Time has been tight lately to say the least; I've been lucky to get even one or two posts a week up here. A nice rainy Saturday seems like the perfect time to get back on the horse though, and since I haven't made any contributions towards my Buyback Franken-set in over two weeks we'll start there. Another batch of ten today, hand-picked from an eBay seller. Let's dig in...
1962 Topps #36 - Don Leppert
Some noticeable surface crease marks on this '62 Don Leppert, but it's still a nice card. I don't know much about Don, but I do know that 1962 Topps doesn't have a lot of representation within the franken-set binder currently.
This '75 Joe Lovitto already sits in slot 36. Not exactly a superstar either, but I've always liked the fact that it looks like Joe is swatting at the baseball in the lower right corner that Topps uses to designate position.
I could really flip a coin here, but decided at the end of the day that the Leppert just wasn't compelling enough to unseat Lovitto.
1990 Topps #633 - Dennis Cook
I grabbed this one for obvious reasons, figured I'd fill a hole in the 1990 Topps buyback binder at the very least. As it turned out though, I was lacking a #633 buyback for the franken-set binder, so Dennis Cook will reside there until I can find another 633 to bump him out.
1991 Topps #157 - John Smoltz
At the end of the day I think I paid around 30 cents per buyback that you see in this post, and at that price I just couldn't pass on a HOFer from one of the more under-rated Topps sets from the junk wax era. Of course Smoltz will make the franken-set, I'm not going to shun a guy with a plaque in Cooperstown, am I?
Not so fast! While there's no argument to be had in terms of who had the better career, if we're talking strictly cardboard this Wes Covington blows the Smoltz out of the water! Maybe not quite on a par with Wes' '61 release (which I've never seen in buyback form to this day), but a very solid card nonetheless.
Yup, I gotta go with the '60s bat rack photo here.
1993 Topps #435 - Willie McGee
Here's another interesting one, featuring the great Willie McGee catching a pop fly. The Wrigley ivy makes it almost impossible to see the REDISCOVER TOPPS stamp along the right edge, but trust me it's there. Will Willie fare any better than Smoltz?
Man, another brutal match-up. I really thought when I picked it up that McGee had a great shot...
...but I just can't boot that Concepcion in favor of Willie.
1990 Topps #339 - Dave Clark
Another 1990, this time Dave Clark showing off a two-bat grip. Look, I'll be the first to admit that this one is far from the best that '90 Topps has to offer. My hope here was to slide it into the 1990 Topps buyback binder...
...and that's exactly what happened, since I already had this great Chico Ruiz in slot 339 of the franken-set.
Clark is relegated!
1991 Topps #387 - Julio Franco
Picked this one up because I've always been a Julio Franco fan. It's hard not to respect a guy who took his final Major League at-bat at the age of 48! This one was a win/win because, while I'd love to see it make the franken-set, it will still be a solid addition to my small Franco collection absent that.
I was not expecting Julio to run up against the buzz-saw that is HOFer Phil Niekro. Easy call here with Phil being enshrined in Cooperstown, combined with the fact that I have scant few 1981 Topps buybacks.
Niekro defends his pocket in the binder!
1991 Topps #70 - Ellis Burks
Another '91 here, featuring Red Sox fan favorite Ellis Burks. Being a number that's a multiple of ten, I figured Burks would meet some stiff competition, but worst case it'll still make for a unique addition to my ever-expanding Red Sox collection. Well, that's exactly what happened...
...as one of my personal favorite buybacks just happens to be a #70.
Even as an unabashed Red Sox fan, there was no way I could choose Burks over Carter in that match-up.
1999 Topps #105 - Trevor Hoffman
Easy to see why I snagged this one, as Trevor was finally elected to the Hall of Fame this year. I love the perfectly framed high leg kick here of the closer who was the first to reach both the 500 and 600 save plateaus. A lock for the franken-set, right?
Not so fast, Don Mossi and his legendary ears have a thing or two to say about that! I know the right thing to do is to go with Hoffman here.
But my gut is telling me Mossi. I ruled against a '62 Topps buyback to begin this post, so I'll rule with the '62 here. With that being said, this is one I will seriously consider revisiting someday.
1990 Topps #222 - Kurt Stillwell
How about one last '90 Topps buyback for today? Kurt played in a career-high 144 games in 1990, so there's that I guess. His father also had a brief MLB career with the Senators in the early 1960s. Not a very strong contender for the franken-set here.
Easily bested by the buyback that was already in slot 222, this colorful 1969 Duane Josephson.
Off to the dedicated 1990 Topps buyback binder with Kurt.
2011 Topps #218 - Victor Martinez
Last card for today, and one that I was excited to find in buyback form. Martinez was solid during his brief tenure in Boston, and I've always enjoyed this home run celebration on his 2011 Topps flagship card. In addition to that, 2011 Topps is probably my favorite flagship set design since I returned to collecting back in 2007. You don't see them in buyback format all that often, since they're not all that old.
Hat-less Ken Suarez has been holding slot 218 steady for some time now. But if you know how I feel about cap-less ballplayers then you won't be surprised...
...that I'm ousting him in favor of the Martinez. This card was part of a completed page, too.
Here's a look at it when Ken Suarez was resident...
...and here it is with V-Mart having supplanted him. A solid page indeed!
With over 600 different numbers in the binder now it's really getting to be a challenge to find new ones, as is evidenced by today's single new number. Nevertheless, that was a fun grouping and I added some serious star power to the box where I keep my rejects as well.
Thanks for stopping by!
Franken-set Progress: 610/792 (77%)
1990 Topps Buyback Set: 67/792 (8%)
"Rejected" Buybacks: 480
Total Buybacks in Collection: 1,157