Saturday, March 28, 2015

1965 O-Pee-Chee!

This marks my 65th post on the blog, so in honor of all things '65, here's a look at one of my favorite sets.

1965 was the first year that O-Pee-Chee issued cards using the Topps baseball design. The cards are the same size and all have the same front images. The only variation comes on the back of the cards, with the noticeably darker card stock, and in the corner the card shows "Printed in Canada."



The Brooks Robinson Card from that year doesn't have the printing mark on it, so the only difference is the card stock:



You may recall the Brooks Robinson from a previous post on the blog. My copy has a little mark on the front:

It's also pretty badly off center. That is a common ailment for 1965 OPC cards, and stayed that way throughout the history of the Canadian version of the Topps design.

The set only goes part way into the 4th Series, so the last O-Pee-Chee card is #283, Fred Whitfield:

It does include the 4th Series Checklist, however, with a page and a half of cards that did not actually appear in the set!
 Sorry Nick Willhite fans, you're out of luck!

That means no Mantle, no Koufax, and no Killebrew- just to name a few. There are a few cards that feature those guys in the set, however, thanks to the League Leader and World Series cards:

Some of my favorite cards from the 1960's are the ones that feature the Topps All-Star Rookie Trophy. Due to the shorter run, O-Pee-Chee doesn't feature all of the 1964 Rookie All-Stars, but here are the ones they did:

Tony Oliva, of course, would have been my favorite. Have to settle for a cameo on Card #1:

The 1965 MVPs:

Tony O was the 2nd place finisher in the AL, by the way...

Sandy Koufax was the unanimous choice for Cy Young Winner in the Major Leagues, he just missed the cutoff as Card # 300 in the Topps set.

AL Rookie of the year, Curt Blefary:

The NL Rookie of the year was Jim Lefebvre, but his Topps card is too high to make it to OPC. You might recognize the second place finisher, however:

One card that did make the cut is one of my favorites:

Card #282 features Masanori Murakami, the first Japanese-born player to appear in a Major League game. You can read a little more about him here.

This is one of my favorite sets and building it got me back into the hobby full-time.

Now... I am just 5 cards away from completing this set - I'm hoping to do it sometime this year (it is, after all, the 50th Anniversary of the set).

Here are the FIVE cards I have left to go:

#209 Pirates Team card
#246 Tom Butters, Pirates
#249 Dave McNally, Orioles
#259 Oyler/Northrup, Tigers Rookies
#260 Don Drysdale, Dodgers

Right now, all except for the Pirates Team card are on eBay... However, they are all badly off center or otherwise in bad shape. If you see one of these around, let me know!
I have some doubles as well, but they are almost all in terrible shape - they were set fillers.


  1. Oh so close. I will keep an eye out. I've tried to complete all the RedSox o pee chee sets from 65-94. Some cards are incredibly tough to track down. I'm down to two cards. A 67 Dick Williams and a 71 Carl Yastrzemski. I have them saved in my EBay watch list. One of the Yaz cards popped up the other I got the email notification from eBay that a new was posted. I immediately pulled over to "buy it now" and it was already gone..

  2. Excellent post, I will check out my vendor Buddys stock to see if any of those are there for both you , and for Marks. As for me I might as well see if there are any Braves in the mix too. Should be fun!