Friday, August 31, 2018

Buyback Franken-set: Randoms

For tonight's Buyback Franken-set post, I simply reached into my backlog of buybacks and pulled ten singles completely at random.  Let's see how I did...

1987 Topps #16 - Pat Clements

A nice '87 Topps Pat Clements gets us rolling this evening.  Clements was in heavy use out of the Bucs' bullpen in 1987, making 55 appearances for the club, all of which came in relief.

Had a '73 Twin in the binder in slot 16.  Neither card is exactly a jaw-dropper.

I see no reason to make a change.

1975 Topps #244 - Bull Buckner

A nice buyback here, maybe my favorite of tonight's grouping.  If memory serves I picked this one up on Sportlots a long while ago now.  This one's got to make the binder, right?

Not so fast, as Billy Buckner draws a brutal match-up with the 1979 "We Are Family" World Series champions Pittsburgh.

Another great example of just how difficult it's getting to crack the franken-set a couple of years in here.

1988 Topps #698 - Brad Havens

The Dodgers dealt Brad Havens to the Indians just 9 appearances into the 1988 season, and he'd finish out the year with Cleveland.  While I enjoy the 1988 set generally speaking, I have no particular attachment to this card.

Havens is pitted against Juan Bernhardt of the Seattle Mariners.  Honestly, based on that sweet "trident logo" alone...

...I'm sticking with the Bernhardt.

1979 Topps #552 - Jose Morales

From 1979 Topps, we have Jose "Two Bat" Morales.  A bit of an under-rated contact hitter, albeit with little power, Jose swatted .314 for the Twins the year before this card was printed.  In over 1,400 career plate appearance, Morales was a .287 hitter.  Not too shabby at all.

Had a 1990 buyback in slot 552 of the franken-set binder previously.  You know what the deal is here.

Morales bumps his way into the franken-set binder, and Mike Smith becomes likely the first guy with a gold tooth in my 1990 Topps buyback set quest.

1983 Topps #199 - Marty Bystrom

For slot 199, we have a battle of Phillies pitchers.  Tonight's contender is Marty Bystrom, who went 6-6 in 1983, his last full season as a starter for Philadelphia.  He's pitted against...

...Willie Hernandez.  Willie won the Cy Young and MVP awards in 1984 (albeit with the Tigers), which makes this a pretty significant buyback if you ask me.

No contest there.  It was over before it started for poor Marty Bystrom.

1975 Topps #496 - Pepe Frias

Second '75 buyback of tonight's post, and it's a Montreal Expo!  In 70 plate appearances Pepe hit a career low .125 in 1975, ouch.  I'm surprised he had a job for '76 and beyond with numbers like that.

Airbrushed Juan Beniquez stands in Frias' way as the franken-set goes.

Pepe's in, airbrushed Juan Beniquez is out.

1988 Topps #358 - Rey Quinones

Rey Quinones had career best stats in 1988 for games played, at bats, runs scored, doubles, triples and home runs.  This one slides right into pocket 358, which was previously empty!

1973 Topps #75 - Vada Pinson

Really like this '73 Vada Pinson.  Vada's great league-leading offensive seasons of the '60s were a distant memory by this point, but I really enjoy the photograph Topps selected for this card.  Unfortunately Pinson runs up against a buzz saw with respect to the franken-set:

Easily one of my favorite buybacks to date, period.

George Scott all the way.

1989 Topps Traded #81T - Randy Milligan

Here we have Randy Milligan's 1989 Topps Traded card.  The Pirates traded Milligan to the Orioles in the 1988 off-season, thus his inclusion in the 1989 Traded set.  Unfortunately being a Traded card means...

...that Randy is not eligible for franken-set induction.  Off to the rejected box for Randy.

1989 Topps #390 - Darryl Strawberry All-Star

Last card for tonight, certainly a fun one.  That's a whole lot of blue right there, and Strawberry was a big name when I was coming up as a kid collector in the late '80s/early '90s.  Easy to see why Darryl was included in this 1989 Topps All-Star subset, as he really tore it up in 1988.  He led the league in home runs, slugging percentage and OPS that year.

Lou Piniella's 1974 release has been holding down slot 390 for quite a while.  I think it's time...

...for a changing of the guard.

