Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Buyback Franken-set: Vintage Run

Today's buyback franken-set post is vintage-heavy, with every one of the ten cards featured originally from 1969 or earlier.  Let's (hopefully) add some nice older buybacks to the binder here!

1969 Topps #135 - Tommy Davis

A smiling Tommy Davis kicks off today's post.  Davis was well past his days of winning NL batting titles here, but I'll gladly accept a Pilots buyback any day.  The binder was lacking a #135 buyback as well, so I'm glad to have this one even though it features a hat-less player.  Speaking of which...

1968 Topps #439 - Luman Harris

...there are so many cap-less photographs in the 1968 Topps set.  That fact was really hammered home as I processed through a few buybacks for this post.  Lum Harris here...

...finds some competition for the franken-set in the form of a '75 Ed Brinkman.

The hat-less player manager loses.

1968 Topps #272 - Ray Culp

A little better.  Still no cap to be seen, but at least it features a Red Sox player.

Enough to displace this '71 Tommy Helms?


1968 Topps #407 - Gary Kolb

A truly awful card of Gary Kolb, who batted just over the Mendoza Line in his relatively short career.

Again we have a contest...

...and again the player with the hat stays in the binder.

1968 Topps #260 - Jim Wynn

When I said I prefer hats in my photos, I didn't mean this.  Jim Wynn, who was coming off his first All-Star selection in 1967, could crush a baseball.

This '88 Vince Coleman buyback is already in slot 260.  Hmm...power vs. speed...

Power wins.  As I type this up I actually don't like this choice in retrospect.  At all.  The good news is that it won't matter shortly.

1968 Topps #93 - Tony Cloninger

One last '68 for today, and it's a proper one too with a hat and no airbrushing.  Tony went 24-11 for the Braves in 1965, and once hit two grand slams in the same game!

Mike Phillips' '76 release was in slot 93 of the binder already.

He really can't compete against a pitcher who hit two grand slams in the same game though.

This one happened to fall on a page that I'd already completed.  You can see Mike Phillips in the upper right there.

Here's how it looks now, with Cloninger taking his place.  Not a bad page at all, though as I noted previously I need to do something about those back-to-back Sonny Sieberts.

1964 Topps #127 - Aubrey Gatewood/Dick Simpson

You can't see his name thanks to the buyback stamp, but the player on top is pitcher Aubrey Gatewood.  Aubrey made a total of 68 appearances, mostly in relief, over the course of four seasons.  Dick Simpson lasted seven seasons at the MLB level, and finished as a career .207 hitter.

Paul Lindblad and his blacked-out cap were previously holding down slot 127.

Not anymore though.

1967 Topps #75 - George Scott

Here's one that I'm really pumped about.  An awesome All-Star Rookie buyback of the man who racked up countless All-Star appearances and Gold Glove awards, and is a member of the Red Sox Hall of Fame.  It's a good thing slot 75 was empty, as this card would have obliterated anything in its path anyway.  It would take something really nice to displace George here from the binder, I expect this one to be around for a long time.

1961 Topps #119 - A's Big Armor

Here's another nice one I snatched up cheap many months ago now.  Like most collectors who are into vintage, I love the combo cards that Topps included in their '50s and '60s sets.  They're not the easiest cards to find in buyback format though, thus tend to demand a premium, so I was happy to grab this one for just a couple bucks on Sportlots.  Best of all, #119 is a new number for the project, so into the binder it goes.

1958 Topps #260 - Frank Malzone

Here's the last buyback for today, perhaps my favorite (though I could almost go with any of the final three).  I don't buy a lot of single buybacks on eBay.  Typically it's not worth the trade-off in shipping costs, considering most of the buybacks I've picked up for this project have cost dimes and nickels.  In this case, I simply couldn't resist though, and even with shipping I shelled out less than $5 for this beauty.

This allows me to right the wrong I committed earlier in the post when I chose this Jim Wynn card over Vince Coleman.

Ah, much better.

