1973 Topps #324 - Al Downing
We start off with yet another tilted camera Spring Training shot courtesy of 1973 Topps. Al had no idea when this picture was taken that in a year or two he'd give up Hank Aaron's record-breaking 715th home run. For now, Downing and those palm trees in the background are in.
1972 Topps #167 - Deron Johnson
Next up, another early '70s card where the background is the most interesting part of the card. I have no idea where this photograph was taken, or what's going on there, but there seem to be a lot of casually-dressed folks roaming about. Deron Johnson, who led the NL in RBI in 1965, is in as well!
1976 Topps #147 - Houston Astros Team
For whatever reason I've been inducting a lot of these team cards to the franken-set lately, and today's post brings us another candidate. The Astros were a sub-.500 team in 1976, finishing third in the NL West. There's already a card in the binder in slot 147 though, and it's also Astros-related:
1977 Topps #124 - George Mitterwald
Unbelievably, this is the third card of George Mitterwald to make the franken-set so far, joining his '71 and '78 Topps releases. I'm well on my way to a complete Mitterwald buyback collection at this point (every collector's dream, I'm sure). More great palm trees in the background on this one as well.
1975 Topps #296 - Alan Foster
According to Wikipedia, the most interesting factoid from Alan Foster's MLB career was that he served up the pitch that Willie Stargell blasted completely out of Dodger Stadium in 1969. The 500+ foot shot is still the longest ever hit at the Stadium. Alan makes the cut for the franken-set.
At the halfway point here that's four out of five brands new cards, and the one conflict won out over its competitor. A great start, let's see the other five I've got queued up for today...
1976 Topps #93 - Mike Phillips
Sort of an odd angle on this posed "bat barrel shot". Probably my least favorite photograph out of today's batch. I didn't have a #93 buyback previously so this card is in for now. I don't expect it to have a very long shelf life in the franken-set though, especially since Mike is already included in the franken-set on his '79 Topps release.
1978 Topps #343 - John Wathan
John Wathan spent his entire 10-year career as a catcher with the Royals. He eclipsed 100 games played just three times, but was a fairly reliable player. His 1978 release is a decent one to have representing him in the franken-set (this one is in uncontested), as it's one of three times where he batted .300 or better over the course of his career. He retired after the Royals won it all in 1985.
1977 Topps #586 - Steve Renko
Steve Renko's career was coming to a close just as I was born into this world in the early '80s, so I don't really know much about him. In looking at the stats he seemed like a really up or down type starting pitcher. He once led the NL in wild pitches, and in another year led the NL in earned runs. Not a pair of categories you want to be the statistical leader in, but it seems like he also showed flashes of brilliance. He pitched 5 one-hitters in his career, including one where Rickey Henderson broke up a no-no in the bottom of the 9th. Ouch! Steve's '77 release makes the cut and is in the binder.
1967 Topps #9 - Ron Hansen
Ron Hansen's '67 Topps card makes the franken-set as well. He was actually the 1960 AL Rookie of the Year, and was named an All-Star that same season (his lone career selection). At card #9, Ron has a spot front and center on the first page of the binder.
Despite being well over 200 cards in now, I still haven't completed a single page yet, though this first page and a couple of others are getting close. I do plan to show the completed pages as part of these posts once I get to that point though, so hopefully you'll be seeing a couple of them in the near future!
1973 Topps #35 - Willie Davis
Last card for today is definitely my favorite photograph of the bunch. I've always enjoyed the action-packed, horizontal shot of Willie Davis ducking a wild pitch (at least that's my guess) on his '73 Topps card. Nice to have it in buyback format. I didn't have a #35 previously either, so this card is in. It's going to be a serious challenger to any future #35 buybacks if that day comes.
That was a great lot from my perspective. Nine of the ten cards were brand new numbers for the franken-set, and the one that had a conflict won out over its competitor. Can't ask for much more than that, especially at this stage of the project.
I'll be back with another round of ten later this week as I push towards 30% complete!
Franken-set Progress: 217/792 (27%)