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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.


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… shows all of the opc/topps variations from 1977-1992

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