn't have a free pass into the franken-set binder either...
1988 Topps #242 - Tom Niedenfuer
Tom Niedenfuer is married to actress Judy Landers, who appeared on a bunch of different TV shows in the late '70s to early '80s. Everything from Happy Days, to ALF, to Charie's Angels, and even the A-Team! That is all I have on this one.
1988 Topps #551 - Terry Steinbach
Terry Steinbach actually had a pretty solid season in 1988 serving as backstop for the Oakland A's. He'd earn his first of three career All-Star appearances that season. This would have represented a solid addition to the binder in slot 551, but...
1993 Topps #278 - Chris Nabholz
After three consecutive battles we get another new number for the project here at 278. Chris Nabholz debuted as a starting pitcher mid-way through the 1990 season, and lasted 6 years in Major League Baseball. He finished with a career 37-35 record, and an ERA just a hair below 4.00. Hey, I could certainly do much worse than adding a new Expos card to the binder.
1983 Topps #266 - Paul Boris
When I encountered this one I found myself asking "who the hell is Paul Boris?". I don't feel so badly after having done my homework, as he appeared in just a single MLB season (1982) and this appears to be his one and only mainstream card. Kind of ironic because the buyback I already had in slot 266...
2006 Topps #UH197 - 2006 Postseason Highlights World Series Game 1
Here's the last buyback from Nick's lot, an interesting one from 2006 Topps Updates & Highlights covering the first game of the '06 World Series. I wasn't collecting again until 2007, but it seems to me like the Update set must have come out fairly late in 2006 to have cards devoted to that same year's Fall Classic in it?
Since I've been doing these in batches of ten typically, and had just seven more from Nick to get through, let's top off today's post with a trio of 1990 buybacks I plucked off of COMC, shall we?
1990 Topps #744 - Kelly Mann
Kelly Mann was a catcher who was a September call-up for the Braves in 1989. He played through the 1990 season, and that was the end of the road. Pretty obvious that I picked this one up solely due to the fact that I'm acquiring as many '90 Topps buybacks as possible. It is a nice high number at 744 though, so does it make the cut?
1990 Topps #673 - Joey Meyer
Next up, Joey Meyer, who faces off against...
1990 Topps #204 - Bob Dernier
Bringing up the rear today is Bob Dernier, and a nice bat rack shot to boot! This one's actually a "sunset card", as Bob played his final MLB inning in 1989. I really dig the photo on this one but at #204 I have a feeling it's going to have some intense competition for inclusion in the franken-set.
It shouldn't be much longer now before I'm celebrating 500 buybacks in the franken-set!
Franken-set Progress: 482/792 (60%)
"Rejected" Buybacks: 339
Total Buybacks in Collection: 821