That was a successful grouping if you ask me.  The '68s were largely under-whelming, but the cards that did make the cut were very solid additions to the project.  With my next post I'll be crossing the threshold of 700 total buybacks in my collection and processed for this project.  Pretty crazy...

Franken-set Progress:  441/792 (55%)
"Rejected" Buybacks:  256
Total Buybacks in Collection: 697

Monday, June 26, 2017

Whaler Ink from Douglas!

My small hiatus from the blog just so happened to coincide with a few surprise envelopes/mailers showing up here at Shoebox Legends headquarters.  As a result I'm a bit behind in thanking folks, and more importantly returning fire.  Today I begin the process of digging out with a small batch of Whalers goodness I received from my buddy Douglas of Sportscards from the Dollar Store.

In the lead-off spot is this odd Patrick Poulin first round draft pick card.  I'd never seen nor heard of this particular release before, but it turns out this card has more going for it than just a sharp tux!

It's actually signed by Patrick in silver pen on the reverse!  I received ominous copy number 666 of 667.  I'm assuming Arena Holograms didn't last long in the trading card game, but I'm certainly glad they produced this gem for Douglas to locate and send to me more than 25 years later!

There were a few other Whalers I needed included in this particular mailing, including a nice full-bleed Robert Kron from 1994-95 Donruss...

...and a card I can't believe I didn't own a copy of previously, Scott Young in glorious Hartford green courtesy of 1990-91 Bowman.

Here's a mid-'90s Topps card, I really wish they still had a license to produce NHL trading cards.  I'm not sure if that 1995-96 NHL Rookie stamp below the foil Topps logo makes this a parallel of some sort, and I can't check at the moment as the Trading Card Database seems to be having some technical difficulties.  Either way, I appreciate this addition to my ever-growing Whalers collection.

One Bruin made its way into the package as well, a nice Big Z from last season's O-Pee-Chee set.  Without looking, I believe this may be my very first card from that release, period.  What can I say, I just don't buy much current-season product anymore.  Nice to have the set represented in my collection at least.

Lastly, the big card of the package, a sweet on-card autograph of Blaine Stoughton!  Blaine was one of the better players for the franchise in the early days.  Blaine actually transitioned with the team from the WHA to the NHL, and scored at least 40 goals in each of the first four NHL seasons for the Hartford Whalers (topped 50 in two of those years!).

A solid autograph to say the least, thank you very much for the cards Douglas!  I actually have a card set aside that I've been meaning to send you as a token of my appreciation for the fantastic Verbeek stick relic you laid on me a while back.  I will do my best to find the right size mailer and get this off to you before I leave the country on vacation next week!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Signature Sundays - Rod Langway

I've been away from the blog here for about a week, the first time I've taken a hiatus of that length for quite some time.  Life has just been incredibly busy, but with good things thankfully.  It has actually felt really nice to step back and take a break, but it's time to get back in the saddle today with a quick autograph I landed recently.  This one counts towards my goal of accumulating as many 1989-90 O-Pee-Chee/Topps hockey autographs as I can:

Yes, it's HOF defenseman Rod Langway!  Rod, who remains the only NHL player ever born in Taiwan, had already played a season in the WHA and won a Stanley Cup with the Canadiens before being traded to the Capitals for the '82-83 season.  He would serve as team captain in Washington for all 11 seasons he played with the franchise, and would help the Caps to a post-season berth in each and every one of them.  Along the way he racked up two Norris Trophy wins as the league's top defender.

I love this card because you get a great shot of the retro Capitals jersey/sweater.  Rod went nice and bold with a large on-card autograph done is silver pen as well.

Here's a look at the back, complete with authentication sticker that ties the card to...

...the Certificate of Authenticity.

Langway may not have been a flashy player offensively speaking, but his years of solid, lock-down defense helped to right the ship for the Capitals, and made them a competitor throughout his time there.  I'm very pleased to add this autograph of an under-rated D-man to my collection!

Thanks for checking in, hopefully it won't be a week before I manage to post again here...

