Friday, February 21, 2020

Buyback Franken-set: Back with the Cheap Lot

Well, I didn't mean to take more than a week off of blogging there, but was traveling to wrap up that brutal work project, then ended up very sick for a few days immediately afterwards.  Today's the first day in some time that I've had the energy and drive to post, so here we are.

I've been slacking big time with respect to my Buyback Franken-set so far in 2020.  Let's return to a cheap lot of buybacks I picked up off of eBay last year for the next ten hopeful contestants...

1978 Topps #506 - Ron Blomberg

Off to a great start here, because aside from featuring a fairly interesting (and airbrushed?) photograph, this Ron Blomberg from 1978 Topps is also the first #506 buyback that I've encountered to date!  Into the binder he goes by default, and I'm one card closer to this insane goal.

1977 Topps #266 - Derrel Thomas

Derrel Thomas' 1977 issue isn't quite as fortunate, as it's going to have to battle for slot #266.  This is an interesting enough shot, with some batting practice occurring in that tilted background.  The subject isn't all that interesting to me though, and 1977 Topps plays second fiddle to some of the more interesting Topps flagship designs of the '70s if you ask me.

Steve Lubratich's 1984 issue has occupied slot 266 for a while now.  I'm not that enthralled with this buyback either, but at this stage of the project I'm not really into swapping out cards "just because".

Derrel Thomas falls short.

1987 Topps #553 - Mike Maddux

A 1987 issue here of the second best pitcher with the last name Maddux.  Even though it's one of the most over-produced sets in history I do enjoy 1987 Topps well enough.  This just isn't one of the more exciting cards in the set to me.

Maddux squares off against the #553 buyback already resident in the binder, a 1977 Jack Heidemann.

Again, while neither card is all that compelling to me, I don't see a reason to make a change here.

1967 Topps #61 - Gordy Coleman

Here's a cool one.  Any buyback from the '60s or earlier is nothing to scoff at, and I really like the smile Gordy Coleman is sporting here on his 1967 release.  The buyback stamp would have looked a lot better in the upper left, with that blue sky as a backdrop, but oh well.  Gordy's grin faces some competition for the franken-set... this '79 Bo Diaz already calls slot 61 home.  I like the classic catcher pose here, and it's also hard to vote against a guy who shares my last name.

Gordy goes down in a close contest!

1974 Topps #424 - Jim Beauchamp

Next up, a '74 Jim Beauchamp.  Perfect placement of the buyback stamp on this card!  This is actually considered a "sunset card", as Jim played his final inning of Major League Baseball in the 1973 season.

Beauchamp has a tough draw though, as slot 424 contains one of the few 1960 Topps buybacks in the entire franken-set.

This one is a case where I chose the winner based on the set, simply for the sake of variety in the binder.

1969 Topps #372 - Adolfo Phillips

Here's outfielder Adolfo Phillips of the Cubs.  You know I love a good Heritage box-topper buyback (should be seeing some '71s when 2020 Topps Heritage drops soon!), so this one's got a decent chance.  It's pretty significantly off-center, but condition doesn't bother me at all when it comes to buyback cards.

In this case it's Heritage vs. Heritage, as this Mike de la Hoz buyback from 1967 Topps already sits in slot 372.  This one is honestly a coin flip...

...but as I already mentioned a couple of times, at this stage I need a compelling reason to make a substitution, so Phillips loses out.

1987 Topps #686 - Doyle Alexander

Another '87 up next, with pitcher Doyle Alexander.  This one features one of my least favorite Braves uniforms of all-time.  Doyle was near the end of a nearly 20-year MLB career at this stage.  What this buyback has going for it is that it's a nice high number.  In fact, it's my very first #686 buyback of any sort, and as such makes the cut by default!

1989 Topps #223 - Jay Buhner

I was pumped to see this 1989 Jay Buhner included in this lot.  Just an awesome card here, you can't go wrong with the All-Star Rookie Cup logo, and even the buyback stamp seems well-positioned relative to the photograph.  This card has good feng shui if you ask me!  Has to be a lock for the franken-set, right?

Not so fast!  At first glance this Jeff Burroughs card doesn't even come close to achieving the awesomeness of that Buhner card.  But, did you know that Jeff Burroughs won an MVP?  Furthermore, did you know he won that MVP award in 1974, the very same season represented by this buyback card?  It's true. 

