Monday, May 25, 2020

Buyback Franken-set: Burlap!

Today's Buyback Franken-set post is all about the burlap, with all ten contenders coming from the 1968 Topps release.  I seem to be gravitating towards this set by coincidence lately, having featured an awesome Clemente buyback from the release, then landing the Mantle in a recent card flip.

Figured I'd keep the '68 momentum going and see if we can't induct a couple cards into the Buyback Franken-set.  Let's get to it!

1968 Topps #244 - John Donaldson

The blacked out cap on John Donaldson's card is extra jarring when viewed against the backdrop of those bright red bleachers.  Had Topps just left the hat as it was, and maybe cropped out a bit wider to get more of that fantastic glove that's barely in the frame at right, they'd have had a really nice card.  As it is, not too aesthetically pleasing if you ask me.

Unfortunately for Donaldson, he also gets pitted against the 1979 "We Are Family" World Series champion Pittsburgh Pirates team card as far as the franken-set binder goes.


1968 Topps #264 - Ted Abernathy

Ah, much better.  Ted Abernathy is properly cropped, has a nice stadium backdrop, and has not been airbrushed or painted over in any way.  Ted appeared in an astounding 78 games for the Reds in '68, good for tops in the National League!

Oh man, the '79 Pirates again!  That uniform and hat combo is just awesome.  The "Caveman" was coming off a hot rookie season in 1978 when this card was printed up, and would win a World Series with Pittsburgh later that same year.

Abernathy loses in a close one.  Influencing my decision here is the fact that I already have another 1968 Topps buyback on this particular page of the binder, so the '79 Don Robinson preserves some better variety on the page aside from being a great card in its own rite.

1968 Topps #49 - Ed Brinkman

Next up, Senators shortstop Ed Brinkman, who seems to have suffered from some registration issues during the printing process.  A nice card, although again cropped somewhat oddly.  At such a low number, of course Ed's got some competition when it comes to induction into the set...

Generally speaking, I prefer the 1973 Topps set to their 1968 effort.  The thing is, with all other things being equal, I prefer the look of having all vertically-oriented cards on a page if possible.  This horizontal Twins coaches card just kinda throws off the vibe of the page it's on.

Brinkman fights his way into the binder!

1968 Topps #108 - Don Pavletich

Don Pavletich, backstop for the Reds, is next.  Again, I have to question the cropping here by Topps.  Maybe there's some reasoning that I'm missing and someone will enlighten me in the comments, but the choices on a lot of these just seem strange to me.  Why wouldn't you include Don's left hand and the bat knob here?  What gives, Topps?

Rough match-up for Pavletich, with an early-career buyback of current Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez currently occupying slot 108.

Easy choice there, will take something nicer than this '68 to bump J.D. from the binder.

1968 Topps #62 - Chuck Dobson

Is it possible that this is the most boring card in the entire 1968 Topps set?  Well, you could make an argument for it, but I have a feeling there are much worse hat-less photographs than this one.  Either way, I'm not a huge fan of this card.  Pretty much any existing card in the franken-set will successfully defend its slot against Chuck here...

Certainly this beautiful 1965 Jim Katt (should be Kaat) has what it takes.  This buyback has been fairly well entrenched in the binder for some time now, and rightfully so.  Look at that smile!

Dobson never stood a chance.

1968 Topps #498 - Bill Bryan

And immediately my hypothesis that there are more boring cards than that Chuck Dobson in the '68 set is proven correct.  Easily the most bland and unattractive baseball card in today's post.  I'm almost hoping that I already have a buyback in slot 498 just so that I don't have to include this in the franken-set, even briefly.

Yep, already have slot 498 occupied.

Another easy call.

1968 Topps #66 - Casey Cox

A much nicer looking Casey Cox here, vying for slot 66.  Again, why cut off the edge of his glove?  I'm a fan of franchises of the past, and this card provides an awesome look at the Senators uniform of the time.  This is the third '68 Senators buyback in this post alone.  Without any real superstars on their roster, I should see how many more I can track down towards a team set maybe.  That would be pretty cool.

I'd love to induct that Casey Cox card, but this Cuno Barragon is already in slot 66 and is one of my under-rated favorite buybacks in the entire binder.  You just don't see many 1962 buybacks, and I love the photograph on this one, particularly all of the dents from baseballs having hit the wall behind Barragon over the years!

Tough loss there for Casey Cox.

1968 Topps #286 - Cecil Upshaw

The prize for most off-centered of all the buybacks in today's post goes to Cecil Upshaw of the Braves.  It's so bad that there really isn't even a thin strip of burlap on the right there.  If you collect buybacks though, you can't really be concerned with condition, so I didn't hesitate to pick this one up for pocket change on COMC.

1974 Tony Muser stands in Cecil's path.  With no real attachment to either buyback, I don't see a need to oust Muser in favor of the off-centered Upshaw.

This one was also a victim to the fact that I've already got two other burlap '68s on this particular page of the binder.

1968 Topps #71 - Vern Fuller

Vern Fuller looks...uncomfortable?...on his '68 issue here.  A great look at a really vibrant red Indians uniform though, and a much better job of cropping on Topps' part, makes for an overall attractive card.  I'd actually be fairly happy welcoming this one to the binder, but...

...1973 Johnny Briggs doesn't look like he's about to let that happen, does he?

Nope.  Actually a tough choice with this one, I would have been happy with either candidate.

1968 Topps #413 - Tommy McCraw

Closing out today's proceedings we have first baseman Tommy McCraw of the ChiSox.  A nice enough posed photograph of a smiling McCraw.  I don't know much about Tommy as a player, but aesthetically speaking this card's a winner.

Ordinarily a Seattle Pilots buyback would wipe the floor with that Tommy McCraw, but...

...that hat!  Ugh.  Still happy to have any Pilots buybacks that I can get my hands on, but this one belongs in the rejected box, not the franken-set binder.

Well, we didn't get any new numbers among today's ten contestants, but a few of them did at least move into the binder strengthening the overall set.  Still stuck at 84% complete, maybe I'll have better luck on that front next time.

Thanks as always for stopping by!

Franken-set Progress: 672/792 (84%)
1990 Topps Buyback Set: 134/792 (16%)
"Rejected" Buybacks: 710
Total Buybacks in Collection: 1,516


Chris said...

I agree with all of your decisions here, though I momentarily thought you'd pick the Pilots card over McCraw. '68 is such a nice set but I'd never try to complete it because the high-end cards are too high-end, and many of the commons are sooo bland!

gregory said...

There were some great-looking cards in this batch. Barragon and Briggs, for sure. I especially like the Chiles card, because his teammate in the background appears to be waving hello to all of us.

Shlabotnik Report said...

Rough matchups for the 1968 set, although I won't pick on any of your choices. Cards like these make me wonder how much more appealing the 1968 set would've been with more current photos.

Fuji said...

That 1979 Topps Pirates team card is awesome. I'm pretty sure that was the first World Series I was super interested in.

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