30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Buybacks, Reprints, and Cancelled Stamps Oh My!

Summer break is coming to an end... and the start of a new school year is just around the corner.  Earlier in the week, I was up in Lake Tahoe for a family reunion... and more importantly to visit where we spread my mother's ashes two years ago.  I'm not sure about the afterlife, but I'd like to think she wakes up to this wonderful view every morning.

Now that we're all caught up with what's going on in my life... let's check out some new additions to my collectionToday's post focuses on buybacks, reprints, and cancelled stamps sent to me by Reader X (Xavier Higgins), AJ (The Lost Collector), and Bo (Baseball Cards Come to Life!).

Let's kick things off with some buybacks.  I've always had mixed emotions on these.  Back in 1991, I pulled one out of a pack of Topps and was pretty excited to own an original league leaders card from the early 70's.  The only problem was it was unstamped... so there's no actual proof it was a buyback.

These days Topps stamps their buybacks.  The issue I have with modern day buybacks is I have almost zero interest in pulling a buyback of a card issued only a few years ago of a guy I don't collect.  On the other hand... I'm all about these vintage buybacks that Reader X sent my way:

1967 Topps #385
1968 Topps #580

Jim Fregosi is a member of the Angels Hall of Fame, but I didn't really start watching baseball as a serious fan until the tail end of his career.  I mostly remember him for managing the Philadelphia Phillies in the 90's.

Bob Bailey is another guy who played a little before my time, so I wasn't familiar with his career.  I was impressed with those eyebrows though.  It's a shame Wally Moon retired before Bailey joined the Dodgers in 1967.  That would have been quite the powerful eyebrow ensemble.

Okay... I can see that at this pace... this post will end up taking four hours to write. (sadly... even after cutting back on my commenting, this post took four hours to write).  I'm gonna have to scale things down for both of our sakes.

1973 Topps #12
1978 Topps #228

I was super excited to see both of these cards in Xavier's package.  I've always associated Don Zimmer with the Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, and the Tampa Bay Rays... but never the San Diego Padres.  That being said... this is a very nice addition to my Padres PC.  As for Manny Mota, I'm always excited to add a vintage buyback of a guy often regarded as one of the greatest pinch hitters of all-time.

This was some serious California Love sent to me by Reader X.

AJ also hooked me up with a buyback:

1990 Topps #670

Four out of five times if you asked me if I'd be interested in a 1990 Topps buyback, I'd probably say "not really".  The bottom line is this was the heart of the Junk Wax Era and before the recent hobby boom, you could find boxes of this stuff at the flea market for $5 more often than not.

However if I pulled this Dennis Eckersley out of a pack, I would have been stoked.  Not only is he a hall of famer for my Oakland A's PC... it also features a great action shot.

AJ also sent me this really beautiful card of Rickey Henderson:

At first glance, it looks like his 1999 Stadium Club cardTopps sure gave Rickey fans a treat when they produced this card twenty-two years ago.  I guess they wanted to give current collectors who weren't collecting back in 1999 a chance to share in the beauty.

buybacks... I have mixed emotions about Topps reprinting cards from their past.  In fact, if you've shown off a reprint on your blog, there's a chance I've left my feelings towards them in the comments.

2021 Stadium Club Greats #SCG-8

Generally... I'm not a fan of Topps excessively reprinting base cards and calling them inserts.  It would be cool if they did it on the occasional basis, but these days it seems like they've gone wild over them... which just seems lazy.  That being said... some reprints have a place in my collection.  For example... I enjoy getting my hands on as many 1980 Topps Rickey Henderson and 1983 Topps Tony Gwynn rookie reprints as I can.  This card might not be a rookie card reprint, but it's a nice addition to my Rickey Henderson PC.

Speaking of rookie reprints, Reader X gave me this Reggie Jackson:

2021 Topps Double Headers #TDH-9

Now I'm only two cards away from filling up a 9-pocket page of his reprint rookie cards:

The final segment of today's post involves postage stamps... which I've been collecting off and on for the past fifteen years.  One of these days, I'll go and scan my entire collection... but for now here are some awesome 1972 Olympic stamps that were sent to me by Bo:

Back in July, I wrote about some recent stamp acquisitions and Bo left a comment about a stamp collection he picked up a few years ago.  He asked about what kind of stamps I collected, so I wrote back that I'd be interested in any stamps related to the 1972 Olympics or Japan.  He killed two birds with one stone with all of these.

I wish I could give you more information about these stamps, but honestly... I'm just a novice stamp collector. who enjoys adding the occasional stamp to the collection.

Here's another stamp I recently added to my collection:

I actually considered purchasing a sheet of these when I placed my order from the USPS a few weeks ago, but ended up removing it from my cart at the last second.  Maybe I'll go back and buy a sheet to use for PWE or even for my Stamp PC, but for now this cancelled stamp from AJ's PWE will work just fine.

