Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The flea market saga, Pt. 2: Frankensetting

Thus far, my frankenset travels have been an absolute blast.

While completion is still a bit of a ways away, it's been a ton of fun adding new pieces to my checklist of cool cardboard.

The vast majority of card I've received towards this little project have come from the many great traders out there in the blogosphere. I've also had the good fortune to pull a few prime frankenset inductees from the Series 2 packs I've busted in recent days.

Up until Sunday, though, I hadn't yet scavenged the discount bins for potential frankenset finds. I'd pulled quite a few cards for my "cool box" from dime boxes in the past year or so.

My quest to officially build a frankenset, however, only came to fruition about a month ago. As it happens, Sunday was the first chance I had to add discount cardboard to my newfangled frankenset binder.

I came home with a nice budding stack of potential additions. Still, buying them is only half of the battle.

As any fellow frankensetters will tell you, the "battle" between clashing card numbers is where the real fun starts.

A few of the cards I acquired filled previously uninhabited spots in my frankenset binder. Before George Scott's 1973 Topps issue came along, slot #263 in my checklist had been barren.

While closing open spots in my frankenset is indeed a victory in itself, the aforementioned "clashes" are what I've had the most fun with so far.

Here are ten of my favorite battles from Sunday's frankenset finds.

1973 Topps #97 Willie Montanez


1994 Stadium Club #97 Doug Strange

Some decisions aren't all that hard to make.

I dug up the Montanez from a 15-cent vintage bin, one that I'll delve deeper into in a later post.

While I love a good "double dip" card (and the Strange is certainly that), the quirky off-center '73 Montanez earns its rightful spot in my frankenset binder.

This battle wasn't much of a nail-biter.

Victor: Montanez

2011 Topps #206 Chase Headley


2008 Upper Deck #206 Ronny Paulino

Neither was this one.

While the Paulino does feature a nice catching action shot, throwbacks win out more often than not. At just a dime, I didn't have to think twice about landing the Headley.

Yes, even those ugly Padres throwbacks get some love in my frankenset.

Victor: Headley

2013 Topps #240 JJ Putz


1995 Score #240 Sid Bream

Still, that's not to say throwbacks always reign supreme.

Since I pretty much only chased down 2013 Series 1 cards of my "binder guys", a lot of other neat shots flew under my radar.

Thankfully, my regular vendor's dime box helped me reclaim a few of those cool pieces for my frankenset. (You'll see a few more as this post rolls on.)

The Putz is a great example. While not a "binder guy", I can't resist the neat throwback shot featured on his Series 1 issue.

Still, there's just something about Bream's 1995 Score card that I love. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it's long been one of my favorite frankenset "autograph" shots.

It's one of the few cards that can say it took down an almighty "throwback".

Victor: Bream

1974 Topps Traded #23T Craig Robinson


1995 Topps #23 Mike Devereaux

You know me.

I love a good "shades" card. At just 15 cents, nabbing that Robinson was a no-brainer.

Still, it can't take down the rare "head over heels" shot featured on Mr. Devereaux's 1995 Topps issue.

I have a feeling he'll be an eternal frankenset staple.

Victor: Devereaux

2013 Topps #224 Jon Jay


1993 Upper Deck #224 Jay Buhner

Now that I have a bit of frankenset experience under my belt, I have to admit something.

I never realized how hard it'd be to crown a victor from some of these battles.

I'm not exactly sure how, but it took me until July to track down a copy of Jon Jay's awesome 2013 Topps card.

"For sure that one will make the frankenset!", I thought.

Not so fast. Jay Buhner had something to say about that.

In one of the better shots from the legendary 1993 Upper Deck checklist, Mr. Buhner appears to have "photobombed" a perfectly nice session with fellow Mariner and close friend Ken Griffey Jr.

Picking a side in this battle sure wasn't easy. In the end, though, I had to go with the Jay.

Action shots just don't get much better than that.

Victor: Jay

1982 Donruss #556 Shooty Babbitt


1989 Fleer #556 Rey Quinones

For the most part, the "high numbers" section of my frankenset doesn't feature too many gripping clashes.

Only a select number of checklists go up into the 500 or 600 numbers. Quite a few of the later pages in my frankenset are almost empty.

