Monday, August 14, 2017

Buyback Franken-set: Angus Goes Shopping - Part II

Time to wrap up the batch of buybacks I received recently from Angus of Dawg Day Cards (you can find part one here).  Today's edition will be slightly larger than normal, at fourteen buybacks!

1958 Topps #196 - Mike Garcia

Starting off strong here with a beat-up, late-career Mike Garcia card from 1958 Topps.  By the time this card was printed in the late '50s, Garcia had already "won" a World Series (to be fair, he debuted just days before the post-season and didn't pitch in the 1948 Series), and been selected as an All-Star for three straight seasons.  He twice led the AL in ERA, and is a member of the Indians HOF!

I was pleased to discover that I was lacking a #196 buyback in the binder, so Mike is now a resident.  On a side note, I put in a bid on a '58 buyback of Don Drysdale last night that would've looked pretty sweet in the binder with Mike here.  I wasn't willing to go higher than $25 though, and apparently the winning bidder was.  Oh well, can't win 'em all.

1977 Topps #551 - Bill North

Next up is speedster Bill North, the man who got into the famous clubhouse dust-up with Reggie Jackson a couple of years before this card was printed up.  Ironic, because guess who is in the franken-set binder, and currently residing in slot 551?

Yup, the man himself!  How's that for a franken-set match-up?

In real life, Jackson may have injured his shoulder, but in this franken-set battle he comes out on top.  Off to the rejected box for Bill North.

1974 Topps #318 - Jim Merritt

The Rangers were the final stop of Jim Merritt's Major League career, after previous stints with the Twins and Reds.  His peak season was undoubtedly 1970, as he made the All-Star team for the only time that year, and also recorded his sole 20-win season.

This bright and colorful Ernie McAnally is currently holding down slot 318.

Easy win for McAnally.  Had this been a '70 Topps Jim Merritt maybe things would have ended differently.

1973 Topps #86 - Tom McCraw

I'm not very familiar with Tom McCraw, but that's a great photograph on this 1973 Topps card.  Is it good enough to get this one into the franken-set binder?

Unfortunately for Tom, he's got some stiff competition.

Yeah, not a tough choice there.

1974 Topps #141 - Pat Bourque

Pat Bourque's MLB career started at the tail end of the 1971 season, and ended at the tail end of the 1974 season.  Without knowing the guy obviously, my first impression from this photo is that he seems kinda creepy.  This one actually does make the binder though, in the absence of competition for slot 141.  The underdogs win sometimes.

1976 Topps #424 - Phil Roof

Known as a "defensive catcher", which is what they call you when you have a career batting average of .215, Phil Roof lasted for 15 seasons!  This buyback is from the 2014 promotion, where they used the 75th Anniversary retro logo for the foil stamp.

Already had a buyback in slot 424.  It's not a bad one either, as '60 Topps buybacks aren't the easiest things to come by.

Whisenant wins, simply based on set alone.

2006 Topps #624 - J.J. Furmaniak

Here's a random one!  Furmaniak (what a fun name) got a card in 2006 Topps after appearing in a handful of games for the Pirates at the end of 2005.  He never made the Major League roster in 2006 though.  The A's signed him for the 2007 season.  He appeared in 16 games, and that was it.  29 career games, and he has a Topps baseball card.  J.J. also makes the franken-set uncontested at the obscure number of 624.

2006 Topps #364 - Ryan Madson

2006 was really the only time in Ryan Madson's career that he spent time as a starter (making 17 of his 18 career starts).  I did not realize that, amazingly, Ryan is still around!  He's logged innings with the Oakland A's and Washington Nationals this season!

Ryan gets matched up against Claude Raymond (and his undone fly) as far as the franken-set is concerned.

Raymond stays, Madson is out.

1977 Topps #222 - Francisco Barrios

Here's Francisco Barrios, sporting one of the more interesting uniforms of the era with this White Sox get-up.  Barrios tossed a no-hitter the year before this set was released, so that's something.

