1974 Topps #64 - Doug Rau
The first two cards are Red Foil stamped buybacks from the 2016 promotion, and I have no clue where they came from to be honest. I like this shot of starting pitcher Doug Rau at Dodger Stadium (complete with palm trees and a mystery man in the background). As far as the franken-set goes though, at card #64 he's got a tough match-up against a buyback that's already ousted a few competitors:
1980 Topps #588 - Greg Minton
The other Red Foil buyback is this 1980 Greg Minton. At the time that this card was printed, Greg was in the midst of an impressive streak where he went three entire seasons without giving up a home run! He's also known for giving up Pete Rose's final hit in 1986. 588 is a nice, new high number for me, Minton makes the cut.
1987 Topps #748 - Mike Flanagan
Speaking of high numbers, Mike Flanagan's '87 Topps release becomes just the seventh card numbered 700 or higher to make the binder. The latter pages are starting to get a little traction but obviously have a long way to go. Mike is a member of the Baltimore Orioles HOF, and while not officially "retired", his number has not been worn by another Oriole since 2011.
1983 Topps #639 - Art Howe
Next up we have a dizzying, tilted action photo of Astros' first baseman Art Howe from 1983 Topps. Art actually missed the entire 1983 season due to injury. He finished his career with the Cardinals in 1984 & 1985, then moved onto a variety of managerial and coaching roles up through 2008.
2010 Topps Update - #US24 - Vladimir Guerrero & Miguel Cabrera
For the second time over the course of this project I've now encountered the dilemma of a buyback from a Topps Update release. I might revisit this decision at some point down the line, but for now I've decided that these will not be eligible for the franken-set, so...
1988 Topps #207 - John Mitchell
I had never heard this story before, but learned while researching this post that John Mitchell was involved in a serious boating accident in the Gulf of Mexico in his younger days as a top prospect. The accident resulted in two people drowning, and Mitchell barely survived after clinging to a 5-gallon bucket and floating around in the Gulf for nearly 24 hours. Crazy stuff, you can read more about it here if you're interested.
1987 Topps #542 - Ricky Horton
Ricky Horton is best remembered as a Cardinal, though he had brief stints with the White Sox and Dodgers (where he won a World Series in '88!) as well. Based on the bunting that's visible in the background I'm guessing this particular photo was taken on or around Opening Day. This is the only #542 buyback I've tracked down to date, so Ricky is in.
1988 Topps #346 - Vance Law
Next up we've got Vance Law's 1988 issue, where he's shown patrolling the infield with the Expos. Based on the background I'm thinking this photo was taken at Wrigley Field, though I'm not certain. If it is Wrigley then it's an interesting coincidence, given that Vance actually signed with the Cubs for the '88 season. He had a great year in 1988 too, hitting a career-high .293 with 11 home runs, 29 doubles, and 78 RBI.
1990 Topps #322 - Junior Ortiz
Here's another case of a guy depicted with a team that he didn't actually play with during the season in question, as the Pirates dealt Ortiz to Minnesota just before the start of the 1990 campaign. It was a fortunate trade for Junior to be sure, as he won a World Series with the Twins in '91.
All of the 2017 buybacks in this post are from an 8-card lot that I grabbed off of eBay for 95 cents. The card that attracted me to the lot to begin with is the last one that I have to share today:
1987 Topps #684 - Kent Tekulve
Tekulve! This late-career card represents my very first buyback of the man with some of the coolest shades in baseball history (though, to be fair, I think I have a couple of Pirates ones in my "to be processed" box).
I like this one because Kent, who was known as an absolute workhorse throughout his career, appeared in over 90 games in 1987 at age 40. He's the only player ever to do so at age 40 or above. I've always been fascinated by guys who play at the highest level into their 40s, so I was really excited to land this particular buyback.
Well, that catches me up somewhat on my backlog, and I'll be able to dive back into the giant lot of 2017 buybacks for the next franken-set post...
Franken-set Progress: 377/792 (48%)
"Rejected" Buybacks: 169
Total Buybacks in Collection: 546