Monday, October 5, 2009

Topps & O-Pee-Chee - The Early Years

The first pack of cards I collected was 1975 Topps. Four years later (1979), I went to my first card show and two years after that (1981) I went to a baseball card shop for the first time.

Somewhere during that period, I saw Steve Garvey's 1971-74 Topps cards and put them on my wantlist because I couldn't afford them at the time.

Below are images of Steve's 1971-1974 Topps Cards and 1971 & 1973 OPC Cards.

1971 Topps #341 (Front)

1971 Topps #341 (Back)

1971 O-Pee-Chee #341 (Front)

1971 O-Pee-Chee #341 (Back)
I actually like the Yellow background of '71 OPC over '71 Topps

1972 Topps #686 (Front)
Because it's a high number, this card along with Rod Carew's regular and In Action card were the highest priced cards in the 1972 set when I was a kid.

1972 Topps #686 (Back)

1973 Topps #213 (Front)
Topps should have created a subset in 1973 called "Teammates" as this is more a Steve Garvey & Wes Parker combo card than a Steve Garvey card.
1973 Topps #213 (Back)
If you didn't catch the cartoon on the back of Steve's 1972 card, Topps reminded you about Steve's marriage to Cyndy on the back of his 1973 card with another cartoon.

1973 O-Pee-Chee #213 (Front)

In my opinion, Wes Parker and Bill Buckner are two of many reasons why Steve isn't in the Hall of Fame yet, as they both ate into Steve's playing time from 1970-1973. Those extra at bats could have helped make up the 401 hit difference Steve needed to reach 3,000.

1973 O-Pee-Chee #213 (Back)
The diference between 1973 Topps and O-Pee-Chee is subtle compared to 1971.

1974 Topps #575 (Front)
This is the first time Topps' annointed him star status. If you remember, Topps used to give star players numbers that ended in 5 & 0 star status with superstars having numbers that ended in 50 and 00 (i.e. 550, 200).
1974 Topps #575 (Back)
1974 O-Pee-Chee is on my wantlist. I'll add it to this page when I get it in the future.

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