I really like this '69 Duane Josephson though, and it's been in slot 222 for some time now.

It's going to stay that way for now.

1978 Topps #328 - Milwaukee Brewers

Here's a wonderfully awkward team photo of the Brewers, as constituted for the 1978 season.  I've said this probably twenty times, but I miss having these in the modern-day flagship releases.  As it turns out I had no previous #328 buyback, so the entire Brew Crew gets admitted to the binder.

1986 Topps #513 - Ron Washington

Not the most flattering card of a man who didn't seem to have many flattering cards.  A relatively high number though, maybe this one will make the cut for that reason alone?

Nope, already have a 513.  And it's a Red Sox card.  And the subject's name is Dick.  Pole.


1967 Topps #187 - Pedro Ramos

We'll finish things off here with a trio of '67 buyback box-toppers from last year's Heritage release.  Cap-less Pedro Ramos wants in for slot 187...

..but Darren Daulton is already there.  RIP Darren.


1967 Topps #367 - Bill Kelso/Don Wallace

Maybe Bill Kelso/Don Wallace will fair better?  Kelso lasted a handful of seasons, while Wallace never appeared in the Majors again after 1967.

Ouch!  One of my favorite '60s buybacks is already in slot 367 too.  The photograph on this Leon Wagner is just awesome.


1967 Topps #188 - Ken Harrelson

Last card of the day, Ken Harrelson of the Senators.  I really like this one because, while "The Hawk" started the '67 season with the Senators, he ended up in Boston (with a stop in Kansas City along the way) in time to participate in the "Impossible Dream" '67 post-season with the Sox!

I had this '73 Cookie Rojas in slot 188, and I really like it quite a bit.  One of those great '70s cards where the background is as or more entertaining than the subject.

As a Red Sox fan though, I had to go with the Harrelson!

Angus, thank you for thinking of my collection as a destination for this great batch of buybacks!  Thanks to your generosity I've bumped up another percentage point towards completion of the franken-set, to 58%.  This package took me over the 750 total buybacks threshold as well, not too bad for a project that I essentially started last summer.

Angus wasn't the only blogger/trader to send me buybacks these pats few weeks, more coming soon...

Franken-set Progress:  461/792 (58%)
"Rejected" Buybacks:  292
Total Buybacks in Collection: 753

Saturday, August 12, 2017

My Inability to Focus

If you check in here frequently (and my thanks if you do!), you might be under the impression that all I collect is buybacks.  For better than a year now I've been somewhat obsessed with them as I work to complete a 792-card franken-set.

In truth though, my collecting interests are all over the map.  I think my most recent shipment from COMC, which arrived just a few days ago, does a good job illustrating that.  Of the hundred cards I had shipped in that group, about half were buybacks.  From the other half, I pulled ten random cards to post here today...

In 2015, Upper Deck released a set of dinosaur cards.  These appeal to my inner child, as I've always been fascinated by these creatures.  This fascination was further enhanced when Jurassic Park was released in theaters when I was just ten years old.

Anyway, I wasn't too impressed with the Upper Deck Dinosaurs set on the whole, but the one thing that really appealed to me were the 3-D inserts.  These are printed using lenticular technology (think Kellogg's baseball cards of the '70s and '80s).  There are 42 in total, but I'll never complete the set as some are extremely short-printed.  Nonetheless, when I come across one for less than a buck like I did here it's hard to resist.

There have been some great sets released recently for Star Wars fans, and I rate the Topps Tek sets high among them.  This "Blue Rainbow" C-3PO from last year's release is numbered to /99.  This is the third of these parallels I've been able to secure now, joining Jabba the Hutt, and Luke Skywalker.  There are 112 of these in the set, who knows maybe I'll be crazy enough to pursue it one day.