I'm a huge fan of buybacks that showcase a player in a year where they were particularly successful or won a major individual award, so because of that this buyback is close to untouchable when it comes to this project.

Buhner goes down.  He's not the first buyback to lose out to the '74 Burroughs, and I doubt he'll be the last either before this project (hopefully) wraps up someday.

1965 Topps #106 - Gene Oliver

This right here is just a classic baseball card.  Standard batting pose, fantastic shoulder patch, and one of the most iconic designs in the history of Topps baseball cards.  I will never, ever turn down a 1965 Topps buyback, especially a Heritage box-topper version like this one.

As if it weren't a nice enough card in its own rite, this one is also a new number for the franken-set, the third of this post.  Not only that, but it completes a new page in the binder!  Check it out:

A really nice page here, great variety and some studs.  That '62 "Ears" Mossi is a classic, and how about that JD Martinez in the lower right?  I'm dying to find another #100 buyback so that I can shift that '90 Will Clark over to my dedicated 1990 Topps buyback binder.  Someday...

1989 Topps #164 - Hal Lanier

Bringing up the rear today is this hat-less Hal Lanier, courtesy of 1989 Topps.  Is this this single most boring card in the 1989 set?  Quite possibly.  It wouldn't take much to keep this one from making the binder...

...and a beautiful '64 Topps buyback in Heritage format is certainly sufficient to block Lanier's entrance.

Well, that's a wrap for today.  Pretty amazing to get three new numbers for the project out of ten buybacks at this late stage.  I think that's the best I've done in a single post in quite some time.  I'm at over 83% complete now, with less than 130 new numbers left to go before my binder is filled up at last.

For the next installment in this series, we'll be evaluating a trio of buybacks that I'm long overdue in thanking a fellow blogger for!  Until then, thanks for stopping by...

Franken-set Progress: 664/792 (83%)
1990 Topps Buyback Set: 122/792 (15%)
"Rejected" Buybacks: 682
Total Buybacks in Collection: 1,468

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Twenty Random Hockey Cards

The NHL season is heading towards the playoff stretch, so let's break up this work week with a random smattering of twenty awesome hockey cards on this Wednesday.  Added all of these to my collection proper while scanning and organizing this past weekend...

Cheesy?  Sure, but this Brett Hull 'Man of the Year' card from 1991-92 Score really resonated with my 9-year-old self at the time.  The man holding the flaming stick here is currently #4 all-time in goals scored, but it's crazy to think that by this time next year Alex Ovechkin may have surpassed him on that list!

I'm not a Dave Taylor fan in particular.  This probably isn't fair to him, but he kind of always bored me as a kid collector.  I knew he was a good player obviously, but he just seemed to lack any of the flash I was looking for as a youth hockey fan I guess.  1,000 points is pretty significant though, and I love cards that honor a specific moment or achievement like this.

One of the best D-men of his generation.  Always liked this guy a little extra too given that his rookie card was one of the biggest chase cards in the first hockey set I ever collected.

Those first three cards were from the '91-92 Score Canadian Bilingual set, which features both English and French on the card backs.  This Fedorov is from the second series of the '91-92 Score Canadian English-only set.

I missed out on a lot of In The Game's offerings, as they were really prominent during the era where I wasn't collecting cards at all.  Of the few that I've picked up since returning to collecting though, the small subset of WHA cards at the end of the '07-08 Between the Pipes checklist are my favorites.  That might be the best look at a Toronto Toros sweater in my entire collection.

Guess what decade this Fedorov is from?  Yep, the '90s!

This one, slightly less busy, is from the early 2000s.  In its current state, Sergei Fedorov is the second most represented player in my hockey card collection at 145 cards.  The only man in front of him... The Great One, of course!  One can never have too many Gretzky cards.  This one's from the 1995-96 Upper Deck Gretzky's Collection insert set that spanned multiple releases that season.  These look better in hand than they do scanned, classy looking cards actually.

This one came from a dime box long ago.  A dime for an '87-88 O-Pee-Chee LaFontaine?!?!  If I ever stumble upon more stars from this set at that price you can be sure I'll scoop them up as well.

Let's jump forward from that 1987-88 card to 1991-92 for a minute.  I always liked the blue border used on the high series in this Score release.  Ron Francis is another all-time favorite of mine, so I decided to keep this card to pair with the Fedorov above.

