Pack Animal: 1988 O-Pee-Chee Baseball

I was going through one of my boxes and ran across this pack of 1988 O-Pee-Chee Baseball.
1988-opc-baseball-pack

I got this in a repack years ago, and my reaction at the time was “What the heck do I do with this?”  I already have the complete 1988 Topps set, and I don’t collect O-Pee-Chee cards unless the photo is somehow different from the Topps counterpart (or there is no Topps counterpart).

So it sat in a box until I just found it again.  One thing I know now that I didn’t know then is that 1988 OPC has four cards which aren’t in 1988 Topps.  These cards represent the 1st & 2nd round draft picks of the Expos and the 1st and 2nd round draft picks of the Blue Jays.  I don’t have any of these cards and wouldn’t mind getting them, so that’s as good a reason as any to bust this puppy.

We peel back the wax wrapper to find Dan Pasqua, formerly with the Yankees, “now with White Sox”.
1988-opc-baseball-pack-opened
The gum was very much adhered to the Pasqua card – 29 years will do that, I guess – and my attempt to remove the gum also removed Dan Pasqua, so both card and gum went in the trash.  Hell no, I didn’t try the gum (even though it looked in relatively decent shape for 29-year-old gum).

Next up… Joe Carter.
1988-o-pee-chee-joe-carter
1988 is my second-favorite Topps set of the 1980’s (next to 1983), and I always liked the way part of the image went in front of the team name.

…which is very likely why O-Pee-Chee only put the “now with” text on the front of traded players cards… You can’t easily change the team name when it’s essentially part of the photo.

The back, just so you can see the telltale French text and OPC card stock.
1988-o-pee-chee-joe-carter-back

Bill Madlock.
1988-o-pee-chee-bill-madlock
I don’t think of Mad Dog with the Tigers, and that’s because this was a career-ending Short Term Stop (copyrighted, Dime Box Nick).  Madlock was done in the Majors after the 1987 season, but would play in Japan for 1988, spending the season with the Lotte Orions. 

Another Tiger, Lou Whitaker.
1988-o-pee-chee-lou-whitaker
Sweet Lou appeared as himself on a 1983 episode of Magnum P.I.

Current Rockies manager Bud Black.
1988-o-pee-chee-bud-black
There was another pitcher named Bud Black who had several “cups of coffee” with the Tigers in the 1950’s. I did not know that.

One of two Jeff Robinsons in the game at the time.
1988-o-pee-chee-jeff-robinson
Both Jeffs played for the Bucs, but not at the same time.

Much like Capri Sun, there’s only one Nick Esasky.
1988-o-pee-chee-nick-esasky
Esasky played 6 years with the Reds, had a career year in 1989 with the Red Sox, cashed in on a big contract with the Braves but only played 9 games for them due to vertigo issues.  That might sound like a pretty insignificant reason to have to retire from baseball, but as someone who has suffered from vertigo I’m here to say it absolutely can be disabling.  Fortunately for me, mine was sinus-related (pressure on the inner ear, I suspect), so I was able to learn how to avoid it.

So there we go… No draft picks, just a bunch of cards which are very much like the ones I already have.

If you’re like me and enjoy checking out the special offer on the wax wrapper, here it is.
1988-o-pee-chee-wrapper-ball-strike-indicator
Much as I’d like to get a Compteur de balles et coups de baseball professionnel – everything sounds better in French! – I think I’m a little late to redeem this… plus I’d need four more wrappers.  Quel dommage!.