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Buyback Franken-set: Gold Okajima

It's been a full week since I took a crack at the ol' buyback franken-set, so let's get to it.  Today's batch of ten happen to all be gold foil 2017 Topps "Rediscover" buybacks...

1989 Topps #791 - Jim Lindeman

Jim Lindeman was a first round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals.  He lasted 9 years in the Major Leagues, playing for a few different franchises but never eclipsing 75 games played in any single season.  At #791 this would be the penultimate card in the franken-set binder, but...

...the penultimate card from the year prior is already in the binder in slot 791.  Gotta go with the Ted Simmons.

Lindeman loses the battle of the penultimates.

1974 Topps #321 - Steve Braun

Steve Braun was a pinch-hit specialist, who would win a World Series with the Cardinals in 1982.  I think that's a batting cage in the background, though it's hard to tell for sure.  Not the world's most exciting buyback, and also pretty badly off-center top to bottom.

This extremely airbrushed Rich Hinton is blocking Braun's path to the binder.

Gonna keep the Hinton around for now, and Steve here is off to the reject box.

1989 Topps #572 - Atlee Hammaker

After consecutive conflicts, we get our first new number for the project here with Atlee Hammaker's 1989 release.  While I never knew much about Atlee as a player, he certainly has a recognizable name that I remember from my childhood days of sorting baseball cards on my bedroom floor.  Atlee did lead the National League in ERA in 1983, so that's something.

1992 Topps #726 - Kirt Manwaring

Another new number for the project here, and a nice high one to boot.  I've always felt that 1992 Topps was an under-rated set, and I like the image that Topps chose for this one.  I could certainly do a lot worse for slot 726.  Kirt won his only Gold Glove award at catcher the season after this card was released.

2015 Topps #US209 - Prince Fielder

Up next is a name any modern-era baseball fan will know, slugger Prince Fielder.  It's unfortunate that Prince had to hang up the spikes earlier than he would have liked to, but I think it's great that he finished his career with the exact same number of home runs as his father, Cecil.

Unfortunately, this card is from the 2015 Update Series set.  I'm not counting Traded/Update cards towards the project, so Prince is rejected by default.

2010 Topps #534 - Hideki Okajima

My favorite card in today's post is definitely this Hideki Okajima.  Okajima was a reliable member of Boston's bullpen corps for a few seasons, and I'll always remember his unusual delivery.  He was named an All-Star in 2007 when the Red Sox won it all.

1987 Topps #382 - Rudy Law

I actually mentioned Rudy Law's 1987 card about a month ago, and here it is.  As I noted at the time, this is actually a "sunset card", with Rudy having played his final MLB game in 1986.

There's some stiff competition for slot 382 in the franken-set binder though.  Love the warm-up jacket, and the umpire (or police officer?) in the background there.

There's no way I could choose the Law over that '72 Gibbon.

1987 Topps #361 - Mark Thurmond

Mark Thurmond began his career as a starter with the Padres, and even started a few post-season games in their run to the World Series in 1984.  By the time he reached Detroit he was largely in a bullpen role.  This is my first #361 buyback, so Mark makes the binder!

1989 Topps #537 - Pete Smith

I pulled the bronze foil version of this very same buyback from a lot a few months ago.

That one lost to this '87 Rance Mulliniks.

So obviously this one does as well.

1990 Topps #201 - Cito Gaston

Last card today is from my beloved 1990 Topps release.  This card in particular is one I definitely recall from my '90s collecting days.  I would have loved to welcome it to the binder, but...

...can I really do that over this 1977 Batting Leaders card featuring Dave Parker and the great Rod Carew?

Nope!  All good though, as I've mentioned before I do have the crazy idea in the back of my head of trying to complete an entire 1990 Topps set in buyback format someday.

Today's new numbers were enough to push the project past 55% completion.  Onward and upward!

Franken-set Progress:  438/792 (55%)
"Rejected" Buybacks:  249
Total Buybacks in Collection: 687
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