Friday, April 20, 2018

Buyback Franken-set: Brett Completes Another Pair of Pages!

Time for the penultimate post to come out of the large lot of buybacks that my friend Brett sent my way recently.  Let's dive right in and not waste a moment!

2006 Topps #547 - Derek Lowe

While I'll always associate Derek Lowe with the Red Sox team that broke the curse, this is a nice bunting card from his post-Red Sox days with the Dodgers.  Derek actually had a solid year on the mound for LA in 2006, posting 16 wins against just 8 losses with a 3.63 ERA.  Can this pitcher-at-the-plate buyback make the binder?

Well, if it hopes to it will have to unseat this '86 Roger McDowell buyback.  As much as it pains me to admit this as a Red Sox fan we all know what the Mets did in '86 so...

McDowell sticks around in the binder for now.

1990 Topps #363 - Dan Petry

Sweet, I'm never going to turn down a '90 Topps buyback.  My secondary project of attempting to complete an entire 1990 Topps set in buyback format is really picking up some steam as of late.  I found a seller on eBay with a significant number of them, we're going back and forth now and if I can work this out I'll be a good chunk closer.

In this case I already had this '93 John Smiley buyback in slot 363 of the franken-set, which is perfect because...

...Dan Petry moves right into the '90 Topps binder.  Just how I'd prefer it!

1990 Topps #511 - Clay Parker

Speaking of's little-known pitcher Clay Parker, whose MLB career lasted just four seasons.  Like the previous card, this one has some competition for the franken-set binder:

Love this Lee Smith buyback, simply awesome.  Clay Parker has no shot against this one... off to the '90 Topps binder with him as well!

1990 Topps #430 - Pete Incaviglia

Keeping it rolling with the '90s here, we have slugger Pete Incaviglia of the Rangers.  Pete recorded 24 home runs and drove in 85 in 1990, despite batting just .233.  He also struck out 146 times, which amazingly isn't even anywhere near his career high, so he seems like one of those classic "swing for the fences" guys.  What I love about this buyback is that it's my first #430 and... completes a page!  Couple of all-time great managers here in Joe Torre and Tony LaRussa, and you have to love that dusty '73 Topps Gerry Moses at bottom center.  Speaking of managers...

1991 Topps #609 - Jeff Torborg's a 1991 Jeff Torborg.  There are a lot of fantastic cards in the '91 Topps set, but I'm not sure this is one of them.  Torborg enjoyed a lengthy career as a manager, and had actually just won the AL Manager of the Year award the year before this card was printed up.  He was a catcher in Major League Baseball back in the '60s/'70s and is probably best remembered for catching a Sandy Koufax perfect game in September of 1965.

Best thing about this one...

...another completed page!  A couple more managers on this page, but my favorites are the Galarraga in the lower left (courtesy of Joe Shlabotnik) and the Tom Gordon posed shot right next to it.

1991 Topps #579 - Roger Craig

I guess manager cards are the unofficial theme of today's post.  I'm particularly drawn to this one due to the great shot of chiseled baseball lifer Roger Craig paying his respect during the national anthem.  This is more along the lines of what I was referring to when I said there are some great cards in the '91 flagship release.

Rich Dauer's 1983 card has been occupying slot 579 for a while now...

...but I'm ousting him in favor of that fantastic Roger Craig card.

1984 Topps #535 - Bo Diaz

Another new buyback here of the longtime catcher who shares my surname, Bo Diaz!  Being a catcher, Bo has some great cards out there that were released during the course of his career.  1984 was a rough year for Diaz, as knee injuries limited him to just 27 games played that year.  He'd end up having two surgeries in the off-season.  This one makes the franken-set as my first #535 buyback!

1988 Topps #687 - Mickey Brantley

Next up, an '88 Mickey Brantley.  1988 was the best of the four seasons in Mickey's unremarkable MLB career.  This card isn't exactly an eye-opener, however...

...I already had this 1990 Tim Birtsas in slot 687...

...which allows me to slide the Brantley into the franken-set binder and shift Birtsas into the 1990 Topps binder.  Awesome.

1989 Topps #265 - Kent Hrbek

Here's Kent Hrbek, who appears to be enjoying a cheek full of "chaw".  I'm sure if Kent got a look at this one he might wonder why Topps went with this particular photograph.  1989 saw Kent reach the 25 home run plateau for the fourth consecutive season.  As far as the franken-set goes though Hrbek has a tough draw... the form of smilin' Willie Davis!

It's not going to be easy to boot Willie from the binder, and Hrbek comes up just short in this case.

