Skip to main content

The unsettling part of O-Pee-Chee


I'm not going to get into the debate over which card-updating philosophy was better during the '70s and '80s: the free-form airbrushing from Topps or the understated type-written phrase from O-Pee-Chee. I see the merits and drawbacks of both.

With Topps' airbrushing, you get a player in his "new uniform". Sure, it's artistic license and not a very good one at that, but as a kid, I didn't notice it much. With O-Pee-Chee, you get a formal statement and none of the messiness. The photo isn't updated, but for some of us we might not WANT the photo updated (see: Cey, Cubs).

The updating habits of both Topps and O-Pee-Chee are well-known. But I want to focus on the unsettling part of O-Pee-Chee's technique.

Since OPC kept the traded player in his old uniform, I have cards like this:


It's a little weird. Because of my team-collecting rules, this goes in my Dodgers binders, and it's rather odd seeing someone dressed in green when everyone else is dressed in blue.

But I handle it just fine because the card is a nice homage to history and to OPC.

This, however ...


... almost sets off the flight-or-fight response.

How can so much ugly Giant-ness appear on a beautiful blue Dodger card? A Giant uniform in my Dodger binder? Ewww. Ewww. Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

The dueling teams on one card is part of OPC's charm, but does it have to be these two teams?

I received this card from Angus of Dawg Day Cards. He is a Canadian resident and has access to all kinds of OPC quirkiness. Here are some more OPC Dodgers that he sent that fill collection holes:







So much beautiful Dodger blue. I can now breathe again.

I also received some straight-away Dodger cards from Angus.


This is a sample of mid-90's Leaf set that I hope was an actual thing. I've never seen it before.


An autographed Wilton Guerrero card. If he actually had to sign 5,750 of those, I can see why his career didn't reach expectations. Career killed by pen exhaustion.


And a shiny 2010 Tribute card of the Duke.

These will all go in the Dodger binders, and, yes, so will the half Giant/half Dodger Alex Trevino.

As you know, it's not the only time a Giant has appeared on a Dodger card. Both Upper Deck and Topps have had a field day the last 10 years or so pairing up players from two rival teams thinking these cards might be collectible. Of course, they're not at all, but yet I force them into the binders.

At least OPC had a reason for what they were doing, other than trolling team collectors.

Comments

Tony L. said…
In the 1986 Brewers OPC set, OPC included Rich Thompson as a "Now with Brewers" player. Thompson had appeared with Cleveland for 57 games (and a 7.09 ERA) in 1985. The Brewers made some minor league trade and sent him to AAA Vancouver for 1986...where he racked up 23 games and a 7.30 ERA. But, it was the weirdest thing to see him as "Now with Brewers" when I'd never even heard of the guy being in the organization.
JediJeff said…
I'm buying Angus a beer or 12 for making you put a Giants card in your collection.
Anonymous said…
"this however..." & seeing the Giants on a Dodgers card, busted me up good! Nice delivery. It's like we all just got trolled by OPC. I'm guessing there's some Yankee/BoSox or Cardinals/Cubs mixes too. You could probably do a whole article or two on these messed up looking "rivalry cards". They feel sacreligious.
Does anyone e know what O-Pee-Chee mean?
Mike Matson said…
The name O-Pee-Chee is an Torai Khala Aboriginal word meaning "the Robin" as is found in The Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Mike Matson said…
The annoying thing was the 1990 set. They kept the Topps logo on the front, but the back was OPC.
night owl said…
OPC did the same thing for some of the '70s sets.
Angus said…
I'm not going to say that I didn't chuckle at sending that card, but I read the post quite a while ago explaining what a Dodger card is so I knew it qualified. (Just like it qualifies as a Giants card to JediJeff.)
Eric C. Loy said…
You want to see unsettling? Look what OPC did to hockey players in their 1971 set: they re-used the bodies of players and stuck new heads on them. Find the Paul Shmyr card from that year and check out his comically small head.
Thank you Mike. I appreciate your time to reply to my question.
Fuji said…
If I were looking to start a new PC... that Alex Trevino would be a great place to start. I love OPC baseball cards from the 70's and 80's... even with all of the extra text.
Knothole Gang is most definitely a legit thing. Wooden cards with plastic photos embedded. Pretty cool 90's insert.
Mark Hoyle said…
N.O. I'm in the same boat as you. I have to pick up some Yankees related cards because of the OPC variations
Cardman99 said…
http://ohmyopc.blogspot.ca/ shows all of the opc/topps variations from 1977-1992

Popular posts from this blog

This guy was everywhere

It's interesting how athletes from the past are remembered and whether they remain in the public conscious or not.

Hall of Fame players usually survive in baseball conversations long after they've played because they've been immortalized in Cooperstown. Then there are players who didn't reach the Hall but were still very good and somehow, some way, are still remembered.

Players like Dick Allen, Rusty Staub, Vida Blue and Mickey Rivers live on decades later as younger generations pick up on their legacies. Then there are all-stars like Bert Campaneris, who almost never get discussed anymore.

There is just one memory of Campaneris that younger fans most assuredly know. I don't even need to mention it. You know what's coming, even if Lerrin LaGrow didn't.

But there was much more to Campaneris than one momentary loss of reason.

A couple of months ago, when watching old baseball games on youtube hadn't gotten old yet, I was watching a World Series game from…

Some of you have wandered into a giveaway

Thanks to all who voted in the comments for their favorite 1970s Topps card of Bert Campaneris.

I didn't know how this little project would go, since I wasn't installing a poll and, let's face it, the whole theme of the post is how Campaneris these days doesn't get the respect he once did. (Also, I was stunned by the amount of folks who never heard about the bat-throwing moment. Where am I hanging out that I see that mentioned at least every other month?)

A surprising 31 people voted for their favorite Campy and the one with the most votes was the one I saw first, the '75 Topps Campy card above.

The voting totals:

'75 Campy - 11 votes
'70 Campy - 4
'72 Campy - 4
'73 Campy - 4
'76 Campy - 4
'74 Campy - 3
'78 Campy - 1

My thanks to the readers who indulged me with their votes, or even if they didn't vote, their comments on that post. To show my appreciation -- for reading, for commenting, for joining in my card talk even if it might …

Return of the king

(If you haven't voted for your favorite Bert Campaneris '70s card in the last post, I invite you to do so).

So you've been away for a few years and want everyone to know that you're back.

How do you do that?

Do what The Diamond King did when he returned to card blogging last month: Bombard readers with contests and giveaways! Well, you've certainly gotten MY attention, sir!

I'll start with the giveaways first. Since he returned, the Diamond King has issued multiple "Diamond King 9" giveaways, straight out of the chute and rapid fire in the last month-plus. As I've said before, I am very slow to get to these "first come, first serve" giveaways. I used to think "I spend too much time on the computer" and now I realize "I don't spend enough time on the computer at all!"

But I was able to nab two cards out of the many giveaways.


I won this key 1981 Fleer Star Sticker of The Hawk. I have since acquired several more &#…