Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Rediscover Fred Toliver
Some people have opinions about the stamped buybacks that Topps has inserted into their products over the years, and many of those opinions are pretty strong. I was never one of those people that was fully against the idea, but the idea that one of your cards in a $3+ dollar pack can be one of those reject cards that you get in a repack box at the corner drug store, only stamped with some block letters, is kind of ridiculous. I have several stamped buybacks from past years of Topps Heritage, with foil logos affixed to cards from the '60s. They're not bad. But who would want this thing, outside of members of the player's family and some deranged Phillies collectors? (Okay, fine... if this was Curt Ford, I would probably want it for my collection.)
Freddie Toliver, for his part, pitched for 7 big league seasons and accumulated a handful of Major League Baseball cards, mostly ones from the late '80s. He's perhaps best known for being the other guy on Andres Galarraga's 1986 Fleer rookie card. (So awkward, by the way. For years, I was convinced that Bob Kipper was the "other guy" on Curt Ford's 1986 Fleer rookie card.) I'm pretty sure I saw Freddie pitch in person on more than one occasion, incidentally. His career stats reflect parts of three separate seasons with the AAA Portland Beavers, first as the Phillies PCL affiliate and later when they became associated with the Twins. He pitched professionally well into the '90s, coming just a couple of years short of joining Rickey Henderson (at least on a professional level) as a four decade player. Not too shabby.