One type of card that is my favorite to chase down are the 1977 O-Pee-Chee baseball cards which are different than the corresponding Topps cards. Today I’m going to take a quick look at two players that are different in OPC, and anyone looking at the two cards would ask “WHY????”
First off, let’s go with Pete Falcone. Pete Falcone was a pitcher who was basically good enough to stick around for 10 years. He came up with the Giants in 1975, was traded to the Cardinals during the winter meetings in late 1975 and was still with the Cardinals in 1977. Here’s his Topps card:
Not the greatest photograph, but decent enough. Apparently not good enough for O-Pee-Chee, however.
Nope, those crazy Canadians decided to go with an airbrushed portrait:
Now remember… Falcone was traded to the Cardinals in December, 1975. He also appeared with an airbrushed Cardinals cap in the 1976 Traded set. There’s no reason for him to be airbrushed in a set that came out a year later… Yet here he is.
Movin’ right along (dubby dum, dubby dum)…
Steve Braun spent the first six years of his career with the Twins and was taken by the Mariners with the 38th pick in the expansion draft prior to the 1977 season.
I always thought this card was one of the better examples of airbrushing the 1977 expansion teams.
…and honestly, this was probably one of the more difficult things the Topps artists had had to do in a while. Not only did they have to airbrush two teams worth of players, I doubt they had much reference material to work with. Had they even seen the caps in person? Did they have photos? Color photos? Who knows.
Anyway, like I said, Steve Braun came out pretty well, all things considered.
Someone wasn’t satisfied, for whatever reason , and decided that this was an improvement:
To be fair, this same photo and airbrushing was used on the Topps Cloth Stickers set, so the onus for this might be on Topps.
A third example of airbrushing is on the 1977 Hostess card of Steve Braun, but I don’t have that one yet… and now that I’m pondering it, it wouldn’t take much to get me to move 1977 Hostess Mariners and Blue Jays up on my want lists… Maybe I should go look at what’s on COMC….