One of my current goals is to collect all of the 1977 O-Pee-Chee baseball cards which are significantly different than the Topps equivalent — “significantly” meaning cards which have differences beyond cropping or leaving off the “All-Star” banner. Even with my restrictions, that leaves a lot of awesome cards to collect.
I’ve fallen behind on sharing a bunch of the cards I’ve picked up. Here are a few Expos from the set…
1977 Topps has an action photo of Chip Lang pitching. The Topps photo is a better one, but I’m guessing that “1977 spring training photo” trumped anything taken during the 1976 season.
As it turns out, this is a boon for Chip Lang collectors; I don’t think he appeared on a card outside of 1977, but at least he has two distinct rookie cards.
Here’s your Shlabotnik fact of the day: Chip Lang is the brother-in-law of former Major Leaguer Tom Walker, and the uncle of Pirates 2B Neil Walker.
For Del Unser, the fake batting pose used by Topps is replaced by a different fake batting pose.
The Topps photo was taken at Shea Stadium during 1976 and this photo was taken during spring training of 1977. Del grew a mustache during the winter, which is the most noticeable difference.
1977 Topps, of course, doesn’t have individual cards for the managers, just a team photo with a tiny little insert photo of Dick Williams. O-Pee-Chee was having none of that!
…Not for the Canadian teams, anyway. Managers of American teams were out of luck.
Here’s another example of OPC substituting a portrait for an action shot. The guy broke a record that involved hitting, so Topps showed him hitting a baseball. That’s apparently not the O-Pee-Chee way, however.
Most likely this is another case of “We’ve got this photo from spring training, let’s use it!” Like Del Unser, Morales grew a mustache during the winter (or at least after the 1977 Topps photo).
As always, if you want to know more about O-Pee-Chee baseball cards which differed from the Topps equivalent, you should check out the no-longer-active but still fun and informative O, My O-Pee-Chee blog.