No Goals Here, Just Some 1977 O-Pee-Chee Baseball

I tried goals in the early days of The Shlabotnik Report. It kinda sorta helped at first, but once I got past that initial hump and my collection shifted from an ungodly mess to a merely ugly mess, the goals didn’t seem as relevant.

What are my current goals?  Knock cards off my wantlist and have fun.

How did 2013 go for me?  I knocked some cards off my wantlist and I had fun.

Some of the cards I knocked off my wantlist were 1977 O-Pee-Chee baseball cards. For those who aren’t familiar with the significance of 1977 in the annals of O-Pee-Chee-dom, it was the year the Blue Jays entered the American League, and it was the year that O-Pee-Chee decided to make some significant changes on the Topps set that they had previously copied pretty faithfully.

There are a lot of variations in how much OPC varied from Topps; some guys who shared a Topps rookie card with 3 other guys got their own OPC card. Some guys got updated into new uniforms, or got real photos in a new uniform rather than airbrushing. Other guys had their replica autograph shifted 3 millimeters to the right, or lost their “All-Star” designation. I’m only collecting the cards that have a different photo or a significantly altered photo (usually airbrushing or lack thereof).

Here are a few of my latest and greatest, with the been-in-my-collection-since-the-Seventies Topps counterparts included.

Blue Jays’ manager Roy Hartsfield is one of the guys who gets to stretch out in his own card, rather than sharing it with 4 of his coaches.
1977 OPC Roy Hartsfield

Here’s the Topps Blue Jays team card:
1977 Topps Hartsfield and Coaches

The 4 coaches also got their own card in 1977 OPC, but I don’t have that one yet.

Gary Woods was one of the lucky rookies who was given his own card by OPC.  Gary was drafted from Oakland in the expansion draft.
1977 OPC Gary Woods

Here’s the Rookie Outfielders card that Gary Woods was condemned to in 1977 Topps:
1977 Topps Rookie Outfielders Armas et al

Tony Armas and Steve Kemp had longer careers than did Gary Woods, yet they don’t get liberated from Rookie Purgatory;  sucks to be them, they should’ve played for the Blue Jays.

Jesse Jefferson was a member of the Blue Jays’ first starting rotation. While he lost 17 games in 1977, he was fortunate to not even have the most losses on his team. The Jays lost 107 games that first year, so there were plenty of losses to go around.
1977 OPC Jesse Jefferson

The OPC card is a distinct improvement over the airbrushed Topps card.
1977 Topps Jesse Jefferson
Until I pulled this card out so I could scan it, I’d completely forgotten that someone had taken a ballpoint pen and poked little holes in Jesse’s eyes, nostrils and mouth.  I promise you, it wasn’t me who did that.  I normally don’t bother upgrading the cards I’ve had since I was a kid, but I think I should make an exception in this case.

The Expos’ Jerry White got a new photo for no apparent reason… The OPC card showcases a lovely 1976 Montreal Olympics patch on his sleeve.
1977 OPC Jerry White

Here’s the Topps version…. Both are similar Spring Training photos, but apparently OPC felt he should be pictured batting from the left.
1977 Topps Jerry White

These weren’t the only 1977 O-Pee-Chee cards I’d picked up in 2013, but the rest can wait for another day.

Happy 2014, everybody!

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