1990 Topps #531 - Ken Caminiti
Right out of the gate we have a great card of a semi-star from the first baseball set I ever collected, 1990 Topps. A nice buyback of the 1996 NL MVP who would sadly overdose less than ten years after getting that award. If I had unlimited funds, and realistically thought I could actually find them all, I'd consider building a complete 1990 Topps buyback set. Maybe someday...
After this Caminiti card I went on an incredible run (especially for this stage of the project) of 8 straight buybacks that were all new numbers for the binder. Let's see 'em!
1988 Topps #255 - Mookie Wilson
The first new card to enter the binder is 1986 World Series champion and member of the NY Mets HOF, Mookie Wilson. Don't have a whole lot to say about this one, other than that it's a good example of when the photograph overlays the team name on the '88 Topps design.
1987 Topps #194 - Kirk McCaskill
Next up is two-sport star Kirk McCaskill. Kirk was a pitcher at the Major League level for over a decade. He was born in Canada, so it's probably no surprise that he also played ice hockey growing up (his father was a pro hockey player as well). What you might not know though is that he was so good that he was actually drafted by the Winnipeg Jets. He played a season with their AHL affiliate, and even dressed for a game with Winnipeg, though he didn't play. Sadly, Kirk does not have any hockey cards out there, at least none that I'm aware of.
1985 Topps #782 - Tom Niedenfuer
Here's reliever Tom Niedenfuer, who was lucky enough to win a World Series during his rookie season in 1981. Well, it wasn't all luck, as he pitched 5 scoreless innings of relief in that Fall Classic.
1987 Topps #547 - Rob Deer
With Good Friday being tomorrow and Easter this Sunday, the timing on this one is incredible. Why is that? Well, the most famous of Rob Deer's 230 career home runs was actually hit on Easter Sunday, in 1987! That home run made the cover of Sports Illustrated, as it gave Milwaukee a dozen straight wins to start the season. If you're gonna end up with a Rob Deer buyback, '87 Topps seems like the way to go. On the other end of the spectrum it could have been a 1991 buyback; the season in which Rob hit .179. Ouch!
1990 Topps #646 - Checklist
Here's one that I actually think is a funny and peculiar addition to the project, a checklist buyback! From my beloved '90 Topps no less. This one makes up for the Ken Caminiti that led off the post getting bumped!
1988 Topps #791 - Ted Simmons
This one's kind of cool, the final Topps card of the under-rated Ted Simmons. Ted was one of the better hitting catchers of his day, arguably the best not named Johnny Bench. The 8x All-Star finished his career with a .285 average, and just shy of 250 home runs and 2,500 hits. This one is stamped with blue foil too, which is one of the rarer stamps in the 2017 Rediscover Topps promotion. On top of that, the card is #791, the penultimate card I need to complete this project. I don't see this one going anywhere any time soon!
1987 Topps #735 - Rickey Henderson
We're really winding the post down with some star power here with my very first buyback of HOFer Rickey Henderson. Rickey played in less than 100 games in 1987, but still managed to hit 17 home runs, 17 doubles, and swipe over 40 bases. Amazingly, that was a bad season for Rickey at the time. This one's a nice high number buyback as well.
1988 Topps #591 - Doug Drabek
Here's another '88, featuring starting pitcher Doug Drabek. This would have been nicer if it were a 1990 buyback; not just because I love that set but because that's also the year he led the NL in wins en route to a Cy Young Award. This one's good enough though, especially since it's a number I was missing previously.
1981 Topps #387 - Phil Niekro
Here's the last card for today, a nice 1981 Topps card of HOFer Phil Niekro! Very, very cool. Aside from another new Cooperstown guy for my project, this one is also significant in that 1981 Topps is a set you very rarely see in buyback form. In fact, this is the very first one I've gotten my hands on, over 550 cards into this project.
This was just an awesome lot all around. I'm just about at 50% complete now, so to go 8/10 on new numbers for the binder at this stage is beating the odds for sure. On top of that there were some fantastic individual buybacks in this grouping in Henderson, Caminiti, Simmons and Niekro that really cement the fact that the seller did not pick through this lot at all.
This giant lot is truly turning out to be everything I hoped it would be, and more!
Franken-set Progress: 391/792 (49%)
"Rejected" Buybacks: 175
Total Buybacks in Collection: 566