Since this one is part of a completed page, here's a look... what the page looked like before Strawberry battled his way in.

Here's the page now.  I like how the Strawberry and Hershiser cards at opposing corners offset each other.

Well, I wouldn't say I had the "magic touch", as I ended up with just one new number for the franken-set and one new buyback for my 1990 project out of this lot of ten.  Oh well, I enjoy all of the rejected buybacks as well.  I'm closing right in on 1,200 total buybacks since I began this project, crazy...

Franken-set Progress: 620/792 (78%)
1990 Topps Buyback Set: 84/792 (10%)
"Rejected" Buybacks: 489
Total Buybacks in Collection: 1,193

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Buried in Score

One of my favorite hockey sets to be released since I returned to collecting in 2007 is the 2013-14 Score set from Panini.  I like the simplistic design, and the photography is top notch, easily on par with the Upper Deck flagship sets.  I'm not much of a set collector these days, but I enjoy this one enough that I've actually been passively working away at completing it for the past five years or so now.

The set is fairly large by hockey standards, with a checklist 650 cards deep, with another 100 "update" cards printed in 2013-14 Rookie Anthology for a full set size of 750 cards.

Many months ago my buddy Douglas of Sports Cards from the Dollar Store sent me a whopping package that contained literally hundreds of needs for my set!  There's no excuse for taking as long as I did to post a proper thank you, but the one I'm going with anyway is that I've been insanely busy and it took me forever to scan, crop and inventory the sheer number of cards I received.

I picked out a subset to share here in this post, and I think you'll get an idea for just how great the photography is if you're not familiar with the set.

Towards the end of the checklist there's a Season Highlights subset featuring notable moments from the season prior.  This is something I really appreciate, and that I wish we'd see more of in modern sets.  I've always enjoyed cards that can be anchored to an exact moment or milestone.

I'd have to say that my personal favorite from this batch is the RC of one of my current favorite NHL players, Vladimir Tarasenko.  This is one I'd always hoped to pull from a pack myself, but never managed to.  So nice having a friend like Douglas to cross this one off my list for me.

Another notable rookie!

As I mentioned above, I simply love the variation in the photographs that Panini chose for this set.  I can't think of too many other face-off shots in my hockey card collection that are cropped this closely and give you such a good idea of the intensity involved in the draw.

Another great shot here, look how many youngsters are having the time of their lives here in Buffalo.

The team leaders cards are done in an interesting fashion, featuring head shots of the top players for each club.

Here's another interesting one from the Season Highlights subset.  Hard not to admire a 24-game unbeaten streak!  Not surprising that the 'Hawks went on to win the Stanley Cup in 2013.

Getting just about any card of Sid the Kid in trade is significant, but I especially love the jubilant celebration on this one.

Seems I selected just about every Season Highlight card in Douglas' package to show off here today.  I'm starting to think I would have enjoyed an entire set comprised entirely of these.

Celebration shots run rampant throughout the checklist.  Here's not one...

...not two...

...not three (hat trick!)...

...not four...

...not five...

...but six that I randomly chose to give you an idea.  Without putting in the effort to confirm it, my guess would be that there are more goal celebration cards in this set than in any other hockey set out there.

Here's another photograph I really enjoyed.  You don't get to see the faces of goaltenders all that often, and I like the pensive look on Chris Mason's face here.

The checklist is chock full of oddities like these.  I'll confess that I don't purchase too many modern hockey cards these days, but with that being said I think this might be the only one I have featuring the Stars' pre-game intro...

...and this might be the only one featuring a player tossing a puck to the fans.

From player entrances... candid pre-game warm-up shots... some of the best players the game has ever seen, this set truly has it all.

This post is starting to run a bit long in terms of number of images so I'll wrap it up here with a 400th goal...

...a 1,000th assist...

...and another great pre-game intro shot.

Douglas, thanks so much for these fantastic and much-appreciated cards!  My apologies that it took me so long to get to them, but that's not a reflection of how much I enjoyed them whatsoever.

This giant lot brought me all the way up to 602 out of 650 cards in the base set, or 92.6%!  What's more, I received a follow-up package from Douglas not long after that brought me even closer to completion.  I'll be featuring those next.

Thanks as always for stopping by!
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