Wednesday, January 13, 2010

1965 - a primer (with brief stops in 1937 and 1960)

o-pee-chee came on the baseball scene in 1937, believe it or not, with a 'baseball stars' set, of which i own exactly zero cards.  in 1960, they showed up again with a tattoo set, matching the topps issue of the same year with regards to checklist and everything else.  we'll ignore that issue, too, and jump right into their third baseball release.

in 1965, o-pee-chee released a truncated version of the 1965 topps set.  the o-pee-chee set has just 283 cards, and it mirrors the topps checklist from 1-283.  this means that there is no 1965 o-pee-chee sandy koufax or mickey mantle (aside from the league leader cards), but there are cards for willie mays and pete rose.

there were no variations in the 1965 o-pee-chee set.  in fact, the only real difference between its cards and those of topps are the card stock (o-pee-chee used a gray stock) and the fact that the backs say 'printed in canada' on the o-pee-chee versions instead of 'printed in u.s.a.' on the topps.  both have the topps chewing gum copyright.

here's the 1965 o-pee-chee frank howard card, number 40 in the set:

and here's the topps version:

let's see the backs.  first, o-pee-chee:

and now topps:

my copy of the topps card has bonus hand numbering!  i think one of the interesting things about this card (both topps and o-pee-chee) is that it is noted on the back that howard was traded to the senators.  come to think of it, this could have been a team variation!  unlike howard, ken mcmullen, claude osteen, pete richert, phil ortega, and john kennedy (the other players involved in the trade) were included in later topps series, so they are all featured on the correct team, although clearly not in the right uniforms.  anyway, hondo is just here to be an example of the lack of variation that existed in the 1965 o-pee-chee set.

we'll get back to the variations next time!

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