Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Buyback Franken-set: '59s!

Since I crossed the 500-card threshold in the franken-set binder during my last buyback post, I decided to do something a little different with the next one.  So, tonight I dove into my buyback "hoard" and have a ten-card post composed entirely of 1959 Topps buybacks for your enjoyment.

The '59 Topps set is one of my favorites of the 1950s.  I've been slowly chipping away at it for some time, and am just about halfway to a completed set now.  When I found a seller on Sportlots a while ago that had a bunch of 1959 buybacks for sale for a dollar each, I grabbed just about all of them for my buyback project.  Tonight's post will cover around half of that little lot.

Let's see how these ten players fared in 1959, and more importantly whether they make the buyback franken-set binder!

1959 Topps #7 - Al Pilarcik

Al Pilarcik had a very solid season in 1959 for Baltimore.  He appeared in well over 100 games as an outfielder, the majority of those spent patrolling right field.  Al hit a career-high .282, and thanks to a decent batter's eye (30 walks) he logged a very respectable .355 on-base percentage.

As far as the franken-set goes though, slot #7 on the first page is just about as close to on lock-down as you're going to find at this stage of the project.  A 1/1 Mark Fidrych?

Pilarcik goes down.

1959 Topps #26 - Chuck Stobbs

Chuck Stobbs actually signed on to pitch with the Washington Senators in 1959 after the Cardinals released him in January of that year.  Odd given that St. Louis had just claimed Chuck off of waivers from Washington only the year prior.

Stobbs went just 1-8 in 41 appearances (7 starts) with the Sens in 1959.  That record is deceiving though, as he pitched very well for a truly bad (63-91) Washington team.  In fact, his 2.98 ERA was a career best.

This is my first #26 buyback, Chuck makes the binder.

1959 Topps #192 - Charley Beamon

Charlie (or Charley, in this case) Beamon's brief MLB career actually ended in 1958.  Is that a security guard standing behind him in the background there?

Ouch, a guy who played in parts of three seasons vs. three premier sluggers of their era.

Another tough loss for '59 Topps.

1959 Topps #197 - Ray Semproch

Ray Semproch served just about split time between the bullpen and a starting role for the Phillies in 1959.  The result was a 3-10 record and an ERA on the wrong side of 5.00, and Philadelphia dealt him to Detroit in the off-season.

Had this Ron Perranoski in slot 197 already.  Don't have too much of an attachment to either card...

..but at the moment the Perranoski speaks to me more I guess.

1959 Topps #239 - Bob Trowbridge

Bob Trowbridge pitched in 16 games out of the bullpen for the Braves in 1959, and didn't experience much success.  It would turn out to be his penultimate season at the MLB level.  Love the classic pitching pose on this one.  Didn't have a #239 buyback either, into the binder Bob goes.

1959 Topps #246 - J.W. Porter

J.W. (also known as just "Jay") began the 1959 season with the Senators, but the Cardinals claimed him off of waivers in July (those two teams certainly seemed to get involved with each other a lot, huh?).  He'd finish out the season with St. Louis, and that was the end of his Major League career.

It's one hat-less player pitted against another here, as this Bob Davis is already in spot 246 of the franken-set.

Honestly, this one was a coin flip.

1959 Topps #249 - Bobby Adams

Bobby Adams appeared in just 3 games for the Cubs in '59, putting a bow on a 14-year MLB career.  My favorite thing about this one is the backdrop, which I believe to be Seals Stadium if I'm not mistaken.

I had this wrinkled, cap-less Ed Keegan in slot 249...

...but out of the franken-set it goes.  That one feels like a nice upgrade for sure.

1959 Topps #263 - Buddy Daley

Buddy Daley went 16-13 for the KC Athletics in 1959, the first of consecutive 16-win seasons for the lefty.  He was named an All-Star for the first time in his career, and even received some MVP votes!

Daley's competition for franken-set glory is another southpaw, and another Athletic, Vince Horsman.

Easy choice there.

1959 Topps #279 - Ernie Johnson

1959 was Ernie Johnson's lone season in Baltimore, and in what seems to be a common theme for this post his final as a Major League player.  A lot of guys who were at the end of the line featured here tonight.

Oh man, my Bill Lee RC buyback!

Ernie Johnson had no chance.

1959 Topps #272 - Jerry Lumpe

Jerry Lumpe began the 1959 season at the hot corner for New York, but was dealt to Kansas City in May.  Still just 26 years old in '59, Jerry's best seasons were ahead of him at the time this set was released, though he already had a World Series championship on his resume from 1958.

One more bout for franken-set glory tonight, as this '71 Tommy Helms is blocking Lumpe's path to the binder.

I'd say this one was about 60/40 in favor of Lumpe if I had to put a number on it.

Well, tonight's action brought me from 500 buybacks in the binder to...502.  What can I say, it's getting harder and harder to acquire new numbers here.  At least a number of those that faced pre-existing competition managed to battle their way in.  Nice to spruce up the binder with a serious injection of vintage.

Thanks as always for stopping by!

Franken-set Progress:  502/792 (63%)
"Rejected" Buybacks:  360
Total Buybacks in Collection: 862

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Cleaning Up

Had a couple of hours today to dedicate to cleaning up and organizing in my card room/office. Feels good to start really getting things in order cataloging a good portion of my collection over on The Trading Card Database in the wake of the Zistle collapse.

Here are a bunch of cards I ran across during my cleanup efforts today that finally got added into my collection proper...

We'll start off with a pair of mid-'90s goalies cards.  The late '80s through the mid-'90s is still, and will likely always be, my favorite era for hockey cards.  I'm sure anyone who was a fan of the game during this time period remembers Chris Osgood's non-standard Cooper helmet.

