1968 Topps #26 - Darrell Brandon
Coming out real strong to start off this evening's post, with a nice Heritage Red Sox buyback! A future Seattle Pilot no less. For me it doesn't get much better than a Heritage box-topper buyback of my favorite team.
1988 Topps #676 - Ken Dixon
Ken Dixon never pitched another inning in Major League Baseball after the 1987 season, making this a "sunset card". I enjoy the 1988 Topps set quite a bit, though admittedly this isn't the most exciting example from that release. You know what's great about this one? It's my first #676 buyback. Into the binder goes Dixon!
2014 Topps #591 - Jenrry Mejia
Next up we've got a very recent buyback with this 2014 Jenrry Mejia. He has the unflattering distinction of being the first player to earn a "lifetime ban" from baseball for a third performance-enhancing drug test failure. Apparently Mejia can petition for reinstatement beginning this season, so there's a chance he could pitch for the Mets again. So, historic cheater...
1987 Topps #769 - Steve Sax
After the Mejia, we travel back in time more than 25 years for this nice high-numbered '87 Topps Steve Sax. 1987 wasn't a bad year for Sax, but it was a step down from his fantastic 1986 season in just about every statistical category. Either way, this is my first #769 buyback, another new number for the binder here!
1974 Topps #165T - Willie Davis
This one is just plain awesome. A '74 Traded card of an (airbrushed?) Expo.
1984 Topps #308 - Ron Hassey
I'm not a baseball coach or anything, but that's some interesting "form" being displayed by Ron Hassey on this '84 Topps buyback. Hassey would actually be dealt to the Cubs in 1984 after a sluggish start.
2006 Topps #426 - Dustin McGowan
Here's an early-career card of pitcher Dustin McGowan. He's actually still pitching in the league, though he's converted solely to a relief role over the past few seasons. Last year he appeared in 63 games for the Marlins, not too shabby for his age 35 season.
1990 Topps #650 - Mike Witt
Yes, Mike Witt got "hero number" 650 in the 1990 Topps set. Honestly, I've never really understood this. He was a few years removed from his impressive '86 campaign at this point, and gave up more earned runs than anyone in baseball in 1989. Hey, I'll take it! 650 wasn't going to be an easy number to cross off the list so Mike Witt will certainly do for now. I secretly hope to land another 650 buyback someday so that I can shift Witt over to my dedicated 1990 Topps buyback set.
2011 Topps #313 - Chris Coghlan
Chris Coghlan was the NL Rookie of the Year in 2009, which I'd completely forgotten about until writing up this post. By 2011 though his numbers were slipping significantly. I do love 2011 Topps as a set overall. It might be my favorite Topps flagship set since I returned to collecting in 2007.
1989 Topps #307 - Lance McCullers
Lance McCullers (Sr. that is!) actually pitched for the Yankees in 1989, after San Diego dealt him there in the '88 off-season. After the 1989 season he'd pitch in only 45 more games in his MLB career.
1986 Topps #183 - Larry Andersen
Last card for tonight, pitcher Larry Anderson of the Phillies. This is actually a nice card as '86 Topps goes, if you ask me. Larry signed as a free agent with the Astros in May of '86 after Philadelphia released him. That Astros team would go all the way to the NLCS before the Mets (those damn '86 Mets) finished their season.
Nick, thanks again for this great batch of buybacks. Scored a few new numbers with this roung, inching ever closer. Definitely appreciate you thinking of me!
Believe it or not, I've received close to a hundred buybacks in the mail within the past two weeks, all from generous traders/readers and all completely out of the blue. Unreal. I've certainly got plenty of ammo to keep this project moving as I slowly approach 75% complete!
Franken-set Progress: 551/792 (69%)
"Rejected" Buybacks: 470
Total Buybacks in Collection: 1,021