Saturday, March 16, 2013

Trying to Remedy a Serious O-Pee-Chee Deficiency

A few weeks back I was scanning through my base want list of Giants cards from the 1970s and 1980s and was bummed out about the number of OPC cards I still needed for my Giants team sets.  I have always had a fascination with these cards from north of the border back from my days of player collecting.  I was always on the lookout for Willie McCovey, Rickey Henderson or Dave Winfield OPC cards for those player collections and would get so excited when I found a new one.

When I would browse through stacks of OPC cards, I had two favorite things to see; 1) Sets with card fronts that included the french language (the backs were pretty much all different from Topps so that didn't seem to excite me as much for some reason) and 2) the cards where the player was in one uniform but the team name was another, usually accompanied with a "now with" or "traded to" on the front of the card.  These seems so foreign (I guess they were) and so cool.

So when I was going through my want list I thought back to the thrill of seeing these variations on the cards I had in my sets can was a little puzzled as to why I hadn't sought out any Giants.  I am sure the lack of trades involving OPC contributed but it really came down to not going after them.  I decided to check out Sportlots to see if there was a seller who had a large number of my Giants needs and found a perfect match.  Ready to see some Giants OPC cards?

First up was the only 1983 OPC card I needed for my team set.  I had bought what I thought was a full team set a couple years back and was mad this Joe Morgan Super Veteran wasn't included.  Now I know why as he is "Now with Phillies".  Oh well, he has a Giants hat on, I spent a couple quarters on the card and I am a Super Veteran fan so this one is going in the Giants binder.
Next up are my 1982 OPC needs and I now have the complete team set minus a Joe Morgan In Action card.  This is a pretty cool team set as it includes 3 players who were traded to the Giants and are thus featured in different players uniforms.  This bothers the heck out of me on modern cards but for OPC it has some charm. I had both the Vidas in my Vida Blue binder but for under a dollar I can display the entire team set in the Giants binder.  I also like the green O-Pee-Chee logo on these card fronts and the dual language position-perfect!
I am not quite done with the 1981 team set, the seller forgot to include my Jack Clark card.  He is someone I frequently win auctions from and I asked him to include it in a future package, I hope he takes care of me.  Two more new Giants and again the dual language position and O-Pee-Chee name on front, this time in the baseball.  For whatever reason I have always liked this design with the team colored hat so it will be nice to add some additional cards with this design to the binders.

My 1980 set is now complete.  Not as big a fan of this set as the fronts are identical to the Topps release.  I shared a few of the card backs to "prove" to all the doubters that these are indeed OPC cards.  I am realizing now that I should have scanned the front of the Milt May cards as he is pictured in a sweet White Sox uni, collar and all.  He is the only player not featured in a Giants uniform.

I did have a few 1978 OPC cards so these 4 finished off the Giants team set...

as did these 4 1977 cards.  With all these purchases I now have a complete run of the Giants O-Pee-Chee cards from 1977 to 1987 with just 2 cards missing (81 Jack Clark and 82 Joe Morgan IA).  I still need tons of cards from the first half of the 1970s and the 1960s.  I suspect these are going to be much more challenging and expensive to find.  I do however have a few I have picked up over the last few months:
I scored this nice looking Dave Kingman from 1975 in a Sportlots auction a few weeks back.  Nice looking card (what 1975 card isn't) but doesn't have any changes to the front in comparison to its Topps counterpart.

Same thing with these 2 1971 OPC Giants, also picked up on Sportlots.  I love the old Rookie Cup logo Topps used and glad to see it appears on the Heritage cards this year.

Finally I picked up a 10 card lot on eBay last year and I am finally getting around to showing these now that they have some Canadian friends to join them in the post:

 I scanned the fronts and backs when I got these to show the OPCness of the cards. I was happy to pick up some many in one place.  However I still need 13 for the team set.
My favorite by far in the 1970 lot was this HR leaders card featuring 2 HOFers on the front including my favorite player of all time.  I already had one of these in the McCovey binder, no doubt a card show find from so many years ago, but this fits great in the Giants binder.  I love the backs of these that show the top 50 in the league, all the way down to those that hit 12 HRs.

Well my O-Pee-Chee deficiency is somewhat remedied but if you know a reasonable (cheap) source for mid-grade OPC cards from the 60s and 70s please let me know. I wouldn't mind knocking a few more team sets off the want list.


  1. Wow, thems a lot of O-Pee-Chee's. Way to go.

  2. I also need lots of '70s O-Pee-Chee Dodgers.

    They are so far down on my priority list though. I don't even have them on my monster want list.