1990 Topps #273 - Bobby Bonilla
Coming out of the gate strong with a card that, to me personally, has always been one of the more memorable ones from the 1990 Topps release. Bonilla was a beast during this period too, and actually finished second in NL MVP voting in 1990 thanks to his 32 home runs, 39 doubles, and career high 120 RBI.
1990 Topps #80 - Jeff Russell
A second straight 1990 buyback to start things off. Jeff Russell was a very solid pitcher for a few years in the late '80s/early '90s. He became the Rangers' closer in 1989, and responded with 38 saves and 66 games finished, both tops in the league! I'd yet to acquire a #80 buyback, so this one makes the franken-set binder by default.
1988 Topps #669 - Phillies Leaders
I think I've mentioned this before, but the '88 Team Leaders subset cards are among my least favorite Topps cards of the '80s. I think the cloudy borders always bothered me. The Phillies managed just 65 wins in 1988, not a very impressive team at all. This is the first #669 buyback in my collection so far, so it also makes the binder. It won't take much to bump this card if it ever comes down to that.
1988 Topps #467 - Don Aase
Don Aase began his career as a Major League pitcher all the way back in 1977 with the Boston Red Sox. By 1988 he was on the back nine, and tossing out of the bullpen for Baltimore. He appeared in 35 games that season but did not record a win or a loss, which is interesting. Unbelievably this is the third straight card here that's a new number for the project! I seriously doubt whether I'll ever get three consecutive new numbers like this ever again.
2006 Topps #21 - Lance Berkman
A really nice buyback here. This one came my way as part of a lot I picked up on eBay that worked out to around 25 cents per card. I love it because Lance Berkman had an absolute monster season in 2006. Just how good? How about a .315 average, 45 home runs, 136 RBI and an OPS of 1.041! Lance finished 3rd in MVP voting that year.
2006 Topps #195 - Mike Sweeney
Mike Sweeney had some very solid years for the Royals between 1999 and 2005, but 2006 was where he really started experiencing a drop-off in production. Health was certainly a factor, as he never appeared in 75 games in any season after '05.
1999 Topps #253 - Steve Finley
I like this one because I don't have many 1999 Topps buybacks, and I don't have many Arizona Diamondbacks buybacks either. 1999 was Steve Finley's first year in Arizona, having signed as a free agent in the off-season. He had a great first year in the desert too, clubbing 34 home runs and a career-best 103 RBI, while also providing Gold Glove-winning defense in center field.
1991 Topps #464 - Steve Buechele
Steve Buechele split his 1991 season between the Rangers and the Pirates, who acquired him in trade in late August. He had arguably the best season of his career, setting personal highs in home runs and RBI while batting 17 points above his lifetime average. An interesting dugout shot here too, though the lack of a ball-cap bothers me.
1993 Topps #582 - Shawn Abner
Last card for tonight, featuring outfielder Shawn Abner. Shawn's 6-season career actually wrapped up in 1992, making this a sunset card. Ultimately, he just couldn't put up the type of offensive numbers that you expect from an outfielder.
Three new numbers out of nine cards, I'll take that. Coming up next I've got a batch of buybacks from my good buddy Dimebox Nick as the charge towards 1,000 continues!
Franken-set Progress: 537/792 (67%)
"Rejected" Buybacks: 441
Total Buybacks in Collection: 978