And of course, there is perhaps no set that better exemplifies the over-the-top gaudiness of the '90s than Metal Universe!  I believe both of these cards...

...as well as this Mighty Ducks Teemu Selanne came out of a grab bag from a hobby shop in my area a long time ago.

I found just a single one of these Empire Strikes Back 3-D "widevision" cards produced by Topps in 2010.  This thing is beyond cool in hand.  I absolutely have to search out some more of these, just awesome.

I picked this '72-73 Gary Dornhoefer from the dollar box at my LCS probably a year ago, and it's sat in a stack ever since.  The reason I was happy to shell out a dollar for this one is that it's absolutely mint, I mean practically flawless.

Gary was a solid player for the Flyers, and '72-73 was his best individual season.  He posted career highs in goals (30), assists (49), and points (obviously this follows logically) that year.  Like most of the Broad Street Bullies era Flyers, he wasn't afraid to mix it up either and could be counted on for at least 100 penalty minutes just about every year.  Of course, Gary's greatest success as a player would come when Philadelphia won back-to-back Stanley Cups just a couple of years after this set was issued.

I don't collect football cards, but I do love Turkey Red cards, so I had to grab this Tom Brady from a 50 cents box at a show well over a year ago now.  I do enjoy NFL football, and have been a Pats fan for a good 20+ years now, so this was a nice random addition to my collection for just a couple of quarters.

Here's a dollar box card from the LCS.  Getting close to completing this Gretzky Hockey Heroes insert set now at long last!

Here are two 1991 Topps Glossy Rookie inserts that I kept from a repack.  Probably the two names I'd want most from the checklist in John Olerud...

...and HOFer Frank Thomas.

How about another Gretzky?  Not surprisingly, Wayne has a healthy lead at this point for most cards of any player in my hockey collection on the Trading Card Database.  106 cards and counting, the next closest at this point is Ray Bourque with just 31...

How about a couple of cards of players in the news?  Carlos Correa was the hero today against the Yankees in Game 2 of the ALCS, smashing a solo home run earlier in the game, then batting in Jose Altuve in the bottom of the 9th for a walk-off win!  Pulled this one in a rack pack of 2016 Stadium Club that I got as a gift and finally processed today.

Also in the news, on the soccer side of things, is striker Romelu Lukaku.  Lukaku is with Manchester United this year, and has been the talk of the Premier League in the first couple of months notching 7 goals in the club's first 7 Premier League games.  His pace was finally broken today by Liverpool in a 0-0 draw.

I picked this one up recently just because I've wanted a Topps Now Premier League card of any sort for my collection for some time.  I only had to fork over a couple bucks with free shipping to land this one, which seemed like a good deal for one of the better offensive players in the league over the past few seasons.

I learned after purchasing it that there were only 80 of these printed up, not bad.

Also from a repack, I found a trio of 1989 Fleer cards that I decided to hang onto.

I've never listed this among my favorite sets of the '80s by any stretch, but I like to have a couple of examples from each set in my collection at least and I could do much worse than these HOFers.

This one's my favorite of the trio, from the Update set.

Here's a relatively rare one.  These Red Ice parallels from 2013 Bowman are limited to just 25 copies each.  If memory serves this was an eBay win for the 99 cents opening bid.

Pacific created some odd cards in the '90s for sure, and these "Big Numbers" die-cuts have to be among the strangest.  I received this Brendan Shanahan...

...and this Sergei Fedorov in trade a good while ago.  The cards are meant to look like the back of the player's sweater, and are die-cut around the numbers along the bottom as well as along the top where the neck hole would be.  Strange, but I'll gladly take a new Fedorov card regardless of what it looks like.

Here's yet another Topps Throwback Thursday card from last season.  I really went all in on Red Sox cards for both Topps Now and Topps Throwback Thursday last year.  As far as the TBT cards go, this one might actually be my overall favorite.  Really like the vintage look and feel, and the pairing of one of the franchise's all-time greats with the man who's probably the best overall hitter on the current roster.

Dougie Hamilton is now playing defense up in Calgary, a teammate of the great Jaromir Jagr this season!

I'm already up over 20 cards here, so I'll stop for today to prevent this from turning into too long a post.  This last one is a "Fire Die-Cut" from 2014 Bowman Chrome.  I thought these were such a cool concept.  It's basically a die-cut parallel that is made to look as though the player's regular Bowman Chrome card is melting behind them.  Oh, and they're refractors too, so they're nice and shiny.

Today was a good reminder that I need to spend a lot less time shopping for new cards, and a lot more time organizing, enjoying, and showing off what I already have!  Thanks for stopping by as always...

Thursday, October 12, 2017

One Card Post - Jagr Returns!

What:  1995-96 Topps Finest Refractor #70 - Jaromir Jagr
Where: eBay
How Much?:  $13.00 (plus shipping)

Why?
:  The prayers of thousands of hockey fans across the globe, including myself, were answered about a week ago when the Calgary Flames signed 45-year-old Jaromir Jagr to a one year deal!  Jagr needed a few days to get up to speed, and understandably so, but finally debuted last night for the Flames.  I'm extremely grateful as a fan that I'll get to enjoy one last season of watching Jaromir, who began his NHL career all the way back when I was a kid fan in 1990.

Seemed like the perfect opportunity to post the latest acquisition for my relatively small collection of Jagr cards.  As I mentioned before, I'm trying at this point to get a few mid-range cards, and this one certainly classifies as the higher end of mid-range in my opinion.  These mid-'90s Finest hockey refractors are tough, so I had to pony up and shell out $13 to land the Jagr, after probably 2-3 years of casually looking.

Here's the back, with the all-important REFRACTOR printed above the card number up top (something Topps neglected to do the year prior).

Welcome back Jaromir, here's to another year of racking up points and further cementing your legacy!
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