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1960’s O-Pee-Chee

In the last few months I’ve become a lot more interested in adding to my O-Pee-Chee non sport collection. I’ve updated my want lists and check lists and started plugging away on them. It’s a nice change from the sports cards and just as fun.

At a recent show I saw my first 1966 Comic Book Foldee.

Unfolded they are bigger than a standard card and you’re supposed to fold the flaps to make fun new pictures. This was the first one I’d ever seen so I had to grab it.

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Growing up (and still to this day) I love sci-fi. One of the best shows I watched was reruns of Outer Limits as well as the remake.

As part of my goal to collect the full run of O-Pee-Chee products I have the 1964 O-Pee-Chee set on my want list. From what I can figure out it is the oldest of the core O-Pee-Chee non sport sets.

There were of course some sets in the 30’s and 40’s but this set seems to be the first of the non sport sets they put out in Canada that were the start of their run up to their early demise in 1994.

The same year they also put out a Beatles set, but I believe these came out earlier in the year.

It was the start of a beautiful run for the Canadian company.

The cards themselves take images from the show and make them “cartoony”, but the backs have nothing to do with the actual televised show stories. From what I have read they were going to use the same scripts as the TV shows but found out through their lawyers they would have to pay the writers royalties so Topps (where these actually come from) had new stories written.

The set itself has 50 cards and its broken down into s a bunch of smaller stories spread over 3-4 cards.

I have 2 from “The Sea Beast” story and 1 from something to do with Mars.

They are all amazing 🙂

OL Back

First a quick poetry lesson from Wikipedia,

The Song of Hiawatha is an 1855 epic poem in trochaic tetrameter by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that features Native American characters. The epic relates the fictional adventures of an Ojibwe warrior named Hiawatha and the tragedy of his love for Minnehaha, a Dakota woman. Events in the story are set in the Pictured Rocks area on the south shore of Lake Superior. Longfellow’s poem, though based on native oral traditions surrounding the figure of Manabozho, represents not a work of transmission but an original work of American Romantic literature.

Why bring this up? Well the whole poem is 296 verses long, but tucked in neatly within verse 31 is the following.

“Shawondasee, fat and lazy,
Had his dwelling far to southward,
In the drowsy, dreamy sunshine,
In the never-ending Summer.

He it was who sent the wood-birds,
Sent the Opechee, the robin,
Sent the blue-bird, the Owaissa”

Image result

Did you see it? Did you notice it? Right there on the 2nd last line “Opechee, the Robin

And now you know where the name comes from for O-Pee-Chee the card company.

And just to tie it back to my collection. Here is a Robin I just got in a trade. From the 1965 O-Pee-Chee set (110 years after the poem was published).

Robin Roberts.

When I decided to make my collecting goal a complete run of O-Pee-Chee for every sport and non sport issued I knew I would be crazy to think I’d ever complete it in my lifetime. One of the reasons would be the vintage inserts are hard to find, and when I do see them it could be pricey to get them.

But I got one. My first 1969 O-Pee-Chee Deckle Edge Insert.

It’s Luis Tiant!

Deckle

Now I have to be honest and say I knew nothing about him before getting this card. I was surprised to see he was a pretty decent pitcher. The card pose above does not scream pitcher at all.

With this card I now have 4626 of 20554 O-Pee-Chee Baseball cards. That’s a pretty solid 22.51%

For some people finding an O-Pee-Chee card in their stacks of cards is like finding an American quarter in their change. In Canada it’s not a big deal to find one and we can just spend it as normal (although some vending machines don’t like them). In the US I’ve heard they pick them out and can’t get rid of them. (I’ve had people try to send me their Canadian change so that I would send them US back).

With O-Pee-Chee baseball cards in the late 60’s it was pretty easy to tell the difference between the cards. You turned them over and looked for the tiny T.C.G Printed In Canada written on the back. For the most part everything else was the same.

In fact in 1965, 1966, 1967, & 1968 All baseball cards still showed the Topps logo/name mark on the back along with the tiny T.C.G. Printed n Canada.

But in 1969 things changed (temporarily). The word Topps was removed and was replaced for the first time with O-Pee-Chee.

The 1969 O-Pee-Chee. Looks the same as the Topps

But turn them over…

It’s the first appearance of the Big O (on baseball cards). O-Pee-Chee collectors rejoice!

In 1970 they went back to the Topps logo on the back and you had to look for jus the PTD in Canada again. But for one brief summer I can imagine American kids saying “WTF is this?

These 2 cards put me up to a whopping 3 of 218 for the set (1.38%)

And move my overall O-Pee-Chee Baseball collection to 2913 of 20586 14.15%