Happy Canada Day to my north-of-the-border readers!
It's tradition around here to try to acknowledge this day -- since I practically live in Canada according to some downstaters. I've been running out of topics the past few years, but fortunately this year the most recent set I've completed happens to be Canadian!
Charlie Hough was the last card I needed to finish the 1979 O-Pee-Chee Dodgers set. It arrived Monday, just in time for Canada Day festivities. (Someone who actually lives in Canada will have to fill me in on what those are).
Here is the card with a wider crop so you can see the trademark ragged edges.
This is the third '70s Dodgers OPC set I've completed after 1977 and 1978. But '79 is a landmark OPC baseball set as it's the first one that tells you on every single card front -- not just the ones where a player has recently changed teams -- that the card is O-Pee-Chee and not Topps.
Of course, the most fun part of OPC, and the reason I look out for these cards, especially from the '70s and '80s, are the cards that show them with two different teams -- in this case, one is the Dodgers.
Here are most of the "transition cards" in the '79 team set. My favorite is the Andy Messersmith because it's one of the only cards acknowledging Messersmith's return to the Dodgers. The clashing uniforms of the A's and Padres are great fun, too.
This is the only card in the team set that shows a player with the Dodgers but lists him with a different team. It's a famous one. I've written about it before, it was a Cardboard Appreciation topic (have you voted in the new poll?)
Of course, I must show you a celebratory picture of the entire team set:
That is 22 cards in the '79 OPC team set (although Trading Card Database considers Tommy John a Yankees card).
The Topps Dodgers team set contains 27 cards, understandable as OPC sets were traditionally smaller during this period.
Players in the Topps set that aren't in the OPC set are: Bobby Castillo, Vic Davalillo, Joe Ferguson, Jerry Grote, Manny Mota, Johnny Oates, Bill Russell, Bob Welch and the Dodgers prospects card. That's mostly bit players that OPC avoided, although skipping Russell is odd and going without the Welch rookie card was a big miss. OPC also didn't include the team photo card.
I tend to forget about going for OPC Dodgers cards but have been trying to make up a little ground amid all the other pressing wants that I have. They're just so much fun to add to the collection and are pretty available to a cash-strapped collector like me.
That's because U.S. collectors ignore Canada like every other U.S. citizen does.
Except for us folks who practically live there ourselves.
Those celebrating, enjoy what's left of the day. I'm going to imagine that it involves looking through some OPC cards. ... At least it did for me.