Lost in the excitement of the arrival of the 1979-80 hockey box (and ’78-79 box that I haven’t yet had the time to fully dig through) was a minor accomplishment with a set I’ve been slowly picking away at – the first completed page of 1969 OPC baseball, cards 73-81.
While it would be nice if the page had a huge name on it or maybe a checklist to break things up, the run of cards that found their way into my hands was concentrated here, surrounding ex-Dodger closer Ron Perranoski. Sharp-eyed fans of 1969 would note that the ill-disguised “LA” on his cap is visible.
Now, if this were Topps, then the “LA on cap” Perranoski would be a high-dollar variation. When it comes to OPC, though, either Topps never forwarded the revised images or OPC couldn’t be bothered to print them up. As such, none of the variation cards from 1969 Topps actually appear in OPC. The errors simply don’t get corrected.
I like this set. It’s not that big at only 218 cards and I now have 125 of them. (OPC baseball in the 1960s was nowhere near the size of its Topps counterpart. In 1965, OPC only printed the first three series and from 1966-69 it was just the first two.) There is a decent assortment of stars in this set (though names like Mantle, Stargell, Seaver and Ryan are missing). The fronts are straight clones of the Topps release. The backs are a deeper red and have the OPC designation in the corner (I believe this is the earliest non-1930s set that has this) but are not yet bilingual. The Gomez manager card offers some variety to the back.
In terms of straight percentage complete, this set is far, far behind both 1970 and 1971. Then good thing, though, is that it has no absurdly-expensive high-number series. This is a project I can reasonably hope to complete. It probably won’t be this year, but it’s a target for 2013.
By the way – check out the back of the Mel Queen card (ignore what appears to be a pen mark) – Mel switched from the outfield to the mound after he had a major-league record, so he has both pitching and batting stats on the same card. That’s kind of neat.