Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Buyback Franken-set: Christmas Hangover Edition

What a great day yesterday spent stuffing my face and opening gifts, and more importantly in the company of loved ones.  I can't think of a better way to get back to the grind than evaluating a round of buybacks for my franken-set project!

1970 Topps #79 - Clay Kirby

Leading off is a 1970 Clay Kirby.  Clay nearly tossed a no-hitter for the Padres in '70, but was pinch hit for in the 8th inning.  To be fair, he was losing the game 1-0 at the time.  He'd later win a World Series with the Reds in 1975, and sadly passed away from a heart attack at just 43 years of age.

Ted Kubiak's 1968 issue is already holding down spot 79 in the binder.  Normally I'd choose a player with a cap over one without by default, but Kubiak's runaway strand of hair there just cracks me up.

In the end it was too much for Clay Kirby to overcome...

1970 Topps #443 - Al Jackson

Speaking of cap-less players, here's "Little" Al Jackson, who'd go on to serve as a pitching coach for the Red Sox in the late '70s.

He's facing off against a properly capped player, well in this case manager, as well.

This one is purely a case of preferring a hat.

1970 Topps #44 - Roberto Pena

One more '70 Topps buyback, utility infielder Roberto Pena.  Pena was actually traded to the Athletics at the outset of the 1970 season.  The A's had apparently seen enough of him by May, and turned around and dealt him to the Brewers, where he'd finish his career.

I had this two-player rookie buyback from 1966 Topps in slot 44.

Pena bumps his way into the binder though!

1971 Topps #373 - Tom McCraw

After three straight conflicts to start the day, we finally get a new number for the franken-set courtesy of first baseman Tom McCraw.  Tom was traded to the Senators just before the 1971 season got underway, and in fact made the franchise's final out at the end of that season.  I'm pleased to welcome this one to the binder, 1971 Topps at its finest.

1971 Topps #421 - John Stephenson

On the other end of the '71 Topps spectrum we have John Stephenson and his blacked out cap.  Not a real strong contender here, and it does have some existing competition as well:

Wow, this Pat Dobson is about as bland a baseball card as one could possibly produce.

In a battle of duds, I'm going with the Stephenson, though I certainly hope to be able to oust that one someday as well.

This number is part of a completed page as well, here it was before with Dobson lower left...

...and here it is now with the Stephenson in place.  Maybe the weakest buyback on the page?  Eh, it's a coin flip between it and one or two others here.

1975 Topps #472 - Bruce Dal Canton

Here's a nice Bruce Dal Canton from the most colorful set of the '70s, 1975 Topps.  Fascinating fact about Bruce Dal Canton that I just learned while typing up this post...he became a Major Leaguer after attending an "open tryout" that the Pirates held.  He was a high school teacher at the time, in Pennsylvania.  How cool is that?

We've got a good battle here for the franken-set.  I admittedly don't know a whole lot about Craig Kusick, but I get a kick out of this card because to me he looks like he belongs in a "Bill Swerski's Superfan" skit from SNL.

I decided to keep the Kusick in the binder, just because it has a more amusing photograph.  Had I known the factoid about Dal Canton's tryout as a teacher when I was making the call I might have gone the other way with it though.  This is one I may have to revisit down the line...

1975 Topps #346 - Bobby Darwin

Sticking with the theme of '75 Topps, here's an imposing-looking Bobby Darwin.  Bobby looks like someone you'd maybe be afraid to pitch to.  Darwin actually began his career as a pitcher, and debuted in Major League Baseball at the position at the age of 19.  After toiling for years in the minors he switched positions and rejuvenated his career.  Pretty impressive.

Already had this Jerry Adair in slot 346.  After all I've said about hat-less players in this post I'm obviously going with the Darwin, right?

Wrong!  It's going to take a better card than Bobby Darwin to oust a member of the Impossible Dream Red Sox team who even received some MVP votes that year!

1975 Topps #333 - Dick Drago

Speaking of Red Sox, here's pitcher Dick Drago.  I thought this one looked familiar when I pulled it for posting...

...and that's because I already had the 2015 Topps buyback version in the binder.

I simply kept the one that was in better condition for the franken-set, which was the 2014 buyback.

1975 Topps #389 - Tony Solaita

One more '75, featuring Tony Solaita, the only Major League Baseball player to hail from American Samoa.  Tony was mostly a reserve player at the MLB level.  Kinda creepy that, like Clay Kirby who led off the post, Tony Solaita only survived until age 43.  In Solaita's case he was shot to death related to a land dispute in his native country.

The Solaita buyback is a great one for this project because it's a new number, and it also completes a brand new page!  Some good star power here with Bouton, Piniella, Hershiser and Kirby Puckett.  I secretly hope to be able to move that Puckett over to my '90 Topps buyback binder at some point.

Well, I think we'll call it there for today.  A couple of new numbers, an upgraded completed page and a brand new completed page.  I'll take it!

Franken-set Progress:  514/792 (64%)
"Rejected" Buybacks:  384
Total Buybacks in Collection: 898


Mark Hoyle said...

Happy to see Adair made the cut

Kin said...

Woohoo! Happy to see the frankenset!

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