Contrast & Compare: 1977 O-Pee-Chee vs. Topps – George Hendrick and Joe Ferguson

Today I’ve got some more 1977 O-Pee-Chee baseball cards which differ from their Topps counterparts.  1977 was the year that the Toronto Blue Jays entered the American League and OPC was apparently very intent on getting as many Jays as they could into the set. Apparently they figured as long as they were going through all that effort, they may as well update some of the other players.  Here are two of those…

George Hendrick was a two-time All-Star with the Indians, and has a pretty unique Topps card which shows him wearing an Indians visor and one of those generic windbreakers that made it on to a lot of Topps cards of the day (at least George wasn’t wearing it under his jersey).
1977 Topps George Hendrick
In December 1976, Hendrick was traded to the  Padres for Fred Kendall, Johnny Grubb and Hector Torres.  A photo was airbrushed to include a Padres cap, but you can tell that they took a photo from the same session and airbrushed over the visor, which gives it a sort of odd effect.
1977 OPC George Hendrick
It’s kind of a shame that they didn’t extend the airbrushing up a shade to make it look more like a proper cap, because it’s otherwise a pretty decent airbrushing job.

Hendrick would stay in San Diego for a little over one season, as he was traded to the Cardinals in May, 1978 for pitcher Eric Rasmussen.


Joe Ferguson is a guy I always think of as a Dodgers catcher, but he did make some detours during his career.  In June, 1976, the Dodgers traded him and two minor leaguers to St. Louis for outfielder Reggie Smith.  In 1977, Topps showed Ferguson in his Cardinals uniform, a combination which still looks odd to me all these years later.
1977 Topps Joe Ferguson

Ferguson wore #13 most of his career, a number he probably didn’t have much trouble obtaining.

This 1977 Topps card was already out of date by the time it came out, because in November, 1976, Ferguson and Bob Detherage – one of the same minor leaguers involved in the earlier trade – were sent to Houston for Larry Dierker and Jerry DaVanon.  O-Pee-Chee then used an airbrushed photo which is… um… attention-getting.
1977 OPC Joe Ferguson
Joe Ferguson was the Astros’ starting catcher in 1977, and halway through 1978 he was shipped back to the Dodgers.

Before I wrap up with Joe Ferguson, I wanted to go off on a quick tangent.

I had a bunch of cards of Joe Ferguson the catcher as a kid, and I also had several cards of Joe Ferguson the Bills quarterback…
1975 Topps Football Joe Ferguson

…And yet it never occurred to me for the longest time that they had the same name.  I guess that just goes to show how compartmentalized I kept the two sports and collections.

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One thought on “Contrast & Compare: 1977 O-Pee-Chee vs. Topps – George Hendrick and Joe Ferguson

  1. AT THE TIME OF THE HENDRICK PHOTOS THERE WERE TWO VARIETIES OF THESE ‘ SWEAT WINDBREAKERS ‘, THIS ONE BEING THE LOOSER STYLE, WHILE SOME WERE MORE RUBBERIZED AND TIGHTER AT NECK / WRIST / WAIST …

    IN THE 1960s INTO THE EARLY 1980s YOU WOULD OFTEN SEE THOSE PLAYERS WHO HAD WEIGHT TROUBLES WEARING THESE IN MORNING SPRING TRAINING SESSIONS WHICH WERE THEN REMOVED, AFTER WHICH THEY CHANGED, SHOWERED AND GOT DRESSED FOR THE AFTERNOON GAMES …

    ONE OF THE MORE FAMOUS NAMES TO WEAR THESE AND BE SEEN IN A NUMBER OF PHOTOS WHILE WITH THE TIGERS WAS WILLIE HORTON ALTHOUGH THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN A FEW ON ALMOST EVERY TEAM AT THAT TIME WHO WORE THESE ‘ SWEAT WINDBREAKERS ‘.

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