Monday, January 15, 2018

Buyback Franken-set: Approaching 2/3 Complete

A paid holiday from work today actually provided me with some spare time to cobble together a blog post.  Why not grab another ten buybacks off the stack and see how they fare for the franken-set project?

1987 Topps #425 - Tom Seaver

A real strong contestant starts off today's proceedings.  Tom Seaver made the final 16 starts of his HOF career in a Red Sox uniform.  He first appeared with the Red Sox on a Topps card in the 1986 Traded set, but that was an air-brushed monstrosity.  This one, from the '87 set, features what must be a photograph from one of those 16 starts in 1986.  A nice "sunset card" of one of the best pitchers of his era.

With card #425 being a "hero number", it's no surprise that Seaver has some quality competition as the franken-set goes.  Interesting that we have what was also the final Topps card (as a player) of another guy who's got a plaque in Cooperstown.

In the end I decided to keep Torre in the franken-set binder because I like the photograph better.  This was definitely one of those tough calls that could have gone either way.  I'll admit I was also swayed by the fact that I know I have a much nicer Seaver buyback waiting in the wings for a future post...

1993 Topps #363 - John Smiley

Just two buybacks in and already a good sign, as John Smiley here represents my very first #363 buyback.  John actually won 20 games in 1991 for Pittsburgh, was named an All-Star that year, and even received some MVP and Cy Young votes though he didn't win either award.  With one year remaining on his contract the Pirates dealt him to the Twins, where he spent 1992.  His contract expired in the off-season and he signed with the Reds for 1993.

1987 Topps #521 - Rick Reuschel

Here's Rick Reuschel sporting one of the many variations of the Pirates cap that collectors from the '80s know and love.  Rick actually had a very impressive 2.75 ERA through 25 starts with Pittsburgh in 1987 when he was dealt to the Giants.  He's got some competition for the franken-set binder here:

A relatively bland card of Toronto DH Sam Ewing from 1979 Topps.

The wood grain and ridiculous cap won out, Reuschel unseats Ewing.

1990 Topps #462 - Denny Walling

Denny Walling was a typical utility/AAAA player.  He saw MLB action for 18 consecutive seasons between 1975 and 1992, but appeared in 100 games or more only 6 times during that span.  1990 saw him hit is final of 49 career home runs.

This '88 Don Slaught was already in slot 462.

I like the photograph on the Slaught better than this one, which has to be high up there in terms of most surface area covered by the color red as far as baseball cards go.  This Denny Walling now sits snugly in the 1990 Topps buyback binder, which is coming along quite nicely.

1984 Topps #341 - Dave Tobik

I really don't know what to say about Dave Tobik, who pitched his last Major League inning when I was just three years old.  I do get a kick out of that dated Texas Rangers logo on Dave's chest here, can't say I've seen that one in a while.

A '74 Dan Driessen buyback is already resident in slot 341.  A much more interesting photograph, easy decision here.

Tobik didn't stand a chance.

1993 Topps #442 - Kevin McReynolds

1993 Topps isn't particularly well-represented within the group of buybacks I've processed for this project so far, so it's interesting to get a couple of them in today's post.  Kevin McReynolds is seen here winding down a 12-year career, and is better remembered for his time spent with the Mets.  In order to make the franken-set binder, Kevin will have to come out on top against this card:

While I don't have much affinity towards either player, the photograph on this Alan Foster card is just great.  I can't get over the difference in the dugout compared to what you see at modern ballparks today.

Foster wins, McReynolds loses in what was essentially a battle of photographs...

2006 Topps #550 - Alfonso Soriano

Here's one that I get a kick out of personally, as I have fond memories of the hype surrounding Alfonso during his brief stint with the AA Norwich Navigators, who played their home games just 20 minutes or so from where I lived growing up.

While I will always think of Soriano as a Yankee or a Cub, his lone season with the Nationals in 2006 was damn impressive.  How impressive?  Playing in all but three of the team's games he hit for a .277 average with 41 doubles and 95 RBI, to go along with career highs in home runs (46!) and OPS (.911).  Oh yeah, he also swiped 41 bags.  Wow.

Clete Boyer's Heritage box-topper buyback from this past year was in slot 550 already.

Sorry Clete, you simply ran up against a buzz-saw there.

1987 Topps #298 - Larry Herndon

Another '87 buyback here, and I'm pleased to say it's a new number for the franken-set binder at #298.  I'd really have to flip through page by page to be sure, but at this stage Larry Herndon here certainly has one of the top mustaches in the binder.  He had a good year in 1987 too, hitting .324 with nearly 50 RBI in just over 250 plate appearances in part-time play.

2006 Topps #141 - Randy Wolf

I'm not overly familiar with Randy Wolf, who pitched in the National League for his entire career prior to his final 5 games with the Orioles.  In 2006 he must have gotten a lot of help from the offense, because despite an ERA of 5.56 in 12 starts, he finished the year 4-0!

Pat Bourque's 1974 card was already in slot 141.  Pat looks kind of creepy here, but in general I prefer 1974 Topps to the 2006 set so...

Bourque stays and Randy Wolf is off to the reject box.

1978 Topps #619 - Thad Bosley

Final card for today, and it's yet another new number for the project!  Three new numbers out of ten, I feel like it's been a while since I had that much success.  Don't know a whole lot about Thad Bosley, except that he was actually with the White Sox for 1978, making this image outdated even at the time of printing.

The three new numbers in today's post bring me to a tidy 525 total in the set.  That's just three cards away from the 2/3 mark for the project overall.  With any luck I'll be surpassing that milestone within the next couple of posts...

Franken-set Progress:  525/792 (66%)
"Rejected" Buybacks:  413
Total Buybacks in Collection: 938


Mark Hoyle said...

Quite an accomplishment. Very cool

Angus said...

I've got some more that I've been meaning to send and at the time I bought them you needed most of them. I should get those in the mail to you before the slots are filled.

Fuji said...

Congratulations! Photography would play a major role in my decision making process too if I were to ever start a Frankenset project.

Twitch said...

This is a fun series. I just officially started up a buyback frankenset of my own at the start of the year.

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