Friday, April 17, 2020

Buyback Franken-set: Rickey & Friends Bring Me to 1,499 Buybacks

As we wind down another week of isolation, let's take a peek at another ten hopefuls for my Buyback Franken-set project.  As with the last few posts, this week's contenders come from a random eBay lot that I picked up months back for around $20.  Let's get to it!

1981 Topps #478 - Juan Eichelberger

Coming out strong with the meanest sideburns/mustache combo in today's post by a country mile, it's Juan Eichelberger.  Juan was before my time as a fan, but I can respect that strong facial hair game for sure.  Doesn't hurt that he's sporting my initials on his cap there either.  On top of that, 1981 is an under-represented set in the binder.

Tough draw for Juan though, as he is pitted against the beloved Red Sox color commentator, Jerry Remy.  Rem-Dawg is sporting a nice 'stache of his own here.

If I lived anywhere but New England I'd probably have gone with the Eichelberger, but in this case Remy edges him out.

1965 Topps #214 - Bob Purkey

Bob Purkey was a multiple-time All-Star and even received MVP votes in two separate seasons.  The best year of his career was in 1962 with the Reds, where he went an impressive 23-5 with a 2.81 ERA, finishing third in Cy Young voting.  The fact that Heritage box-toppers are my favorite buybacks, and that the '65 set is one of my favorites from the decade, give this one even more weight.

The thing is though, it's up against an equally colorful Heritage buyback from the '60s, and in this case the player is actually wearing a hat.

It takes a lot for a cap-less player to make the binder over one wearing proper head gear.

1987 Topps #738 - Jorge Orta

I got excited when I encountered this 1987 Topps Jorge Orta.  Why?  Because it's a nice high number buyback.  At #738 I figured this one would slide on into an empty pocket.

That was not the case though, as Omar Moreno showing us the art of the bunt is already in slot 738 of the binder.

Not a tough choice there.  I've got precious few '85 buybacks compared to '87s, and the photograph on the '85 is better as well.

1988 Topps #706 - Rick Mahler

Another number above 700, will the results be better this time?  You bet, as this is my first #706 buyback.  Another one bites the dust in my march towards 792-card franken-set completion.  Mahler got battered pretty well over the course of his MLB career, but still managed to stick around from the late '70s through the early '90s.  Welcome to the binder, Rick!

1969 Topps #486 - Paul Casanova

What an awesome Heritage buyback we have here.  I love franchises of yesteryear, so I was pumped to see a Senators buyback in the lot.  Just an awesome classic pose too, with the large catcher's mitt and the batting cage backdrop.  This one's gotta be a lock for inclusion, no?

Well, it'll have to bump this '78 John Curtis from the binder.  This isn't a bad buyback by any means, but it's certainly not as interesting as the Casanova.

Another easy call there.

1988 Topps #686 - Terry Francona

Next up, we've got Terry Francona.  As a Boston sports fan I have more memories of this guy as a manager than I do a player.  Still a nice looking card of Tito though from an under-rated '80s set.

Do I prefer it over this '87 Doyle Alexander, which has been in slot 686 of the binder for a while now?

You bet I do!

1987 Topps #311 - Rickey Henderson TBTC

Very cool, I didn't expect to find any HOFer buybacks in the lot based on the price, even if it is a Turn Back the Clock subset like this.  I have fond memories of the TBTC cards from when I was a kid.  On top of that I'm a Rickey Henderson fan, and I was born in 1982, so this card is right up my alley!

Standing in Rickey's path to the franken-set is this great '65 Topps Orlando Pena buyback.  This one has been in the binder for years, and has bested many a hopeful contestant up until this point.

After much debate, I decided to go with Rickey.  That's no knock on Orlando Pena here, which instantly becomes one of my favorite buybacks in the "Rejected" box.

This card number is part of a complete page, and here you can see part of my reasoning for bouncing Pena.  There were no less than five 1965 Topps buybacks on this one page!

Here it is now, with Rickey front and center, just the way Rickey likes it.  Little more variety anyway.

1986 Topps Traded #55T - Wayne Krenchicki

Wayne Krenchicki looks pretty pleased here, but...

...unfortunately, as a Topps Traded buyback, he is ineligible for this project.  If I ever get around to doing a Traded/Update franken-set maybe he'll make the cut.

1987 Topps #261 - Ruben Sierra

A nice enough 1987 Topps card is next, with outfielder Ruben Sierra taking a big old cut.  I certainly remember having this card as a kid.  A Ruben Sierra rookie card.  Cardboard gold.  After his 30 home run, 35 double, 109 RBI season in 1987, Ruben certainly looked poised for success.

He runs into a buzz-saw though with respect to the franken-set.  As a Red Sox collector, it doesn't get much better than this amazing Gene Stephens buyback from the very first batch of Heritage box-topper buybacks to hit the market.

A close call right there, but my team bias played a part.  My binder, my rules.

1978 Topps #635 - Joe Rudi

Closing out the proceedings today we have Joe Rudi's 1978 issue, courtesy of the 2016 Topps "65th Anniversary" buyback program.  The best part about this card?  It's another new number for the project, the second one in today's post!

That was an interesting grouping for sure.  You won't hear me complain about multiple new card numbers at this relatively advanced stage of the project.  The buybacks in this post take me to 1,499 total buybacks profiled for the franken-set project to date.

I'll be back soon with a very special single-card buyback post to commemorate reaching the 1,500 total buybacks mark.  Until then, thanks as always for stopping by, and have a great weekend!

Franken-set Progress: 672/792 (84%)
1990 Topps Buyback Set: 133/792 (16%)
"Rejected" Buybacks: 694
Total Buybacks in Collection: 1,499


Brett Alan said...

My favorite thing about Eichelberger is that his full name is apparently Juan Tyrone Eichelberger III. That's practically the most ethnically diverse name you could have!

It's a rare thing to have it make sense to choose a junk-wax era card over a 1965, but I think you did the right thing. Nice as that Peña is, having a buyback of a card-within-a-card is pretty unusual, and of course it's a HOFer.

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with for #1500!

Shlabotnik Report said...

Fun bunch of cards. I would've given you grief over that 1965 Pena had you not shown us the page involved.

Elliptical Man said...

Can't really argue with any of your choices. I was going to make the case for Orta over Moreno as a Yankee (not a Pirate), but apparently Jorge didn't play for KC nearly as long as I thought he did.

Fuji said...

Rollie Fingers rocks the handlebar mustache. What's the name of Eichelberger's? That thing is fantastic!

Chris said...

Can't wait to see buyback card #1500!

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