It’s been a busy week and the past day or two I’ve been spending my small amounts of free time watching Olympic mixed doubles curling… So out of necessity this post is going to be relatively quick, and will involve comparing three 1977 Topps Baseball cards to their corresponding (yet different) 1977 O-Pee-Chee Baseball cards.
First off, we’ll start with the Blue Jays’ John Scott. Scott was the Padres’ 1st round draft pick (and 2nd overall behind Chris Chambliss) in the January, 1970 draft. In 1976 he played for the AAA Hawaii Islanders under Roy Hartsfield, who would become the Jays’ first manager… so it’s no coincidence that he was among the first players obtained by the Jays (purchased from the Padres on Oct 22, 1976).
For Topps, he shared a rookie card with Andre Dawson, Gene Richards and Denny Walling.
But since he was a Blue Jay, he got his own card in the O-Pee-Chee set.
John Scott did not play well in his only long look in the Majors, batting .240 with 26 runs, 15 RBI and 10 stolen bases. He’d never play in MLB after 1977, but he would play in Japan for the Yakult Swallows and make his way into the 1979 TCMA Japanese Baseball set.
As long as I’m sharing John Scott cards, here’s his 1976 SSPC card from his time with the Padres.
OK, getting back to 1977…
In 1976, Phil “Scrap Iron” Garner was the starting second baseman for the Oakland A’s, and was named to the All-Star Game, backing up starter Bobby Grich.
The A’s were, at the time, cleaning house of all of the players who were likely to leave as free agents, and Garner was involved in a 9-player trade that had him going to the Pirates.
Garner’s numbers with the 1977 Pirates were similar to his numbers with the 1976 A’s, except he went from 54 runs scored to 99, and his homers more than doubled from 8 to 17.
…and how about that airbrushing job?
For the most part I’m collecting 1977 O-Pee-Chee cards which have photos which have different photos or are airbrushed, and I skip past cards which have different cropping. This last card falls into that category, but I didn’t realize it until after I got the OPC. Here’s the Topps card…
In 1977, Larry Parrish was 23 and in his third season as the Expos’ starting 3rd baseman. He struggled a bit in 1976 and 1977, but would bounce back nicely in 1978 and have an All-Star season in 1979.
O-Pee-Chee cropped his photo much tighter than Topps did.
Like Phil Garner, Parrish would later manage in the Majors. Like John Scott, Parrish would play in Japan for the Yakult Swallows (and also the Hanshin Tigers).