1990 Topps #452 - Luis de los Santos

Last card for today, and yet another 1990!  If you're not familiar with Luis de los Santos don't be too hard on yourself.  He played just three seasons of Major League ball, appearing in just 55 total games for the Royals and Tigers.  #452 is a new number for the franken-set, so into the binder this one goes, and I'm one card closer to completion.

Four new numbers in today's batch of ten, with two of those completing new pages.  Add to that a trio of new cards joining the 1990 Topps buyback set and this batch was a definite winner!  Next up, the conclusion of Brett's stack of buybacks...

Franken-set Progress:  590/792 (73%)
"Rejected" Buybacks:  498
Total Buybacks in Collection:  1,088

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

One Card Post - Buyback Dino

What:  2016-17 Fleer Showcase '92-93 Fleer Ultra Buyback Dino Ciccarelli (#'d /25)
Where: eBay
How Much?:  $2.50 (plus shipping)

Why?:  Because it's been one of those brutal work weeks where all I have the time (and the energy) for is a quick one-card post.  Still absolutely loving these Ultra buybacks from Fleer Showcase, and listing a HOFer from one of my favorite teams from my youth with an opening bid of $2.50 is a good way to get my attention.

Fleer sure knew how to design an attractive card back.

This is the ninth one of these buybacks that I've shown off here on the blog, and I still have a few more to come!

Monday, April 16, 2018

1950 Bowman - Post #8 - Earl Johnson

Last year I officially announced my intent to (slowly) collect the 1950 Bowman baseball set.  These under-sized gems are some of my favorite vintage baseball cards, period.  I finished 2017 with half a dozen of them in hand and profiled on the blog, but have added just one card to that total so far this year.  Seems as good a time as any to look at card #8 in my quest!

Today's subject is pitcher Earl Johnson of the Boston Red Sox!  Earl debuted with the Sox in the summer of 1940 at just 21 years of age.  After the 1941 season he, like so many others of his era, put his Major League Baseball career on hold to support US military efforts in WWII.

Johnson's military career was even more impressive than the one he carved out on the diamond.  Serving in the army's 120th Infantry Regiment, Earl faced hostile fire in combat and was awarded the Bronze Star and Silver Star in addition to being commissioned as a lieutenant.

When the conflict subsided the southpaw returned to Major League Baseball for the 1946 season.  He'd stick around for five more seasons with Boston before closing out his professional baseball career with the Tigers in 1951.

Here's a look at the back.  When his playing career wound down Earl served as a scout in the Red Sox organization for many years, making this card even cooler in the eyes of this Red Sox fan.

At this pace it's going to take me many years to complete this set, but I don't mind.  I'm really enjoying the ride as I go, and landing a new Red Sox card like this makes today's feature doubly satisfying!

Thanks for taking a few minutes of your day to stop by, I'll be featuring some more awesome cardboard from this release as the year rolls on!

Set Progress:  8 of 252 (3% Complete)

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Buyback Franken-set: Brett Keeps Chipping Away

Let's return to the buyback franken-set after a few days away, shall we?  Another batch of ten today from the recent bubble mailer of buybacks I got from reader Brett.  Last time out Brett added three new numbers to the project, and strengthened up the dedicated 1990 Topps buyback binder some as well.  How will today's batch fare in comparison?  Let's find out!

1990 Topps #182 - Mookie Wilson

Gotta love a 1990 buyback in the pole position.  Mookie Wilson has always been a memorable card from this set for me, due to his classic pose on the dugout steps.  Will this one take up residence in the franken-set binder, or the '90 Topps one?

Well, Lee Lacy occupies slot 182 of the franken-set binder, so...

...easy enough to shuffle Wilson over to the '90 Topps set.

1988 Topps #533 - John Farrell

Nice, here we have former Red Sox manager John Farrell on his '88 release!  John, in just his mid-20s here, would make 30 starts for Cleveland in 1988, going 14-10.  Although 533 seems like a relatively safe, obscure number, Farrell actually gets pitted against a very solid buyback already in the binder in this slot:

Ah, the classic '75 Rudy Meoli card.  I know how this one's going to go.

Meoli survives another challenger!

1987 Topps #470 - Dave Dravecky

Here's lefty Dave Dravecky of the San Diego Padres.  Dave was a bright spot on a mediocre-at-best Padres team during most of the '80s, but was actually dealt away to the Giants midway through the '87 season.  His "multiple of ten" card number though is good enough to get him into the binder uncontested as my first #470 buyback!

1990 Topps #524 - Daryl Boston

Yet another 1990 Topps buyback from Brett, he really hooked me up good.  Boston was dealt to the Mets just a handful of games into the 1990 season, and went on to post a career-high 45 RBI with New York that year.  I wish I could've bolstered my 1990 Topps buyback set with this one, but as it stands it's my first #524 buyback so into the franken-set binder it goes...

