1979 Topps #24 - Paul Molitor
Usually I save the best of the batch for last, but tonight I'm coming out strong with one of my favorite recent buyback pick-ups. Molitor's rookie card came in the 1978 set of course, but that was a multi-player rookie card, making this Paul's first solo Topps flagship card! I love the sunny photograph here of one of the more under-rated hitters in the history of the game (if it's possible to be under-rated as a first ballot HOFer that is). '79 Topps isn't a favorite of mine by any means, but this particular card I love.
I ponied up a whole $3 for this one, plus a couple bucks shipping, because I figured it could anchor spot 24 in the binder for good. Will that be the case though?
1990 Topps #133 - Ricky Horton
Next up, a '90 Topps buyback. Can never have too many of these since I'm attempting to complete an entire set of them in addition to the buyback franken-set. In this case Ricky Horton goes into the franken-set because he represents my first #133 buyback, and the franken-set comes first.
2006 Topps #477 - Chan Ho Park
Here's one I hand-picked recently from a seller with a ton of buybacks available at what amounted to about 30 cents per, maybe less. Why this particular buyback? Because I was an impressionable 11 years of age when Park splashed onto the scene in the mid-'90s. Even though this is a later career buyback it's got a ton of nostalgia value for me. Does it make the binder though?
1973 Topps #178 - Don Rose
I really enjoy the '73 Topps release, but Don Rose here is a far cry from the best the set has to offer. Rose didn't actually pitch in the Majors in 1973 either. It's probably going to take an empty slot for Don to have a prayer here.
1969 Topps #272 - Ed Stroud
I really like the look of the '69 buybacks from this year's Heritage product, but Ed Stroud's blacked out cap kinda kills the look of this one if I'm being brutally honest. It's a shame too, this would've been a solid card if not for that.
1988 Topps #204 - Paul O'Neill
This is a nice one, picked out from the same seller as the Chan Ho Park above. I'm not sure if this counts as a rookie card strictly speaking, since Paul had cards from other brands like Donruss or Fleer prior to 1988. I do believe it's his first Topps card though, which is cool. Paul is a member of the Hall of Very Good, having won five World Series and an AL batting title among other accolades.
1959 Topps #22 - Al Smith
Here's a beat-to-hell 1959 Topps Al Smith buyback. We've got everything from rounded corners to creases to paper loss going on with this card. Al was a 3x All-Star who actually wrapped up his career with the Red Sox in 1964.
1990 Topps #78 - Mike Flanagan
Another 1990 Topps buyback here. To me, this is a set of extremes, with some really good looking cards and some really poor ones. I'd consider this the former, not the latter. This is a new number for the franken-set project as well, funny that the only two new numbers in this post are the two 1990 buybacks.
1969 Topps #273 - Ron Willis
Tonight's penultimate entry is Ron Willis' '69 release. This one has a weird, dreamy quality to it, I think from the photograph being a little washed out or blurred. A nice enough looking card, I like that there's some baseball activity going on in the background there.
1973 Topps #224 - Bill Lee
Last card for tonight, and it's a real winner for this Red Sox fan. I'd love to complete a run of Bill "Spaceman" Lee buybacks that represent his entire career at some point. I think this is at least the third one that's popped up since this project began. I really like the photograph on this card too, certainly interesting as far as portrait shots go.
In a clear example of just how difficult it's becoming to make the binder, this card is not a shoe-in by any means. Check out what's blocking Bill's path:
That was a good little grouping if you ask me. Two new numbers for the project courtesy of 1990 Topps, one of which completed a page. The Chan Ho Park, O'Neill and Molitor cards strengthening the set on top of that were the icing on the cake.
Thanks for spending a few minutes of your valuable time to read my buyback ramblings!
Franken-set Progress: 609/792 (76%)
1990 Topps Buyback Set: 65/792 (8%)
"Rejected" Buybacks: 473
Total Buybacks in Collection: 1,147