Here's a neat one from last season's Stadium Club Premier release.  Timing is perfect here, as the 2017-18 BPL season kicked off just this weekend.  In fact, earlier this morning I had the pleasure of watching my favorite club, Liverpool, come back twice in their game against Watford, only to give up the lead in the waning minutes and have to settle for a tie and a single point.

You get one of these 1st Day Issue parallels per box, and since I kinda whiffed in my hobby box, I was happy to right that wrong with this card for less than $2.

Xander Bogaerts is having an off year so far in 2017, batting well below .300 which is unusual for him.  He's still my favorite current Red Sox player though, so I seek out cheap additions from time to time.  This "Career Stat Line" parallel from 2017 Donruss set me back all of a buck and a quarter.  It's numbered to /337 in the upper left, though it's a bit difficult to make out in this scan.

Here's one towards my 2011 Topps Chrome Atomic set build.  I still maintain that the Topps Chrome Atomic Refractors are some of the most beautiful cards released since I got back into the hobby around 2007.  I'm more than halfway to the 220-card set now, nice to cross another one off the list for cheap coin.

Nothing screams early '90s quite like holograms.  In the '91-92 Upper Deck set, there was a 9-card insert set of Award Winner Holograms.  Probably had all nine as a kid, but none have survived the passage of time.  I grabbed this Mario Lemieux for nostalgia's sake, and because it was less than 50 cents.

After three straight shiny cards, let's cleanse the pallet with some vintage.  I've built a small little collection of 1954 Bowman cards over time, almost exclusively care of COMC.  I can't resist these oversized beauties when the price is right, and that was certainly the case for this Del Rice at a dollar even.

I'm still under the delusion that one day I'll accumulate all of the Legends Variations from the 2011 Topps set.  Unlikely, but I'm a tad bit closer now after adding Larry Walker here in his powder blue Expos uniform!

Herb Pennock's 1922 American Caramel card is high up there on the list of pre-war Red Sox cards that I'm on the lookout for.  It's not the easiest card to find, nor the cheapest, so in the meantime this 1960 Fleer Greats of the Game was a nice fill-in for a buck.  I got this one during an aggressive sale by the seller, and was surprised to find it at just a dollar given the great shape it's in.

Last card for the day, and we end on a bit of a somber note.  I'm into all kinds of music as an adult, from folk to jazz to electronic to rap.  I grew up as a child of rock and roll though.  Some of the earliest albums I remember owning were of The Beatles, my favorite band ever, Pearl Jam, and of course Soundgarden.

I got a copy of Superunknown on CD for my birthday when I was in 7th grade, and I must have played it through 100 times.  Hell, I still have it on my iPhone today, and still view it as one of the most solid overall rock albums of the '90s.  While I don't really post about these types of things, Chris Cornell's passing earlier this year really made me realize how old I'm getting and how long it's been since I first heard his band play.

I figured this Pro Set SuperStars MusiCards card was a fitting tribute to the man, and the band, for my collection.

Well that's a wrap for today.  As you can see, COMC really feeds into my inability to focus!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Buyback Franken-set: Angus Goes Shopping - Part I

Angus, who blogs over at Dawg Day Cards, has got to be one of the most generous folks in our online community.  Recently he did a little shopping on my behalf when he was traveling the Southwest United States.  Out of the blue I got an awesome bubbler stuffed full of cards, including plenty of buybacks.  Sweet!

Today I've got the first ten to evaluate for my ongoing franken-set project...

1968 Topps #268 - Bob Humphreys

A box-topper buyback from this year's Heritage set was on top of the stack, nice!  Bob Humphreys spent nine years as a relief pitcher in MLB, with his last appearance coming in 1970.  A solid buyback for sure, and he's wearing a cap as he should be.

Rough match-up as far as the franken-set goes though, as I really enjoy this candid dugout shot on Gil Flores' '78 card.

Flores stays in the binder for now.

