Friday, March 30, 2018

Buyback Franken-set: Angus Snipes New Numbers Round 3

Time for the final round of buybacks that my friend Angus generously supplied recently for my franken-set project.  This is the third post containing the buybacks Angus sent; in the first he added seven new numbers to the binder, and in the second, once again seven new numbers.

This post contains just seven buybacks total to finish out the lot, but guess what?  All seven are new numbers for the binder.  I'll spoil the suspense up front here because it'll save me from typing it numerous times below.  So, let's see which seven cards got added to the binder in this batch...

1970 Topps #299 - Buddy Bradford

A fantastic card in the lead-off position.  The 1970 Topps set has some duds, I'll grant you that, but when done right it can actually be a fine looking set.  This is certainly an example of the latter.  What a bright, colorful shot, and how can you not like that White Sox uniform?  Don't know much about Buddy Bradford, who seemed to struggle to hit above the Mendoza line, and retired years before I was born.  Regardless, this will be a tough draw for any future #299 buybacks based on aesthetics alone.

1987 Topps #351 - Gene Garber

Here's closer Gene Garber, who was traded from an awful Braves team to a decent Royals team in August of 1987.  He pitched in 62 total games that year between those two teams, which is damn impressive given that it was his age 39 season.  Only time will tell how long Garber will be able to retain his hold on slot 351.

1989 Topps #481 - Chris Brown

Next up, third baseman Chris Brown.  A bizarre story to say the least.  Chris fought with injury and with living up to expectations after a promising rise to Major League Baseball, and even an All-Star season in 1986.  He died as a result of severe burns he suffered in a fire at an abandoned home that he owned more than ten years ago now.  From the articles I read it seems unclear exactly what happened to say the least.

1988 Topps #315 - Dave Parker

Here's a cool buyback, featuring "The Cobra" Dave Parker!  Dave had spent the previous few seasons in Cincinnati, but actually played the 1988 and 1989 seasons with the Oakland A's.  A very nice late-career buyback here of a guy who's a first ballot entrant to the Hall of Very Good.

The other thing that's great about this particular buyback... that it completes another page!  Here we have cards 307 - 315 of the binder.  Heavy domination from '65 Topps thanks to a batch of 2014 Topps Heritage box-topper buybacks I went through a while back.  I like the back-to-back Pirates and Red Sox team cards, too.

1987 Topps #505 - Bryn Smith

Bryn Smith went 10-9 as a starter for the Expos in 1987, his fourth consecutive season with 10+ wins.  He's also the guy who complained that he had to drive to New York to buy Doritos when living in Montreal.  Always pleased to welcome a new Expos card to the binder.

1984 Topps #357 - Ron Cey

Here's another cool one!  True, I associate Cey with the Dodgers, but I don't have too many 1984 buybacks for whatever reason and this is a good star player to land.  Great shot of "The Penguin" here, who looks as if he maybe just sliced one down the right field line.

To close things out though, there was another Cubs buyback that I enjoyed even more than this one:

1985 Topps #511 - Lee Smith

An awesome Lee Smith buyback!  A fine looking card, indeed, and this is from the time when Lee was dominating as a closer for Chicago.  He had 33 saves in 1985, for a Cubs team that won only 77 games.  I'm not sure Lee will ever get a plaque in Cooperstown, it seems he actually regressed a bit in terms of votes this past year.  Either way, he was certainly one of the most dominant relief pitchers of his day, and this might be my favorite overall buyback that Angus sent.

Angus, thank you not only for sending me these awesome and much appreciated cards, but for being a stand-up dude to the point where you spent time looking through stacks of buybacks for specific numbers on my behalf.  The amount of damage you did to the binder with less than 30 total buybacks is just unreal.  You are far too kind!

Franken-set Progress:  572/792 (72%)
"Rejected" Buybacks:  476
Total Buybacks in Collection:  1,048

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Bogaerts Tracker 2018

The 2018 Major League Baseball season begins today, and I'm looking forward to another year of following my favorite team, the Boston Red Sox. My favorite player on the roster is Xander Bogaerts, has been for a few years running now. I had an idea for a small series of posts that will allow me to show off some sweet Bogaerts cardboard as the season rolls on.

Here's how it'll work...right now Xander currently sits ranked 58th place on the Red Sox franchise all-time leaderboard for hits, with 684. Any time that he moves up a spot on the list over the course of the coming season I'll post at least one new Bogaerts card from my collection that I haven't shown off on the blog previously. I've got some pretty impressive specimens built up in reserve and this should get me off my butt and give me some incentive to get them posted here.

Since every blog post should have at least one card featured, here's a brand new very bright Topps Fire card of my favorite shortstop! This one came courtesy of my pal Dime Box Nick. 

