#4 - 1990 Nolan Ryan
The first five cards on the 1990 Topps checklist are actually all Nolan Ryan, as the set leads off with his base card and then a four card tribute subset commemorating Ryan reaching 5,000 career strikeouts. There's one card in the subset for each of the four franchises that he pitched for. As you can see, the top right corner is a bit dinged up on this one, but that was in no way a deterrent to me. To the contrary, I was happy to add another Nolan Ryan buyback to the binder, again for around $6. I'd love nothing more than to start off my franken-set with the entire five card run, but I think the odds of me running across the other three (especially at a price I'm willing to pay) are slim.
Now for a few less exciting buybacks that came via a massive lot that got me a nice jump start on the set...
#197 - 1973 Ed Goodson
Your classic Spring Training portrait shot on Ed Goodson's 1973 release. Don't have a whole lot to say about this one, but for now it makes the cut as the only #197 buyback I have to date...
#222 - 1969 Duane Josephson
Slot #222 is for now home to this great 1969 Topps Duane Josephson. This is a nice looking catcher card for sure, with its sunny ballpark backdrop. Duane actually played with the Red Sox for a couple of seasons at the tail end of his career, before a heart condition forced him from the game at age 30.
#223 - 1974 Jeff Burroughs
Do you know off the top of your head who won the AL MVP in 1974? That's right, it was Jeff Burroughs of the Texas Rangers! It's awesome to have an AL MVP included in my franken-set, and even cooler to have the buyback from the exact year that he was named MVP. I honestly had no idea that Burroughs had ever won an MVP until typing up this post (to be fair I was born in 1982). I have a feeling this one is here to stay, I really don't foresee another buyback at #223 that's strong enough to unseat a league MVP from his place in the set.
#36 - Joe Lovitto
In slot #36 we have Jeff's Rangers teammate, Joe Lovitto. I like how it appears as though Joe is taking a cut at the baseball design element in the lower right corner.
#81 - 1978 Pete Redfern
Pete Redfern was a first round draft pick of the Twins, and they were the only team he played for in his seven season MLB career. Side note, it is impossible for me to read his name without thinking of the book "Where the Red Fern Grows".
#218 - 1968 Ken Suarez
Our first franken-set conflict finally occurs about 50 cards in, as I'd already previously selected a card for slot 218. So, who is it that hat-less catcher Ken Suarez gets to square off against for slot 218 in the binder?
137 - 1979 Larry Wolfe
Larry Wolfe's '79 Topps card depicts him with the Twins, but in actuality he'd been traded to the Red Sox before the 1979 season even began. He'd play just 65 total games with Boston between 1979 and 1980, which wound up being the final stretch of his career.
509 - 1973 Jim Nash
Jim Nash came out spitting fire during his rookie campaign in 1966, to the tune of a 12-1 record. He looked like he was destined for a great career, and in fact even made the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1967. Unfortunately for Jim he crashed back down to Earth and would never pitch in an MLB game again after 1972. This card represents the 9 total games Jim played with the Phillies to finish his career.
195 - 1979 Bill Madlock
We'll close it out here with a star, this time a 2014 buyback. Side note, am I the only one confused by the fact that the 2014 buybacks are stamped "Topps 75th", yet the 2016 buybacks are stamped "Topps 65th Anniversary"? Whatever the reason, Bill Madlock is a fine player to have included in this set!
Franken-set Progress: 52/792 (7%)