What a great day yesterday spent stuffing my face and opening gifts, and more importantly in the company of loved ones. I can't think of a better way to get back to the grind than evaluating a round of buybacks for my franken-set project!
1970 Topps #79 - Clay Kirby
Leading off is a 1970 Clay Kirby. Clay nearly tossed a no-hitter for the Padres in '70, but was pinch hit for in the 8th inning. To be fair, he was losing the game 1-0 at the time. He'd later win a World Series with the Reds in 1975, and sadly passed away from a heart attack at just 43 years of age.
1970 Topps #443 - Al Jackson
Speaking of cap-less players, here's "Little" Al Jackson, who'd go on to serve as a pitching coach for the Red Sox in the late '70s.
1970 Topps #44 - Roberto Pena
One more '70 Topps buyback, utility infielder Roberto Pena. Pena was actually traded to the Athletics at the outset of the 1970 season. The A's had apparently seen enough of him by May, and turned around and dealt him to the Brewers, where he'd finish his career.
1971 Topps #373 - Tom McCraw
After three straight conflicts to start the day, we finally get a new number for the franken-set courtesy of first baseman Tom McCraw. Tom was traded to the Senators just before the 1971 season got underway, and in fact made the franchise's final out at the end of that season. I'm pleased to welcome this one to the binder, 1971 Topps at its finest.
1971 Topps #421 - John Stephenson
On the other end of the '71 Topps spectrum we have John Stephenson and his blacked out cap. Not a real strong contender here, and it does have some existing competition as well:
1975 Topps #472 - Bruce Dal Canton
Here's a nice Bruce Dal Canton from the most colorful set of the '70s, 1975 Topps. Fascinating fact about Bruce Dal Canton that I just learned while typing up this post...he became a Major Leaguer after attending an "open tryout" that the Pirates held. He was a high school teacher at the time, in Pennsylvania. How cool is that?
1975 Topps #346 - Bobby Darwin
Sticking with the theme of '75 Topps, here's an imposing-looking Bobby Darwin. Bobby looks like someone you'd maybe be afraid to pitch to. Darwin actually began his career as a pitcher, and debuted in Major League Baseball at the position at the age of 19. After toiling for years in the minors he switched positions and rejuvenated his career. Pretty impressive.
1975 Topps #333 - Dick Drago
Speaking of Red Sox, here's pitcher Dick Drago. I thought this one looked familiar when I pulled it for posting...
1975 Topps #389 - Tony Solaita
One more '75, featuring Tony Solaita, the only Major League Baseball player to hail from American Samoa. Tony was mostly a reserve player at the MLB level. Kinda creepy that, like Clay Kirby who led off the post, Tony Solaita only survived until age 43. In Solaita's case he was shot to death related to a land dispute in his native country.
Well, I think we'll call it there for today. A couple of new numbers, an upgraded completed page and a brand new completed page. I'll take it!
Franken-set Progress: 514/792 (64%)
"Rejected" Buybacks: 384
Total Buybacks in Collection: 898