Best of luck to the Boston Red Sox this season, and I hope all you baseball fans are pumped for Opening Day!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Buyback Franken-set: Angus Snipes New Numbers Round 2

It's time for the second of three posts containing the buybacks that my buddy Angus was kind enough to pick out at a card store recently, just to send me for this project.  Angus confirmed in the comments of the last post that he picked out buybacks based on holes in my online franken-set checklist, which explains why he went an impressive 7/10 as far as new numbers in the first post.

Can tonight's round top those odds?  Let's take a look...

2012 Topps #607 - C.C. Sabathia

In the lead-off spot tonight is a pitcher who's racked up some impressive career stats, lefty CC Sabathia.  I like the fact that we get something a little different here photo-wise on this 2012 release, with a bullpen shot and a prominent 'MLB Network' logo in the background.  New number?  Of course it is, into the binder with this one.

1989 Topps #652 - Rich Gedman

Sweet, a rarer blue foil buyback of '80s Red Sox mainstay Rich Gedman.  To me, the photograph on this one looks like it was snapped in the early stages of a home run trot.  Gedman hit over 80 home runs in his time with the Red Sox, so it's entirely possible.  Now, when Angus grabbed this one for me I didn't yet have a #652 buyback, however... the first round of 2018 Heritage buybacks that I posted in the interim this Eddie Watt assumed slot 652.

As much as it pains me to choose an Orioles card over a Red Sox one, especially on Opening Day Eve here, I just enjoy the Watt card more aesthetically speaking.  Besides, there aren't going to be a ton of buybacks from the '60s that end up this deep into the binder with a number of 650 or higher.

1989 Topps #719 - Danny Darwin

Next up, pitcher Danny Darwin.  I always picture Danny in a Red Sox uniform, probably because he had a ton of Sox cards issued having been with the team during the over-production era of the early '90s.  He actually pitched for a bunch of different teams in his career, including two separate stints with both the Rangers and the Astros.  A nice, relatively high new number here!

1988 Topps #584 - Steve Trout

Steve Trout actually spent 1988, his penultimate MLB season, with the Seattle Mariners after the Yankees dealt him there in the '87 off-season.  Steve was never a world-beater to begin with, and his stats were really declining sharply by this stage of his career.  Nonetheless, this buyback makes the binder as my first #584.

1986 Topps #607 - Ken Dayley

Here's another '86 Topps buyback and, like the one featured in my last post, it's not a bad looking card at all if you ask me.  Ken Dayley got the call from the 'pen 31 times for the Cardinals in '86, going 0-3 with a 3.26 ERA.  Now, #607 was one I was missing from the binder at the beginning of this post, but those of you with a keen eye may have noticed...

...that the Sabathia card I led off with has the same number.

As much as I like the Dayley, that Sabathia is just too unique to toss from the binder at this point, and CC is a much more significant player as well.  Somewhat easy call there.

1985 Topps #622 - Luis Leal

Here we have a very suspicious-looking Luis Leal on his 1985 Topps release.  Luis was from Venezuela, and was signed by the Blue Jays in 1979.  He made his debut in 1980, and wound up starting in over 150 games for the Jays over the next six seasons.  He was stuck in AAA in both 1985 and 1986, and when he failed to catch on with a club coming out of Spring Training in 1987 his pro career was done.  As for the franken-set?  You guessed it, another new number!

1988 Topps #131 - Don Schulze

I've read some complaints on other blogs about Topps' use of similar, tightly-cropped poses across many player cards in their sets in recent years, and the next two buybacks are certainly evidence that this practice isn't anything new (albeit less frequent in the past, maybe).  From 1988 Topps we have Mets pitcher Don Schulze delivering a pitch to home...

1988 Topps #209 - Richard Dotson

...and White Sox pitcher Richard Dotson doing much of the same.  If Dotson's hand was elevated just a tad bit more to overlap the 'W' in White Sox these cards would practically be identical.  Hey, both are new numbers for the franken-set, so I'll take 'em!  At least they don't fall on the same page or anything like that.

1989 Topps #238 - Eric King

Eric King went 9-10 in 25 starts with the Tigers in 1989.  Record aside his stats weren't all that bad, I'm sure some of those losses or lack of wins were due in part to the fact that the Tigers managed just 69 wins that year.  Surprise, surprise, another new number.

2010 Topps #US-131 - Takashi Saito

Last buyback for tonight, featuring Braves pitcher Takashi Saito.  Saito enjoyed a 7-year career as a relief pitcher in Major League Baseball, book-ended by separate stints playing pro ball over in Japan.  A nice enough card but Traded/Update buybacks aren't eligible for the binder at this stage.

Good news is I filled slot 131 anyway with the Don Schulze's '88 Topps card above.