Getting back to Bo's PWE... he also tossed in this very cool matchbook from Japan:

It's from the Hotel New Grand, which according to their website is Japan's leading hotel.  The ninety-four year old hotel is considered a luxury hotel with fantastic views of the Port of YokohamaBabe Ruth, Charlie Chaplin, and General MacArthur are among the famous people who have stayed there over the years.

I wish I could give you more information on this matchbookBo seems to be the resident expert among our cohort of bloggers when it comes to these.  If I had to guess, I'd say it's from the 1950's, 60's, or 70's.  Regardless of its age, it's a fine addition to my Japanese Non-Sports PC.

Thank you Xavier, AJ, and Bo for the buybacks, reprints, and cancelled stamps!

As always, I'd love to hear from the rest of you.  Here are today's questions of the day:

What are your thoughts on collecting buybacks?

How do you feel about Topps and their reprints?

Happy Thursday and sayonara!

Extra Innings

Here are a few more items that were sent to me from Xavier, AJ, and Bo that didn't really fit into the context of this post, but are still very much appreciated...

Bo must have read about my Surfer PC, because he sent me a small stack of 1994 Generation Extreme cards:

My favorite was this card of Derek Ho, who was a very popular surfer back in the early 90's when I actively followed professional surfing:

1994 Generation Extreme #46

Unfortunately, he passed away last year.  He was only fifty-five years old2020 sucked.

AJ sent me a few Kurt Suzuki cards, but this one especially stood out:

2015 Bowman Silver Ice #85

I don't own a lot of non-Oakland Athletic parallels of Kurt Suzuki, so I was very happy to add him to the binder.

As for Xavier... I literally have stacks of cards I still need to write about from the first two care packages he sent my way.  I could have easily picked a card from one of those, but I wanted to show off a card from another package he recently sent me.

It's this really, really shiny box topper:

2017 Topps Gypsy Queen GlassWorks Box Topper #GW-CK

This is the shiniest card in my collection.  Sadly my scanner does not do this card any justice.  Anyone who has ever held one of these inserts can verify that.

I've been wanting to add one of these box toppers to my collection ever since I first laid eyes on them.  Now that I have one... I want more.

One more round of thanks to Bo, AJ, and Xavier.


  1. Not really into buybacks, but I definitely have a few. I randomly found a Nellie Fox buyback the other which I guess is sort of cool.

    Glad the stamp will find a place in your collection, for now!

  2. I'm not a huge buyback guy either. But that Kershaw is right up my alley!

  3. I've written my opinions on stamped buybacks in at least 30 different blog posts, so I think I'm on record. They're dumb and an excuse for people to charge more for the card. Also, you know what's cooler than a stamped vintage buyback? A vintage buyback that isn't stamped!

    I own the Seager Glassworks thingy (wrote another post about that). They're perfect to show off when the sun's out.

  4. I fourth (or is it 5th) that. I no likey the buybacks, and I really don't care for the reprints either.

  5. I sideeyed buybacks but my eldest pulled a 1969 Rich Rollins out of a pack of 2017 Update which was cool as heck and made us both happy. So I've revised my opinions as them being cool to pull from packs but absolutely stupid to try to buy/sell as something special.

    Reprints? I kind of hate them and the way that Topps reprints the same cards almost every year. That said, as a Giants collector, I certainly like having reprints around to slide into the Mays or HoF RC slots as placeholders for a card I'll likely never get.

  6. I'll take a buyback if I see one in a dime box and/or I get one in a trade, but I don't seek them out by any means. I still think reprints are cool - don't see any need for them in Stadium Club, though.

  7. I like buybacks if they're vintage or otherwise older cards like pre-2000. I don't really need buybacks of cards that were just printed a few years ago. Like Nick said, I don't really seek them out but if I come across one for pocket change, then I'll nab one. Reprints are nice, especially for rookie cards of legends like Johnny Bench, Nolan Ryan, Mike Trout, etc. since collectors on a budget, like myself, my not be able to afford the original card.

  8. Reprints of cards I likely never could afford might be OK. Any Mantle, for example.

  9. Glad you like them! I have more Olympic stamps from random countries from the '60s and early '70s. World Cup too.

    In the US one way to narrow down the date of a matchbook is the phone numbers, as the format changed several times (5, 6, 7 digits; alpha numeric; popularity of area codes in advertising). Don't know if that would work for Japan, I did a quick Google search but didn't find anything useful.

  10. Is it just me, or is the summer school break shorter than it used to be? Seems like all you teachers have to go back earlier and earlier each year.

  11. Bizarre synchronicity: I just noticed I had a bunch of Reggie rookie reprints and decided to make a page of them; I have seven total and I am looking for two more. Fun!

