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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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!
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