Thursday, March 8, 2018

Countdown to 1,000 Buybacks - #998 - Rod Carew

I've selected five single buybacks to showcase one a day over the course of five days in celebration of reaching 1,000 total buybacks in my franken-set project.  Today I've got my 998th buyback, featuring one of the best pure hitters in the history of the game, the great Rod Carew!

1977 Topps #120 - Rod Carew

Though he wrapped up his impressive MLB career when I was all of three years old, even I can appreciate what an amazing player this guy was.  Carew came out of the gate hot, winning American League Rookie of the Year honors and being named an All-Star in his rookie campaign in 1967.  From there he never really cooled off either, and was a member of the AL All-Star team every year from 1967 until his penultimate season in 1984!

Rod wasn't known for power; despite being a member of the illustrious 3,000 hit club he swatted less than 100 home runs in his career.  He sure could hit for average though, in fact he's easily in the conversation when it comes to the best contact hitters ever to play the game.  Carew won the AL batting title an amazing seven times, including six times in a seven-year stretch between 1972 and 1978.

This buyback is particularly great though, because it's a 1977 Topps card, and that was the single best season of his entire career.  Rod hit an insane and career-best .388 that year, the best batting average any player had turned in since Ted Williams' legendary .406 season in 1941.  In fact, if you don't count Tony Gwynn's .394 in the strike-shortened 1994 season, or George Brett's .390 in the 1980 season where he appeared in only 117 games, this number still hasn't been topped (by comparison, Carew held that .388 average over 694 at-bats in '77, compared to Gwynn's 419 at-bats or Brett's 449).

Here's a look at the back, just look at those stats already piling up just a decade or so into Rod's career!  Even at this stage, he was a lock for enshrinement in Cooperstown.

So yeah, there you have it.  In retrospect I think I should have ranked this one ahead of tomorrow's buyback, but I'm nit-picking there.  In any event, this is one fantastic buyback!  Not to mention, it's my first #120 buyback to date, so it doesn't even have any existing competition and slides right into the franken-set binder.  I expect it to stay there for good!

Check back tomorrow for a buyback that '90s baseball card collectors are sure to appreciate!  Thanks for following along!

Franken-set Progress:  545/792 (68%)
"Rejected" Buybacks:  453
Total Buybacks in Collection: 998


Angus said...

I've always loved this card. Great pick-up for the set!

Commishbob said...

Nice add! Carew is a truly underrated star. Probably because he wasn’t flashy or a power guy.

Taking a guess at the upcoming post....Buyback Bip Roberts? ,-)

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