On December 16, 1976, The Cincinnati Reds traded Tony Perez to the Montreal Expos.
This was a significant trade in a purely baseball sense, but it also had some pretty significant fallout in 1977 baseball cards… even if I didn’t realize it at the time, or for 25-30 years afterwards.
Here’s the 1977 Tony Perez card that I grew up with, I’m sure many of you are familiar with this.
1977 was the year that O-Pee-Chee went “rogue” with a number of their baseball cards, changing the photos and/or cropping, and adding some new cards – especially Expos and Blue Jays.
Most of the differing Expos & Blue Jays feature photos from spring training, which was much too late for Topps to use.
Not too long ago I found out that there was a third variation-of-sorts; the 1977 Topps Cloth Stickers test issue. I had been under the impression that the fronts of the stickers were identical to the Topps cards, but that was not the case for the Tony Perez card:
I just picked this one up via COMC. I’d never seen one of these in person before. The front has a weird sort of sheen to it.
Here’s the back.
Interestingly enough, Tony Perez did not have a card in the 1977 Hostess or Kellogg’s sets… but he did appear on an RC Cola can and on an MSA disc.