Saturday, September 29, 2018

Buyback Franken-set: COMC Buybacks

Last week an intense 4-hour exam on cyber security, and all the studying that went along with it, kept me away from the blog for the most part.  I passed the test (whoohoo!), so with that behind me let's get back to my Buyback Franken-set project.

Tonight we evaluate ten buybacks that I picked up while browsing around on COMC...

1976 Topps #40 - Dave Kingman

I comb COMC for buybacks somewhat regularly, and when this great dugout shot of Dave Kingman on his 1976 release popped up for 80 cents I was sold.  Dave was an All-Star and even garnered some MVP votes in '76, thanks in large part to his 37 round-trippers that year.  Does this one make the franken-set?

I had this '67 Rick Reichardt in slot 40 prior to this...

...but I'm tossing him to make way for King Kong.

1990 Topps #651 - Rafael Santana

You shouldn't be surprised to see a 1990 Topps buyback here.  I was hoping that I already had a #651 buyback so that confused-looking Rafael here could shift over to the 1990 Topps buyback binder.  That was not the case however, and Santana plugs a hole in the franken-set instead.  Hey, I'll take that!

1989 Topps #398 - Julio Franco All-Star

I love me a good Julio Franco card, and a Franco buyback in particular is going to get my attention every time.  Julio, who had a very solid season in '89, seems like an obvious choice for the binder.  The card number could be an issue though, as Topps used the high 300s/low 400s for their All-Star subsets for quite a few years there.  So, who will Franco have to best for a spot in the binder then?

Juan Samuel, from the '88 All-Star subset.

Not a hard call there.

This slot is actually part of a completed page as well, here's how it looks now with Julio in place.

1990 Topps #533 - Tim Jones

Back to the 1990s here.  On COMC I'll basically only pick up buybacks of cards that are notable to me, but the exception would be 1990 buybacks since I'm working on a set.  Why else would I pay money for a card of Tim Jones, who swatted .219 over 67 games in 1990?

The deck is really stacked against Jones, because at #533 he also draws one of the toughest match-ups in the binder, the iconic 1975 Rudy Meoli card!

Was there ever any doubt?

1982 Topps #410 - Ron Cey

Here's a cool one for a number of reasons.  First of all, Ron Cey is a decent player to get in buyback form any day of the week.  Secondly, 1982 Topps is my "birth year" set, and for whatever reason there seem to be disproportionately few buybacks from this particular set.  Last but certainly not least, I was lacking a #410 buyback in the binder before picking this one up.  $1.25 well spent!

1990 Topps #553 - Scott Scudder

Yes, another 1990, sorry!  This one's cool in that the Reds were the World Series champs in 1990, but aside from that it's admittedly not the most exciting buyback.  I picked it up with my 1990 set in mind...

...and since I already had this '77 buyback of Jack Heidemann in slot 553...

...that's exactly where it ended up.

1990 Topps #155 - Ellis Burks

Love this one!  Ellis Burks' card is one I remember so fondly from some of my very first packs of baseball cards back in the spring of 1990.  This is one of the examples of where, at least in this blogger's humble opinion, the 1990 design comes together to make a card that is very aesthetically pleasing.

Already had this sweet Butch Hobson buyback in slot 155 though, and there it will stay.

Ellis takes up residence in the 1990 Topps buyback binder.

1988 Topps #226 - Dave Lopes

I swear I pulled these at random from my COMC box, coincidental that I ended up with a Dave Lopes buyback in the same post with a Ron Cey buyback.  Dave's final MLB innings came in 1987, so we've got complete career stats on the back of this one.  It's also my first #226 buyback, so like Ron Cey before him Davey takes a spot in the binder.

1990 Topps #395 - Jeff Russell All-Star

I swear this is the last 1990 Topps buyback for today.  What can I say, with 792 of these to track down I have to accumulate them whenever I can.  Nice to get a card from the AL All-Star subset as well for a change.  What's the fate of Jeff Russell here?

Well, I already have Roger Metzger's 1973 release in slot 395 of the binder.  I'm not all that partial to either card, and I kind of like the low-quality outfield wall advertisements on this one.  Roger holds his place...

...and Russell is off to the 1990 binder.

One last buyback to go, and it's one that I find entertaining...

2011 Topps #128 - Manny Ramirez

The great (depending on your point-of-view) Manny Ramirez!  Looks odd to see Ramirez in one of his brief post-Red Sox stints.  Manny played just 24 total games with the White Sox at the end of the 2010 season, yet he earned a Topps flagship release with the team in the 2011 set.  A comical buyback that I just couldn't leave behind for another collector to scoop up.

I had a 1990 Topps checklist in slot 128, so this worked out perfectly as Manny is a nice addition to the franken-set...

...and the checklist moves over to fill an open slot in the 1990 set.

A nice, even spread this evening as the franken-set got three new numbers added plus a couple of nice upgrades, and my '90 Topps buyback set leaped ahead by another five cards as well.

Thanks for stopping by as always!

Franken-set Progress: 626/792 (79%)
1990 Topps Buyback Set: 94/792 (11%)
"Rejected" Buybacks: 500
Total Buybacks in Collection: 1,220

Monday, September 24, 2018

One Card Post - O-Pee-Chee Hoyt

What:  1971 O-Pee-Chee #248 - Hoyt Wilhelm
Where: COMC
How Much?:  $2.25

Why?:  You can't go wrong with '71 O-Pee-Chee.  I love the dugout shot on this card, and of course the classic O-Pee-Chee "RECENTLY TRADED TO..." designation.  The primary reason I was drawn to this card though was the same reason I am drawn to any '71 OPC...  

...floating head back!

A solid addition to my modest Hoyt Wilhelm collection if you ask me!  Not bad for just a couple bucks...

