Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Bargain Bin Packs

After missing my cherished monthly hotel card show for awhile I was eager to return to it last Saturday. I had no real specific goals other than to hit the bargain boxes and add some 'bloggable' material. And I think I did that. I brought home some vintage stuff, some cards I simply thought were fun and some stuff I only bought because it ended up costing me about 20 cents apiece. That latter category would include these three unopened packs of beat up junk that I nabbed on a whim.

I don't remember these '91 O-Pee-Chee cards from when they were new.  But it's not a bad looking set actually. I'm sure someone out there knows if the 'Premier' designation means that these were something beyond a base set.

There isn't much to the backs, other than four separate logos. I had to look up Willie Wilson to see how long he played for Oakland. Turns out it was two seasons following his 15 year stint with the Royals. 

Side note: Did you know that there is a Willie Wilson running for president? I sure didn't. 

EDIT: Joe Shlabotnik's comment on this set got me to digging and I found a bit of background on this '91 OPC Premier set. This comes from The Cardboard Connection site's OPC page:
While O-Pee-Chee produced their traditional Topps-like set in 1991, they also expanded to a second standalone line. 1991 O-Pee-Chee Premier Baseball was one of the most hyped sets of the year, based largely on the success of 1990-91 O-Pee-Chee Premier Hockey. The quality was noticeably higher. So was the initial price tag. But like most every set from 1991, it was vastly overproduced. Today, 1991 O-Pee-Chee Premier Baseball can be found extremely cheap. Historically, it's important because it marked a branching out for the brand. O-Pee-Chee Premier Baseball continued in 1992 and 1993 apart from the Topps line.
The same dealer's box yielded a North Carolina pack from the early 1990. I have no connection to UNC and so I figured that if I didn't get a Michael Jordan card I would get eight cards of strangers.

And I got a Jordan. If I was producing these I'd make sure there was a Jordan in each pack.

That's not a bad scan of the back below. it actually is that 'faded'. I don't know if it turned that way over time of if that's how it was intended to be. This Jordan, btw, is the only color pic used in the eight cards I got. Another thing that struck me is that one of the cards was #179. Seems like a lot of cards for a college set but the Trading Card Database has the checklist and the set runs over 200 cards strong including some 'specials'. 

The third pack was Pro Set hockey 91/92. Pro Set could really churn out product back then. But the thing about it was they had some excellent looking sets. The problem was people just got sick of seeing so many of them.

Not much to say about these other than they look pretty good design-wise, the ones I scanned featured some uninspired pics and the pack yielded no Rangers. But for the two dimes it cost me I won't gripe I guess.

Another side note: I read someplace that the Leafs are re-designing their uniforms. Really? The Leafs have a classic look. Even the sort of 'modernized' look that Wendel Clark is wearing from 25 years ago is pretty sweet. If they take the 'leaf' off the sweaters I'm going to be upset. And so will be lots of Leafs fans I'm sure.

That's it for the packs I got. But I went home with lots more that I need to finish scanning and post.


  1. I'm still learning about this set myself, but I get the impression that the "Premier" designation was something along the lines of "This isn't just our usual bilingual Topps cards, this is high end stuff!"

    ...or high-end for 1991, anyway.

    Also, since we're talking OPC, the design was initally used in 1990-91 Premier hockey, then they used it on baseball.

    That being said, I wouldn't hesitate in the slightest to pick up packs for pocket change. Same goes for the others.

  2. Soft spot in my heart for 91/92 Pro Set. It was the year I bought more hockey cards than ever before or since.

  3. Cool packs. My show hands out 2 free packs as you enter.

  4. I think I have a couple hundred pounds of that Pro Set hockey. :)

    I'm fully on board with the Leaf rebrand. That logo came to us in 1970. It's the last tangible piece of the Harold Ballard era. Replacing it feels like undoing 46 years of vandalism.