Knock 1991-92 Pro Set all you want.  Yes, it was a drastically overproduced set.  It really did have some unique photographs, though.  While a little awkward, this Mario Lemieux shot isn't far off from something you'd see in an Upper Deck release today (or maybe a Canvas parallel).  Ahead of its time, if you ask me.

Just one more high-series Score card, this time for my Whalers collection.  Amazing to think I didn't have this one accounted for until this round of sorting and scanning, but there it is.

Speaking of which, here's another new Whalers addition, from the Freshman Phenoms insert set in 1993-94 Leaf.  I liked that Leaf release, and it's rightfully given a ton of credit for having one of the best card back designs ever, but the photograph on this insert isn't that great.  Still, a needed Whalers card is a needed Whalers card.

I found a big stack of 2007-08 O-Pee-Chee in a box I was going through as part of my ongoing purge.  Packaged nearly every one of them up to send in my next flat rate box to Billy of Cardboard History.  Just to represent the set in my collection for now though, I held onto two of my favorite players; Teemu Selanne...

...and Sergei Fedorov.

Stumbled upon nine of these Hat Tricks inserts from 1990-91 Bowman, and turns out I needed all nine for my cataloged collection.  Bernie Nicholls here was the best of the bunch.

Remember how cool Topps Black Gold cards were?  I can certainly recall these being very coveted cards back in the day.

When I stumbled across this trio in a quarter bin a long time ago at a hobby shop, nostalgia got the best of me.

Lindros might be my favorite of the three.  This guy was such a big deal at the time, and ended up a HOFer despite battling some serious injuries over the course of his NHL career.

Closing it out is another quarter box pick-up, because as a general rule I'm not leaving any early to mid-'90s Fleer Ultra hockey insert that I don't already own behind in a quarter box.  Simple as that.

So, there are twenty hockey cards that, despite my purging, I just couldn't let go of.  Hopefully you enjoyed at least one or two of them.  Thanks as always for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

1950 Bowman Project - Billy Goodman

One of my stated goals at the outset of the year was to make some progress on my 1950 Bowman set.  Let's do that today, with a Red Sox card nonetheless!  This is a card I picked up a long time ago, but if memory (and the Blogger search engine) is correct, is one I haven't shown here on the blog before.

I'm actually really excited to finally get this card added to the project, and the overall count in my set.  Aside from being a solid addition to my Red Sox collection, this one is particularly cool for the '50 Bowman set.  Why is that?  Well, Billy Goodman won the AL batting title in 1950!  It's the truth.  In fact, he also finished second in AL MVP voting that year, losing the award to Phil Rizzuto of the Yankees.

Goodman is regarded as one of the more under-rated and all-around solid ballplayers of his era.  A reliable fielder, he swung a very effective bat as well, finishing with a career batting average of .300, and a career OBP of .376.  That's a hitter that any team would love to have in the lead-off spot.

Goodman was posthumously inducted into the Boston Red Sox HOF in 2004, after having passed away from cancer a couple of decades earlier at just 58 years old.

I'm psyched to have this one in my set, which is now up to 16 cards and counting.  Just a drop in the well at this point, but I'm enjoying picking these up and hope to have a few more to feature before the year is out.

Thanks for stopping by!

Set Progress:  16 of 252 (6% Complete)

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Signature Sundays - Steve Sax

Been a little quiet here lately, just in the midst of a brutal work project that has resulted in a lot of travel, and sheer exhaustion when I do happen to be home.  There is almost a light at the end of the tunnel, but I'm not quite there yet, so just a quick one-card autograph post today...

I keep an eye out for cheap autographs from Topps' yearly "Archives Signatures" releases, particularly notable cards from my youth.  Went out and snagged this Steve Sax a few weeks back.  1990 Topps is forever a favorite set of mine given that it was the first baseball release that I ever opened packs of as a kid.  This one was too tempting to leave behind, especially as the lone bidder at $4.99!

I've debated a few times about freeing the handful of 1990 Topps autographs I have from these releases from their plastic prisons to induct them into my 1990 Topps buyback set.  I'm holding off for now, but if I reach a point where I'm far enough along in that quest and missing a card number that I have in slabbed autograph form like this then I reserve the right to change my mind.

That's all I've got the time and energy for this week.  Thanks for stopping by as always!
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