  12. the lost collector - the stamp is cool. even if i buy a sheet of yogi berra stamps, i'll probably end up using them for pwe's... so your stamp isn't going anywhere

    the diamond king - i think the glassworks would be even more popular if they were standard size. i'm guessing the size turns some collectors off. i wonder why topps doesn't make other refractors as shiny as these box toppers.

    night owl - i can see your point about inserting non-stamped buybacks and how they're better than stamped ones. the stamp officially alters the card, which could be considered taboo by some collectors. however if i'm gonna deal with buybacks, i'd rather have the stamp. if i just want the vintage card i'd go out and pick one up (assuming i could afford a copy).

    johnnys trading spot - so far... buybacks are batting 0 for 4. maybe someone at topps will read these comments

    nick vossbrink - the idea of reprinting the same cards year in and year out is my biggest complaint. i'd be interested in whether or not kids think buybacks are cool. i mean how cool would it be to pull a 60's card from a pack of topps flagship if you're a ten year old. honestly... i'd enjoy it myself

    nick - i think the only ones i've actually tried to find were some cheap rookie cards from the 80's. not even sure i ever tracked one down in my price range though. sure hope topps doesn't start making heritage, archives, museum collection, a&g, and gypsy queen reprints

    adam - i can see where collectors might want a reprint b/c they're affordable and can be used as a place holder. my major complaint is that they don't need to keep reprinting the same cards

    adam kaningher - yes they are! love them

    anonymous - i can understand that. i'll never be able to afford a 1951 bowman mantle... so a reprint would be cool. i just don't need a new one to chase every year.

    bo - yeah, those stamps are awesome! that was a pretty cool collection you acquired. lots of variety. i remember you explaining the phone numbers in a prior post. i tried to search the internet and didn't find anything on the history of that matchbook either. it's still awesome though.

    jon - we typically go back the 3rd monday in august. but i sure miss the days of starting school after labor day weekend when i was a kid.

    jacobmrley - good news... topps will probably print two new ones for us over the next two years ;D

  13. I am not a fan of reprints, but I do enjoy the buybacks. The reprints feel really repetitive and I feel like they are going to ruin the Heritage product in time. Especially some of the 1980s years with how they have made big insert sets out of them in the flagship over the past few years, and also included them in Archives. The Buybacks are fun, especially the Archives Signature products.

  14. If Topps never reprint another version of Tony Gwynn's 1983 rookie card I will be a happy bunny.

  15. What an awesome view. I feel the same way about the 75 Brett and Yount as above comment on the Gwynn reprint - no more. I might trade for them or pull out of a dime or quarter box, but unless it's something special I'm not actively chasing. I'm more ok with the buybacks, but still not a fan of the rehashing.

  16. Man, the buyback stamp on that Padres/Zimmer card is in the perfect spot. I didn't even notice it at first. Great artwork on those Olympic stamps, too.

    I don't collect buybacks, but I can certainly see the appeal. As for reprints, if I ask the question "how many more can Topps do, really?" then I'm sure Topps will reply with something like "You want more reprints? Here's a billion more!" So I won't even ask that question.

  17. "Pinch Hitting for Pedro Borbon, Manny Mota...Mota...ta...ta..."
    The older the Buyback the better. Really enjoy them in a Product like Heritage or Archives, only like the Rediscover Topps if it's a player I collect, Hall of Famer or a RC. One of the Reprint sets I enjoyed pulling were The Cards Your Mother Threw Out set with original backs, other than that I could do without them for the most part. The Reimagining cards of My Favorite Current Product Clearly Authentic on the other hand are at the Top of my priority list to touch on a subject from our email correspondence.

  18. the snorting bull - i do enjoy picking up cheap singles from those archives signature products. they allow collectors to find autographs of players on teams you normally don't see them on

    jongudmund - lol. i'd be curious to hear how many different versions you own. one of these days i'll do a post with all of mine.

    steve at 1975baseballcards.com - what about 1975 topps reprints? i know you enjoy collecting anything related to 1975... do they include reprints?

    gregory - seems like the majority of the collectors who responded are okay with topps cutting back on them. i personally don't even need them to be replaced with another insert or parallel. i'd be okay if topps went back to the days of one or two insert sets per product. i'll take it a step further and say i wish they made those inserts tough to pull, so 99.9% of the cards you pulled from a pack were base

    xavier higgins - what's the oldest buyback you own? i think i have one from 1959. maybe. i think those The Cards Your Mother Threw Out really opened the reprint floodgates. and i totally agree with you on those clearly authentic cards. those rookie reprint acetate autographs are gorgeous. although i think i only own one (roberto alomar).

  19. Those are some really nice stamps. I actually collect Olympic Track and Field covers and cachets, as well as US Navy ship cachets. I have a whole mess of cachets from the USS O'Brien (DD975), from when I was onboard the ship. I have her birth (keel laid), to Christening (Commissioning) and to her final days (decommissioning). In fact, rhat may make a great column some day.

  20. Yes my collection definitely includes the 1975 reprints, but the Brett 75 reprints are released non-stop are so out of control that I stopped when the iconic reprints came out. I don't plan to get more unless they're extra special in some way.