With that, Angus has once again gone 7/10 in terms of new numbers for the binder.  I never imagined I'd hit those kind of numbers in consecutive posts at this stage of the project.  Card collectors truly are some of the most generous folks I've ever encountered.  Oh, and I've still got one more round of buybacks from Angus to come!

Franken-set Progress:  565/792 (71%)
"Rejected" Buybacks:  476
Total Buybacks in Collection:  1,041

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Dime Box Nick Red Sox

Last week I featured a couple of buyback franken-set posts that were sponsored by my collecting buddy Dime Box Nick.  It wasn't all buybacks in that latest package however, as Nick sent his usual smattering of awesome Red Sox cardboard to accompany those.

The selection was all over the map, as usual, including some sets I'd never even seen before like 2005 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts.  There's something about sepia tones and baseball greats of long ago that just feels right.

I got a pair from this set, including pitching great Lefty Grove, who is sorely under-represented in my collection (though I do have one from his playing days!).

Toys 'R' Us, RIP!

Any package that includes a new card of Rickey Henderson in a Red Sox uniform is a winner in my book.

Just keeps getting better, as I love me a nice shiny colored Chrome Refractor!

Here's an obscure name from Red Sox past, pitcher Devern Hansack.  Devern pitched in just 9 total games over three seasons from 2006-2008 in a Boston uniform, and that would end up being the extent of his MLB career.

This Fleer Tradition card actually has a Twizzlers candy logo on the back, and was apparently part of some promotion held by the candy brand.

This one was random, as I nearly purchased it from the eBay seller that I bought a big chunk of dollar cards from earlier this year, but ended up cutting it as I was trimming the order down before placing it.  Nick to the rescue!

Here's a black and white parallel from one of Upper Deck's early 2000s "Vintage" releases.

Another great Toys 'R' Us card.  So strange to think that a store that was so iconic during my childhood will soon be a thing of the past.  Amazon buries another victim!

I missed out on Topps Total when it was being produced, just wasn't collecting during that time frame.  They're some of my favorite singles to receive in trade packages though, happy to land another here!

Here's a very busy and wild "Ten-4" die-cut insert from Fleer Tradition.  It's a bit much for my tastes, but a new Nomar is a new Nomar...

I'm one of the collectors who actually enjoyed the 2017 Donruss set quite a bit, and I did not have this Career Stat Line parallel of Rick Porcello yet.  Much appreciated!

Here's a relatively low-numbered card from Upper Deck A Piece of History.  I'm a fan of cards like this that pay homage to a particular game or moment.

A couple of new Pedro cards here...

...and they won't be the last we see of Martinez in today's post.

Another new Nomah!

This Fleer Tradition Mike Stanley is a "Warning Track Collection" parallel.  Never heard of these before, but I'll take it!

You have to love a card that originally came packaged with a breakfast product.

Ah, Pacific Online!  A sign of its time for sure.  As most of you know the URLs for the individual players in this set are no longer valid.  Very cool, if dated, cards though!

At the other end of the Pacific spectrum, here's a relatively tame card design-wise that features a really nice photograph.  I like this one quite a bit.

Even got a Bazooka card this time around.  Like I said, I enjoy the pure randomness of Nick's trade packages.

This one actually comes from the Red Sox blister pack team set.  I have quite a few Matsuzaka rookies as you'd imagine, but didn't have a copy of this one until now!

More Pedro!

Even more Pedro!

A single from a high-end set, first I've seen in person of this Museum Collection release.

Last Pedro, I promise.  This one's from Forty Man, Upper Deck's answer to Topps Total.

The randomness continues with an SI for Kids card...

...and a nice early-career refractor of Kevin Youkilis!

One of about 500,000 different Henry Owens cards produced by Topps across the last few seasons.  This one was a Wal-Mart exclusive I believe.

Mo Vaughn using some strength and conditioning bands pre-game.

I was at a very impressionable age when the Nomo craze happened in the '90s, and so I always enjoy landing a new card of Hideo.  When said card features him in a Red Sox uniform it's all the better.

Nick even hooked me up with a relic card this time around, featuring Boston's ace lefty!

I guess it's a sign of the times, but I no longer have access to a CD-ROM to be able to play this one.  I've seen these before on other blogs and have always secretly coveted one.  Easily one of my favorite "cards" in the entire package.

New Babe Ruth!

I love the photograph that Topps chose for Big Papi's 2016 release.  This one is from one of those American League sets you could purchase in retail outlets.

Last but certainly not least, I got my very first in-person look at the Topps Fire set from last year courtesy of this delivery.  I actually enjoy these, at the very least they're something drastically different from so many other recent Topps offerings.

Besides, thanks to this set I netted a brand new Spaceman card!  How fantastic is that?

These are only some of the Red Sox Nick included in this latest package, if you can believe that.  Thanks so much for the great cardboard Nick!  I finally got the stack I had building up for you packaged last night, and it will hit the mail later this week!
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