Friday, December 13, 2019

Buyback Franken-set: Sweet '73s

December's getting away from me, and I've yet to post any buybacks so far this month.  To remedy that I grabbed a batch of ten different 1973 Topps buybacks to review tonight.  A tribute to one of the quirkiest Topps sets of its era...

1973 Topps #315 - John "Blue Moon" Odom

Love the first card right out of the gate.  Blue Moon Odom may not have exactly been the ace of the powerhouse 1973 Oakland A's staff, but he started 24 games for them nonetheless.  John would also see relief work in both the ALCS and World Series in '73.  The best thing about this card though is easily the fantastic action shot, a prime example of what the '73 release is known for.

Had this '88 Dave Parker in slot 315...

...but it's an easy choice to oust him in favor of the Odom.

This card number resides on a complete page, so as is my custom here is the page before the swap...

...and here it is with the Odom in place.  Heavy dominance from 1965 Topps here, which is just fine by me.

1973 Topps #403 - Sonny Jackson

Let's face it, this card is all about one thing and one thing only.  Those fantastic eyeglasses.  Are they enough to land Sonny Jackson a spot in the franken-set binder?

Bob Miller and his bed-head have something to say about that.

Easy choice here.  Cap-less players on cards generally bother me for some reason, and that Sonny Jackson was too good a card to leave out of the binder in favor of one.

Once again this card number is part of a complete page.  Wave goodbye to Bob Miller in the lower left...

...and welcome Sonny Jackson to the binder!  This page is now composed entirely of All-Star and '70s buybacks.  Subject to change in the future of course.

1973 Topps #222 - Rob Gardner

Some super heavy airbrushing going on in this Rob Gardner photo.  Not exactly one of the more visually appealing 1973 Topps cards you'll run across.

Not only that, but currently in slot 222 we have this Duane Josephson buyback, which has great visual appeal.

In the end, that was the deciding factor.

1973 Topps #445 - Ken Berry

Next up, Angels outfielder Ken Berry.  Ken won a couple of Gold Gloves in his career, and swatted a respectable .284 in '73.  The halo cap and state of California shoulder patch give this buyback some weight, as well as that great stadium backdrop.

Matt Nokes resides in slot 445 of the franken-set, on his 1989 release.

At least he did until now, but he's outta here!

1973 Topps #7 - Texas Rangers

Alright, this next one was pretty rough.  A nice enough team card of the Rangers here, but there are two problems with it.  First of all, the Rangers were pretty terrible in 1973.  Like 57-105 terrible.  Worse than that though, being #7 in the 1973 Topps set this buyback gets pitted against...

...a Mark Fidrych 1/1 buyback!  Ouch!

Yeah, I had to be a little more forceful with the branding of this one.  The easiest call in today's post, for sure.

1973 Topps #102 - Rudy May

It's obvious what the most interesting thing is about this card, and that's that some (presumably) young fan took a pen to it and moved Rudy May from the Angels to the Cubs.  I'm a bit perplexed by this due to the fact that Rudy never pitched for Chicago to my knowledge, but I love the unique touch to the card.  I'd like to welcome it to the franken-set based on the personal touch alone...

...but this Phillies team card, which currently sits in slot 102 of the binder, is just too vibrant and awesome.

Sorry Rudy!  I have a few other marked up buybacks like this in my stash waiting to be processed, so hopefully someday I can get one or two of them into the set for variety's sake.

1973 Topps #77 - Mike Torrez

Of the three plus seasons that Mike Torrez spent in Montreal, 1973 was statistically his worse.  I really like the photograph here though, bright and vibrant with a dated warm-up jacket on beneath the uniform.

Had this Ron Perranoski in slot 77 up until now, but that horrifically airbrushed cap has always irked me.

I will gladly swap him out of the binder in favor of that aesthetically pleasing Torrez buyback.

This one was also part of a completed page, front and center.

Ah, that looks so much better!  I really need to find replacements for those two '90 Topps buybacks so I can shift them over to the dedicated 1990 Topps buyback set binder someday.

1973 Topps #48 - Paul Splittorff

Back to the action shots now with Royals pitcher Paul Splittorff.  Did you know that Paul won 20 games in 1973?!?!  I sure didn't.  There's some good bar stool trivia for you, anyway.  As for the buyback, at card #48 it's got some competition for the franken-set...

Oh man, this is an easy call.  The Colt .45s cap and those glasses take this one in a runaway.

Better luck next time, Paul.

1973 Topps #442 - Dick Dietz

When I first came across this Dick Dietz buyback I figured it was a shoe-in for the binder.  I love the simple photograph, even if Dietz wasn't exactly a world-beater in 1973 (his final season, and he actually played it with the Braves, not the Dodgers).

Problem is, I love the quirky field-level dugout shot on this 1974 Alan Foster buyback, which is already in slot 442.

In a pure battle of the photographs, Foster wins out.

1973 Topps #56 - Merv Rettenmund

Last buyback for tonight, and it's O's outfielder Merv Rettenmund.  Merv had a couple of really good seasons for Baltimore at the start of the decade, but wasn't quite as successful in '73.  Will the random equipment strewn about in the background be enough to push him into the franken-set, though?

For the second consecutive buyback post, this '81 Buck Martinez is challenged...

...and for the second consecutive buyback post it defends its slot in the binder successfully.  That Buck Martinez buyback seems to have some real staying power.

Well, that was a fun look back at this awesome set in buyback format.  No new numbers for the project came out of this, but at least a few nice cards successfully fought their way into the binder and improved a few completed pages.

For the next installment in this series, we'll return to the small lot of buybacks I picked up for around the cost of a blaster a couple of months ago.  Until then, thanks as always for stopping by!

Franken-set Progress: 656/792 (82%)
1990 Topps Buyback Set: 121/792 (15%)
"Rejected" Buybacks: 654
Total Buybacks in Collection: 1,431


Nick said...

I often wonder where Topps gets the cards they use for these buybacks. The fact that the May is marked leads me to believe they have some undercover agent raiding the bargain-basement boxes at card shows around the country.

Brett Alan said...

Man, it really is hard to get new numbers at this point, isn't it? I haven't been seeing many buybacks at shows lately, but maybe I'll have better luck tomorrow. In the meantime, that whole page with nothing newer than 1977 is amazing!

Fuji said...

That Fidrych 1 of 1 is sweet... but that Odom is sweeter!

The Shlabotnik Report said...

Some of these 1973's have such nice photos that I think "Oh, man, I've got to get one of those..."

...And then I remember that I'd completed the 1973 set a couple of years ago. Clearly some quality time with my 1973 set is past due. :-D

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