1984 Topps #199 - Willie Hernandez

Next up, Willie Hernandez, who looks like he was plucked right out of the '70s and plopped onto this 1984 card with that mustache and 'fro.  Despite being depicted with the Phillies here, Hernandez actually spent the '84 season with the Tigers after being dealt there in March.  You know what's really awesome about this buyback though?  The fact that Willie won the Cy Young and MVP awards in 1984!  I bet at least one person who reads this post will be surprised by that.

I especially love buybacks that feature major award winners from the year in which they won the award, so I fully expect this Willie Hernandez (my first #199 buyback) to retain its spot in the binder for a long while to come!

2006 Topps #UH107 - Kevin Jarvis

As a lover of obscure cardboard this one's another gem.  Kevin Jarvis pitched for ten teams in his 12-year MLB career.  The last 4 appearances of that career (3 starts and one bullpen call) came with Boston in 2006, and now I have that 4-game stint immortalized in buyback form!

Being an "Updates & Highlights" card, this one's not eligible for the franken-set, but will be a cherished part of my Red Sox collection going forward.

1990 Topps #84 - Ray Searage

You thought we were done with 1990 Topps for today, didn't you?  Not quite, as we have Dodgers hurler Ray Searage...

 ...who faces Vince Colbert for a spot in the franken-set...

 ...and thus moves into the 1990 buyback binder...

1990 Topps #725 - Terry Pendleton

...and third baseman Terry Pendleton as well.  Terry missed a good deal of time with injury in 1990, so it wasn't his most impressive campaign...

...and besides I already have this Mario Soto holding down slot 725 in the franken-set.

So, another case where the '90 Topps buyback set binder gets a boost!

1978 Topps #711 - Cardell Camper/Dennis Lamp/Craig Mitchell/Roy Thomas

Don't have many of these multi-player RCs from 1978 Topps in buyback form, so this card is a nice change of pace.  Makes the binder by default too in the absence of any competition for spot 711.  Another nice card for fans of the obscure; Cardell Camper appeared in 3 career games, Craig Mitchell just 5.  Roy Thomas, and Dennis Lamp especially, had longer careers, but all four of them now call the franken-set binder home.

1989 Topps #750 - Bret Saberhagen

Last card for today, and it's another new number (and a "multiple of ten" number at that!) with star pitcher Bret Saberhagen on his 1989 Topps release.  An absolutely fantastic buyback to close out the post with, as 1989 was arguably Bret's finest season.  He led the league in innings pitched (262.1), ERA (2.16), wins (23), complete games (12), WHIP, strikeout-to-walk ratio, and a few other categories en route to his second American League Cy Young Award.  Yup, it's gonna be tough to bounce Saberhagen here with those kind of numbers backing this card.

What an amazing grouping today.  Five new numbers for the project, three new cards for the 1990 Topps buyback set, and a pair of Cy Young winners, both from the actual year in which they won the award.  Simply awesome!  The best part is that I have more buybacks from Brett yet to come!

Franken-set Progress:  586/792 (73%)
"Rejected" Buybacks:  492
Total Buybacks in Collection:  1,078

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Old Bruin, Old Leaf

I'd intended to post this one Thursday night at the outset of the Bruins/Maple Leafs playoff series, but an unexpected emergency work call just before puck drop disrupted my plans for the evening and I found myself watching the game on DVR around midnight instead. The glamorous side of a career in IT! I really can't complain though, given that the job is what allows me to enjoy my hobbies and pick up great cards like the two I have here today.

Since Boston and Toronto are squaring off tonight in Game 2, I figured it would be interesting to look at my oldest two hockey cards from each franchise...

On the Bruins side, this is a card I've actually shown here on the blog previously.  My only original, vintage Dit Clapper card, one I'm quite proud and fond of.  This is from the very first set of hockey cards that O-Pee-Chee ever printed up.

And now, the Leafs card...

Pretty obvious as to why I decided to lump these two together into a single post.  Unlike the Clapper I've never shown this one on the blog before, despite the fact that I picked it up close to five years ago now.  Amazingly this is the second Ace Bailey card from 1933 that I've posted in the past week!

This one's not in quite as good a condition as the Dit Clapper.  Honestly though, rounded corners aside it's got great visual appeal without any total eyesore creases/holes/missing chunks.  This set is tough in any condition, and the low grade of PSA 1 is the only reason I was able to afford a HOFer this old!

Thanks for stopping by to look at my moldy old hockey cards, and if you're an NHL fan I hope you're enjoying the playoffs!  Go Bruins!
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