Tuesday, January 12, 2010

1971 al downing

we'll kick things off with one of my favorite variations - the 1971 al downing card, number 182 in the set.
it's a team variation (meaning the team name on the card is different than the team name on the player's topps card) and a text variation (meaning there is text on the front that doesn't exist on the topps version).  these are two of the 6 basic variations i count in o-pee-chee issues.  the others being photo variation, checklist variation (including o-pee-chee exclusives), 'award' variation (the exclusion of the topps rookie cup or all star designation), and (as we will see in 1977) the facsimilie autograph placement variation.  there might be some others i re-discover, but i think that list pretty much covers it.  and, while i will post examples of all of these types of variations, i am going to focus on the team and photo variations the most.

back to al - he was traded from the brewers to the dodgers for andy kosco in february of 1971.  kosco's card was included in a later topps series, and was shown as a brewer (although with a cartoon hat).

for your reference, here's what the topps version looks like:
the backs of the 1971 o-pee-chee cards are quite different from those of topps.  this was the second year that the text was provided in both english and french (except on some of the high numbers).  here's the back of the o-pee-chee card:
and here's the back of the topps card:
we get all of the same information, just in a slightly different format.  the photo looks to be the same as well, although the o-pee-chee version uses the 'floating head' approach, and it looks like they gave al a haircut over the ears.  the o-pee-chee card is printed on brighter card stock than the topps, which is pretty typical of post 60's o-pee-chee.

one down, many more to go.  i won't be keeping a running total of the number of variations within each post, but i will label each post so that the archives keep a running tally on the number of each type of variation.

if you have any comments or suggestions for format or type of information you would like to see included, please leave a comment and let me know!

voici à vous, 1971 al downing!


  1. I didn't realize that he pitched for the Brewers. Anyway, I think I like the OPC backs better, although I'm biased.

  2. The OPC Downing also mis-spells "no-hitter".