Saturday, April 14, 2018

COMC Show & Tell - Player Collection Buybacks

Most of my baseball player collections are guys whose cards are nothing but "commons," and the guys didn't have long careers.  One of the benefits is that it's not necessarily difficult attempting to put together a complete run of their cards.  One of the cons is that since they weren't stars, they aren't showing up in any current sets.

Enter the Topps buybacks.

Some guys, like Steve Kline, I haven't seen buybacks for.  However, I've seen a few for Chris Enochs, Russ Davis and Darrell Whitmore.  Many people dislike the buybacks, and particularly last year's "Rediscover Topps," but for guys like me, it's a rare opportunity to add something new to old player collections.

One problem is that there was no checklist released by Topps, that I know of.  Davis was in Topps sets for the better part of a decade and there may be buybacks for some seasons and not others.  That's not even taking into account the different stamp colors.  UGH!

I recently discovered that Trading Card Database has the sets in the system, and as users report cards, they are added.  It will never be a complete checklist, but it's better than nothing.  It's also nice since that's where I'm cataloging my collection and I'll be able to get these in.

Thanks to COMC, I was able to add three on my last shipment.

2017 Bowman - Bowman Buybacks Bronze #204 Chris Enochs 

2017 Bowman - Bowman Buybacks Bronze #204 Chris Enochs (back) 
 I found two copies of this card and happily picked up both of them for a combined $1.85.

2017 Bowman - Bowman Buybacks Silver #342 Russ Davis   
2017 Bowman - Bowman Buybacks Silver #342 Russ Davis (back)
It took $2.25 to get this one, but compared to prices on eBay it seemed like a steal, considering shipping.

2017 Topps - Rediscover Topps Stamped Buybacks Blue #193 Russ Davis 

2017 Topps - Rediscover Topps Stamped Buybacks Blue #193 Russ Davis (back)
This is my favorite card of the bunch.  I don't recall thinking that much about the 1997 Topps design in 1997.  Fast forward twenty-one years and I really like it.  Also, the blue foil stamping blends into the card well.  I really dig that.

This one set me back $1.99.  I wouldn't pay that much for any random buyback, but I think it was also a steal at that price to add to my Russ Davis collection.

Shane, of Shoebox Legends, is the one that turned me on to buybacks in general with his Frankenset posts.  I also realize that many collectors aren't fans of the buybacks.  What I'm curious to know is aimed at player collectors.  Do you look for these to add to your player collection(s) and what is your thought process on that?  Please comment below with your thoughts.  I'd love to read them!

If you shop online and haven't signed up and used ebates yet, you're missing out.  I also use it on eBay to get money back from purchases there.  Between referrals and cash back, I've gotten over $150 in a year.  FREE CARDS!

If you're on Twitter, please give me a follow.  You can also find me on Trading Card Database.  I love trading cards, when it makes sense.  Happy collecting!


  1. Nice trio! Unfortunately I am not aware of any kind of checklist or record for what cards got stamped and in what quantity for ANY year of the buyback program, whether flagship buybacks or the Heritage box-toppers.

    I think the only approach you can possibly take is just to enjoy any that you find and not be OCD about "getting them all" given that is the case. That's kind of the rationale behind going franken-set in my case, I doubt I'd ever be able to complete a full set (though I'm trying with 1990!) or a run of all of any one player's cards, so instead I just enjoy and appreciate whatever I do come across...

    1. I'm definitely not going to go crazy with it. Like you, I will have fun once I get going on my frankenset and my 1987 set. It's when it comes to the individual players that I wish I knew. All I can do is research. For example, I know that Dale Murphy has Topps buybacks from 1987-90...since they are on COMC. That's all we know, though.

  2. I buy Cleveland Browns buybacks for my collection. I'm sure if I was just collecting players, I would try to grab buybacks of that player.

    1. I don't do much football and wasn't aware there were football buybacks. I may have to look into that and see if there are any former Mountaineer buybacks!

  3. I'm one who isn't a fan of buybacks. If I already have the card, I don't need the buyback version, which is why you're seeing a bunch of buybacks I found over on Shane's blog. One is even a PC guy for me, but I have the card already, and that is good enough for me. Happier knowing it will be in his Frankenset!

    1. That certainly goes with the "a million ways to collect" philosophy. It's great when collectors like yourself get them into the right hands!