1988 Topps #714 - Jim Fregosi

Next we've got a nice high number of White Sox skipper Jim Fregosi courtesy of 1988 Topps.  Unfortunately for Jim, his Sox finished a full 32.5 games behind the powerhouse Oakland A's in 1988.  In the absence of any competing #714 buyback though he's in!

1997 Topps #93 - Derek Bell

This is an interesting one in that I haven't seen very many 1997 buybacks at all.  Derek Bell was part of an impressive Astros lineup in the mid to late '90s, and enjoyed the finest seasons of his career during that stretch.

Had this Heritage Tony Cloninger buyback in spot #93.  I like this card...

...but I'm going with the Bell.

This one falls on one of only two completed pages as well.  Here's the before shot with the Cloninger at upper right...

...and here's the after, with Bell inserted.

1987 Topps #487 - Dave Gumpert

Here's a bland '87 Topps Dave Gumpert.  Dave was actually with the Royals for the 1987 season, but never saw action after May.  Those would be his final innings in Major League Baseball, as he was granted free agency at season's end but never signed on with another club.

Already had this 1973 Bruce Dal Canton in slot 487...

...and there it will remain.

1988 Topps #135 - Dennis Rasmussen

The Yankees dealt pitcher Dennis Rasmussen to the Reds in August of 1987, and as a result Topps treated us to some solid airbrushing on his 1988 card.  The jacket is particularly noticeable.

Is Dennis any match for this 1969 Tommy Davis Pilots buyback though?

No way!

1988 Topps #412 - Randy Myers

Here's another '88, hurler Randy Myers of the Mets.  Randy really hit his peak after being traded to the Reds, with whom he was named NLCS MVP in 1990.  He wound up with four All-Star appearances over the course of his career as well.  As my first #412 buyback Randy is now resident in the binder.

1988 Topps #723 - Bob Kipper

Next on the '88 Topps train, Bob Kipper, who is currently serving as the pitching coach for the Red Sox AAA Affiliate, the Pawtucket Red Sox, who play their home games only 15 minutes up the road from me.  Another nice high number, this one is in by default!

1986 Topps #767 - Jody Davis

From there we proceed to Jody Davis, donning the tools of ignorance on his '86 Topps release.  Jody was a rock at backstop for the Cubs in the '80s, appearing in 125 games or more every season from 1982 to 1987.  In 1986 he was named an All-Star for the second time and won the lone Gold Glove of his career as well.  Some good creds for a #767 for this project, but Davis is an automatic in regardless as my first #767.

1989 Topps #417 - Mike LaCoss

Mike LaCoss made 18 starts, and appeared in 45 games in total, for the Giants in 1989.  He went 10-10 and finished with a very respectable 3.17 ERA, the second best mark of his Major League career.  Based on this photograph it looks like Mike probably threw a mean splitter.

Mike Garman has been resident in the binder in slot 417.

This was basically a case of going with the '78 over the '89.  The more I look at that photograph on the LaCoss card though, the more I think I could have gone the other way with it.

1967 Topps #317 - Cesar Tovar

Last card today, a beautiful 1967 Topps Heritage buyback of second baseman Cesar Tovar.  Cesar is best known for once playing all nine defensive positions in a single game.  Pretty much your standard '60s posed player-with-bat shot here.  Does Cesar make the binder?

Not a chance.  Slot 317 is held down by about as close to a lock as you're gonna find at this stage of the project, my Pumpsie Green RC buyback.  I shipped the infamous Bartolo Colon Topps NOW card from last year to Douglas from Sports Cards from the Dollar Store to acquire this beauty, and I still love it every bit as much as the day it arrived in the mailbox.

A great lot here, with four new numbers and another contender that bumped its way onto a completed page.  This is just a preview, there are more great buybacks from Angus coming soon!


Franken-set Progress:  457/792 (57%)
"Rejected" Buybacks:  282
Total Buybacks in Collection: 739
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