Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Oddballs & O-Pee-Chee

It's been all hockey here on the blog lately, so let's pause today to enjoy some baseball cards courtesy of my longtime trading partner Mark Kaz of This Way to the Clubhouse.  A week or two ago I received Mark's first PWE of the new year, and as usual he didn't disappoint!  This particular package contained some great oddballs, and a healthy dose of O-Pee-Chee baseball, which is a rarity in these parts.

Before we get to that though, we have a pair of cards of old-time greats to lead things off.  The Jim Piersall above is from a Topps All-Time Fan Favorites set.  These releases, perhaps more than any other, make me regret the decade or so that I took off from collecting.  I would have loved to tear into a hobby box or two of Fan Favorites for sure.  Thankfully I have friends like Mark to hook me up with singles like this one at least.

I haven't officially tallied them up, but I'd imagine this Ted Williams Rarities insert has to be one of the last Red Sox inserts I had left to go from the 2015 Topps flagship release.  Nice crossing this one off the want list!

Alright, time to crack into the oddballs.  I was really happy to find a pair of 1981 Drake's Big Hitters in the envelope, and both of them HOFers to boot!  These might be some of my favorite oddball cards of all-time.  Topps printed these up for the Drake's snack food company, and the design is great.  Accompanying Yaz in the envelope...

...is slugger Jim Rice.  In looking at the first couple rows of fans, it seems to me that the photos on both cards were taken during the same game, which is kind of cool.  I'm such a fan of these in fact that I could see myself going after the entire set at some point, especially since the checklist is all of 33 cards.  The other reason I like these so much is the card backs:

Compared to your average oddball release, these are awesome.  Granted, they're pretty much lifted direct from the flagship '81 Topps design, but still.  The only real difference is the card number and information along the top being shifted a bit to make room for the Drake's logo.  I wasn't alive yet in 1981, but had I been I would have been ecstatic to pull one of these from a box of junk food cakes.

Mark posted a couple of nice '80 Topps Burger King cards on his own blog a while back that he scrounged out of a dime bin, and it looks like he thought of me too while browsing around that day.  Very cool, and much appreciated!

Last, but certainly not least, a quartet of O-Pee-Chee stars.  O-Pee-Chee baseball is not something I come across very often at all for whatever reason, but Mark located some real gems for me.  From the '88 set, the Rocket!

A pair of one of the greatest hitters in team history, Wade Boggs, from the '86 release...

...and one from '84.  The Canadian version of a second-year Boggs card is a pretty sweet piece of cardboard to receive as a surprise in a PWE for sure!

To close out this particular delivery we've gotta go all the way back to the '70s!  Love the O-Pee-Chee logo on the baseball here.  You know you've got an older Dewey Evans card when he's depicted pre-mustache!

Mark, you took it to a new level with this one, great stuff!  I managed to get a return PWE fired off earlier this week and I hope it brings you even half the enjoyment that this one brought me!

9 comments:

Tony Burbs said...

I too have an affinity for the that Drakes set, something about that design piques my interest too but I can't quite put my finger on it.

Tim B. said...

Awesome oddballs!

shoeboxlegends said...

Thanks guys! Actually Tim, your trade package is next up in the pile!

John Miller said...

That Williams card is a beauty.

Adam said...

O-Pee-Chee cards are always a nice get. That Burger King card makes me hungry.

arpsmith said...

I share your enthusiasm for the Drake's sets and did a little something about it. I should be posting a complete set in the not too distant future if you want to check out all the players.

The OPC cards are awesome gets, nice group of cards.

Mark Hoyle said...

Drakes are one of my favorite oddballs. Love the o pee chee Bosox. I'm still in search of the 71Yaz o pee chee. Only one I need to complete the Bosox o pee chee run

Angus said...

I don't see what the big deal is about the O Pee Chee cards...didn't everyone grow up with them?

Now Topps, and their giant sets! Wow! :)

Mark Kaz said...

Happy to see that you enjoyed the loot, my good man! I'm always on the look-out for ya. With the exception of the Teddy, all came from the same vendor at the last show I went to. Can you beat a dime each for any of those?!

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