entering the 1974 season, hank aaron had 713 home runs, one shy of babe ruth's all time record. topps went ahead and crowned aaron the new home run king on card #1 which was followed by a special subset featuring each of aaron's topps base cards through the years. these 'hank aaron special' cards were the precursor to the 1986 topps pete rose and 1990 topps nolan ryan tribute subsets. anyway, the final card of the hank aaron special subset featured his 1970, 1971, 1972, and 1973 cards. here's the o-pee-chee version:
and here's the topps version:
number 6 in the set. seeing as how the 1974 o-pee-chee set matched the topps set (except for a handful of cards), i consider the o-pee-chee version to be a checklist variation. the reason the o-pee-chee version is number 9 is that cards 3 through 8 each featured only two past aaron cards on the front, while the topps versions of cards 3 through 5 maintained the four card fronts. this is due to the need for both french and english on the backs - the backs were so dense with text that there simply wasn't room to cover all the material on the backs of the o-pee-chee cards. make sense?
to accommodate the additional hank aaron cards, o-pee-chee had to eliminate 3 cards from the set. rather than just eliminate cards 7, 8, and 9, they redistributed jim hunter, george theodore, and mickey lolich, and deleted the brewers leaders, royals leaders and jim fregosi. we'll cover all that in more detail later.
i have to say that, once again, i prefer the o-pee-chee backs. topps loved itself some green backs, but they make reading the stats and text difficult.
voici à vous, 1974 hank aaron special (1970 - 1973)!