Sunday, November 27, 2011

OPC, eh?

I live close enough to the Canadian border that I know the Grey Cup is presented at this time every year.

The 99th version of the CFL title happens to be tonight, featuring the Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. the BC Lions.

I don't pretend to know anything else about the matchup or the league. I used to know a couple of people who were big followers of the CFL. But they've kind of faded away and so has my knowledge of that sport with the really wide field. (As an example of my stunted knowledge of the CFL, I still repeat the old Martin Short Roughriders joke about once a week).

However, today seems like an appropriate day to recognize another Canadian institution, even if it's not the same sport.

How about some OPC, baseball style???

I received a bunch of OPC Dodgers from 1967ers of Diamond Cuts and Wax Stains. Virtually all of them were from the '70s, which is my favorite collecting decade. So let's have a lookie, eh?

Here is the oldest card, from 1971. These cards are particularly fun because you're expecting the usual dull-green backs when you turn the card over.

But no! It's yellow! With Frappeurs! And Lanceurs! And printed in Canada! Damn, right!

Moving up to 1972. I also received the '72 Jim Brewer OPC card, but I'm showing Bobby Valentine because he might get the Red Sox managerial job, and that is just so bizarre and vaguely concerning for someone who roots for the Red Sox. Interesting guy. But I don't know.

Let's see if the back of the '72 Valentine can top the '71 back.

Nah. Pretty much the same as the Topps '72 card backs, except with a lot of tiny type. Canadian kids must've gone blind trying to read all those super-small letters. ... Sorry, that was very American of me to say.

It's '73's turn now. I don't know why the position name isn't in French. That would make things a lot more fun.

Pete is still waving his fork around on the back of the OPC card, but I'm imagining there is French food on the table at the banquet this time.

The highlight of the whole package. This is the solo debut of my all-time favorite player in OPC form! I received a whole mess of '74 OPC Dodgers, but this one jumped right out at me. I can't wait to see the back.

More yellow (which I knew already). Look at all that French. If these cards just managed to filter a few miles to the south when I was in high school, I would have done so much better in my foreign language class, instead of loathing every minute.

Skipping all the way to 1978. The best player on the 1978 Dodgers team, according to Don Sutton. Here's the back of the card:

Not much to say about that. So here's Don Sutton:

So disappointed that they didn't squeeze the French words for "All-Star" onto the front to create a monster OPC All-Star shield.

Finally, we've reached the '80s. I thought about showing the Rick Monday card that I received, but that would be mean. So instead, here's Steve Garvey. I love an OPC Garvey card.

You can see the ragged right border, which is pretty common with OPCs.

The back:

Good to see OPC retained the blue. One of my favorite card backs ever.

I really love these cards. 1967ers even sent me an OPC night card, which I'll feature at some point soon.

Thanks for the cards! Go, Blue Bombers!


  1. French food? In Canada? Non! Poutine!

  2. Man, I could really go for an orange mocha frappeur right about now.

  3. that reminds me I'm never going to finish that '71 OPC set...

  4. Je souhaite que j'avais encore toutes les cartes O-Pee-Chee l'j'avais comme un gosse parce qu'ils sont amusants à envoyer à vos amis américains. Je tiens aussi je me suis souvenu comment parler couramment en français.

    (Go Blue Bombers!)

  5. In short, I really wish I had all of my old o-pee-chee cards so I could send 'em to my U.S. pals.

  6. Glad they made it! Never enough OPC ball on the web. :)

    I don't think I'll ever finish the '71 set either. I need about 10 of the lower numbers and all but about ten of the high ones. The Clemente alone seems to run to the multiple hundreds every time I see it.

    Got dupes, though - every team but the Dodgers. :)

    Making headway on '68 and '69 and just 11 away from '74. I need to do a couple baseball posts.

  7. I laughed a bit at the super-small lettering. I was so used to it that every time I saw Topps, I always thought they were throwing half the back away. There was so much room for more writing, I couldn't believe they didn't do it.

    I think French positions (on the front) showed up in the early 80s. Need to check.

  8. "French positions"? I think some pimply-faced kid in Idaho is highly disappointed right now for landing on this site after googling what he thought was a can't-miss.

  9. Maybe the kid would see "premier but" and think that was hot stuff....