1996 Topps #229 - Frank Thomas Star Power
Coming out of the gate strong with The Big Hurt! Frank Thomas was easily within the top 5 elite hitters in the game in the mid-'90s, being named an All-Star every season between 1993 and 1997, and winning the American League MVP Award in 1993 and 1994. Certainly deserving of a spot within the "Star Power" subset in 1996 Topps. Very happy that this buyback from the 2016 Topps program makes the franken-set binder as my first card #229!
1989 Topps #143 - Mike Campbell
On the other end of the spectrum, here's a super boring '89 Topps Mike Campbell.
1988 Topps #127 - Jim Gott
Next up, Jim Gott rocking one of the many flavors of Pirates uniforms of the era. The Phillies actually just named Jim a bullpen coach this past November. Once again we've got some competition for the franken-set here:
1993 Topps #126 - Bob Ayrault
I have to admit, when I ran across this card I had zero recollection of Bob Ayrault. I guess I can see why, as he lasted just two seasons at the Major League level. How's it look for Bob in terms of the franken-set?
1984 Topps #663 - Johnnie LeMaster
Next up, and '84 Topps buyback of Giants shortstop Johnnie LeMaster. Johnnie looks like he has the same body build here that I did in seventh grade. 663 is a fairly high number, so I figured LeMaster may have a shot at the binder, but it turns out...
1984 Topps #623 - Ron Washington
Hah, another 1984 buyback of another middle infielder with a slight build. Ron Washington is better remembered as a coach than a player, at least by folks in my generation. This powder blue Twins uniform makes the franken-set, as I'd yet to run across a #623 buyback until now.
1973 Topps #76 - Doug Rader
There's a Houston Astros uniform you don't see every day! Doug Rader seems to me to have been a somewhat under-rated third baseman. During his prime years it wasn't uncommon for him to hit between 15 and 25 home runs while driving in 80+. He was good with the glove too, in fact at the time this card was printed he was in the midst of a run of five consecutive Gold Gloves.
1976 Topps #572 - Rich Coggins
Here's a '76 Topps Rich Coggins buyback from the 2015 promotion with a less than flattering photo. Tilted photograph, disheveled uniform, and nothing even close to resembling a smile...
1978 Topps #154 - Cecil Cooper
Really like this '78 Cecil Cooper buyback. This set overall isn't very high on my list of favorites for whatever reason, and I recognize this is a dark photograph to say the least, but I just enjoy it. Cooper batted an impressive .312 in '78 too! This card would've been an imposing match-up as the franken-set goes, but thankfully it doesn't come down to that is it's my first #154 buyback. Welcome to the binder, Cecil!
1973 Topps #32 - Fred Norman
Last card tonight is a great one indeed. I've always been one of the many baseball card collectors who gets a kick out of Fred Norman's '73 release. Those Padres unis are just fantastic, and look at that roaring, wild crowd! This is one I've been looking forward to owning in buyback form for a long time now, but does it make the binder?
Getting closer and closer to a thousand total buybacks here, may even cross that threshold by the end of the month!
On an unrelated note, life has been chaotic here at Shoebox Legends headquarters lately, as evidenced by my lack of consistent posting. If you've sent me cards, are waiting on some from me, or are even just waiting for a return email, I apologize for the delay! Bear with me and I promise to be back on track soon.
Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the internet, as always!
Franken-set Progress: 530/792 (66%)
"Rejected" Buybacks: 428
Total Buybacks in Collection: 958