Still, the #556 slot proved to provide a great battle when I nabbed the awesomely-named '82 Donruss Shooty Babbitt from a dime box on Sunday.

Trouble was, he had to go up against a jaw-dropping "bat barrel" shot of the rather obscure Rey Quinones.

My readers will probably disagree on this one, but I chose the bat barrel. Besides, I already have another Shooty Babbitt card slotted into my frankenset.

I figured Mr. Quinones deserved his moment in the sun, anyways.

Victor: Quinones

2013 Topps #314 AJ Ellis


1992 O-Pee-Chee #314 Jeff Huson

I can't specifically remember, but I'm sure I sent a copy of the Ellis to one of the many Dodger bloggers around here sometime in February.

Flashing forward to the present day, I jumped at the chance to reclaim a rare "mound conference" shot for frankenset purposes.

Even so, I was all ready to give the "double dipping" Jeff Huson the victory in this battle...until I saw the unfortunate appearance of one Jose Canseco on his '92 OPC issue. (I'm not a Canseco fan, in case you don't know.)

That, incidentally, caused me to give Ellis the nod.

Poor Mr. Huson was hurt by an unfortunate "cameo" on an otherwise flawless shot.

Victory: Ellis

1994 UD All-Time Heroes #137 Rennie Stennett


1993 Upper Deck #137 Darren Daulton

I'm a little surprised I haven't inducted Rennie Stennett into my binders yet.

I may have to change that in the future. For now, though, he's an eligible frankenset nominee, which is why I had to have that awesome "double dip" shot of his for a mere dime.

Like Jon Jay, though, he ended up going toe-to-toe with another spectacular member of 1993 UD's unforgettable checklist.

It's not often you see a catcher prowling near the first base bag, is it?

I'm guessing Daulton was involved in some sort of rundown play when that shot was taken.

In an extremely tough decision, though, I eventually went with the Stennett. That's taking nothing away from Mr. Daulton, though.

I'm just a sucker for neat '70s action shots.

Victor: Stennett

2013 Topps #69 Marco Scutaro NLCS


1995 Upper Deck Special Edition #69 Mark Portugal

How's this for a frankenset matchup?

Here, we have a rain-soaked shot going up against a coveted "pitcher at the plate". I juggled this one around in my head for quite a while before coming to a final decision.

The Scutaro is yet another card I can't believe I didn't have already. I remember watching Game 7 of last year's NLCS, the contest that eventually sent the Giants to the World Series.

I remember the blistering storm that started to come down at the end of that game even better. I don't think the Giants minded celebrating in the rain, though.

Shots of "pitchers at the plate" were one of my first loves in this hobby. For that reason, it's incredibly hard to knock cards like the Portugal out of this frankenset.

Still, Mr. Scutaro did the improbable. He beat the hallowed "pitcher at the plate".

I just couldn't pass up the chance to add the first "rain" card to my frankenset.

Victor: Scutaro

2009 Topps #256 Reggie Abercrombie


1976 Topps #256 Rowland Office

This turned out to be the toughest frankenset decision I've had to make in, well...ever.

In a true Herculean battle, I unwittingly pitted an awesome "play at the plate" shot against one of the goofiest cards of the 1970's.

Someone at Topps captured an absolute masterpiece with the Abercrombie, capturing the precise moment that both his helmet and Chris Ianetta's headgear went flying into the air.

Such beautiful art is a rare feat in this hobby.

The Office, on the other hand, may not be as masterful. But it sure seems to be a card that a lot of people remember.

I'd like to know what was going on off-camera that gave Office such an odd facial expression. (Or maybe I don't, now that I think of it.)

It's such a timeless card, in fact, that my dad even remembers it from his childhood. To me, that's how I know I have a special piece on my hands.

And, in that end, that's what gave Rowland Office the slight edge in this clash.

Victor: Office

I'm already looking forward to what frankenset decisions I'll be making in the future.

They may not always be easy. I've already had to eliminate some outstanding cardboard from my frankenset binder.

Touh calls and all, though, one thing is for sure.

Frankensetting sure is an a ton of fun.

1 comment:

P-town Tom said...

I love your "battle for the FrankenSet page" posts. Good stuff. I think my favorite is that Rowland Office card. He looks like he must have been a baaaaad dude.