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Buyback Franken-set: Arrieta RC!

Well, the blog went dark for a week there as I attended an intense cyber-security training course.  It's nice to be back home and no longer living out of a suitcase, let's get back at it with another ten cards for my Buyback Franken-set project...

2010 Topps #US-251 - Jake Arrieta

As newer buybacks go, this is one of the better ones I've come across.  Although Jake Arrieta is better known for his time with the Cubs, when he was one of the most dominant pitchers in the game, it's cool to score his official rookie card in buyback format.  I would love nothing more than to welcome this one to the binder, however...

...since it's from the 2010 Topps Update set, it's ineligible for this project.  You can rest assured that if I ever attempted an Update franken-set Jake would have a lock on slot 251, but for now he's off to the rejected box.

1988 Topps #731 - Rick Schu

I'm not all that excited about this buyback of Rick Schu, who actually spent the '88 season with Baltimore, playing about half of the team's games that year at third base.  As much as I enjoy the 1988 Topps design, I'd say this one's a long shot.

I already had this 1991 Jeff Gray in slot 731.  Not exactly a jaw-dropper of a buyback either...

...but I certainly prefer it to the Rick Schu.

1987 Topps #387 - T.R. Bryden

Despite rabidly collecting baseball and hockey cards as a kid in the late 1980s/early 1990s I have zero recollection of T.R. Bryden.  Not all that surprising I suppose, as I see that his entire MLB career consisted of 16 appearances out of the bullpen for California in 1986.  While that is 16 appearances more than I'll ever have, it doesn't bode too well as far as franken-set induction goes.

Especially not when matched up against the great Phil Niekro on one of the more under-represented sets in buyback form, 1981 Topps.

So long, T.J.!

1988 Topps #716 - Lenn Sakata

Next up is Hawaiian Lenn Sakata.  Lenn was a long time backup/utility infielder with the Brewers, Orioles, A's and Yankees.  Again, a nice enough specimen of 1988 Topps, but not exactly lighting the world on fire.

I had this 1990 Steve Balboni, not exactly a "looker" either, in slot 716.  You know what I'm doing here, right?

Sakata takes up residence in the franken-set binder, and Balboni shifts over to the 1990 Topps buyback binder.

1990 Topps #257 - Jose DeLeon

Speaking of 1990 Topps, here's a smiling and slightly confused-looking Jose DeLeon.  Jose lost an astounding 19 games for the Cardinals in 1990.  It doesn't get much rougher than that.

Since I already had this 2012 Seth Smith card in slot 257, and I'm not all that compelled to move a 19-game loser into the franken-set...

...Jose will move to the 1990 Topps binder.

1987 Topps #355 - Don Carman

Don Carman was the definition of durable in 1987.  He started 35 games for Philadelphia in that one season alone, throwing over 200 innings, and a couple of shutouts to boot.  As for the franken-set, Don draws a tough match-up...

...just because I love 1975 Topps, and I love bad air-brushing.  The color combination on this particular card is just so jarring and wrong that I actually kind of enjoy it.

Yeah, I'm sticking with the '75 buyback for now.

1981 Topps #248 - Joey McLaughlin

Our second 1981 Topps buyback of the post, though the first was a prior resident of the binder whereas here we have a new challenger.  Joey McLaughlin was a regular out of the pen for the Blue Jays in the four seasons between 1980 and 1983, appearing in 189 games for Toronto across those four years.

Unfortunately for Joey he gets matched up against a sweet vintage manager buyback.  I got this buyback from the great Mark Hoyle!

That was an easy call.

1988 Topps #362 - Juan Castillo

If you've read this far I give you credit, it hasn't exactly been a line-up of All-Stars today.  Juan Castillo isn't going to help the situation much, as his struggled to hit the Mendoza Line in his four career MLB seasons.  There is one nice thing about this card though.  As my first #362 buyback Juan makes the binder...

...and he completes a new page!  I'd say my favorite here is the Leon Wagner in the lower left corner, although it's hard to ignore Claude Raymond and his famously unzipped fly just above that card.  This isn't the most exciting page in the binder, but hopefully I'll improve it down the road.

1990 Topps #314 - Donald Harris

I can distinctly remember this Donald Harris card from my first go-round at collecting.  I opened a ton of packs of 1990 Topps as a 9-year-old, and just assumed that Donald must have been a star.  This was before the days of the internet, baseball cable packages and all that, so as a kid at the time something as simple as that #1 Draft Pick logo in the upper right was enough to make a card seem significant.

As it turns out, Donald batted just .205 with 2 home runs, 3 doubles and 11 RBI in 82 career games.  Whoops!

Already had this Sterling Slaughter (how can you not love that name?) in slot 314.

He'll stay in place, and Donald Harris goes to the 1990 Topps buyback binder where he belongs.

1987 Topps #43 - Gene Michael

Last card for today, another manager.  I actually ran across this buyback before (in bronze foil format - this is the silver) and at the time... lost out to this 1990 Dante Bichette buyback.  With the passage of time, and the fact that I'm working on a dedicated 1990 Topps buyback set as well now, my feelings have changed.

I'm going to insert Gene Michael into the franken-set, and bump Bichette to the 1990 Topps set.

That was a pretty rough grouping outside of the Arrieta RC if you ask me.  The good news is that I completed a new page, and added a few new cards to my 1990 buyback binder as well.  In case you couldn't tell, today's buybacks came from a random lot I picked up online sight unseen.  When you've accumulated as many of these things as I have now you're going to have some duds I guess.

I promise I'll make the next installment of this project much more interesting.  Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy your Sunday!

Franken-set Progress: 623/792 (78%)
1990 Topps Buyback Set: 89/792 (11%)
"Rejected" Buybacks: 498
Total Buybacks in Collection: 1,210
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