Friday, December 17, 2010

1973 O-Pee-Chee Baseball #5, Ed Brinkman

If I were to describe any batting stance as "conservative" or even "modest," this half-crouch by Gold Glove shortstop Edwin Albert Brinkman might be the one. His focused anticipation and classic 70s glasses even give the impression one can outsmart incoming fastballs, rather than hit them.

Card front

O-Pee-Chee finally matched Topps card-for-card in 1973, with the same number of players (660) and no checklist changes or on-card variations. Whiter card stock and a PRINTED IN CANADA tag line mark the only obvious differences--(UPDATE: plus French text translations on the back)--though it does seem OPC's print runs dropped off during the mid-70s, making those years harder to come by than singles from 1970 to 1972 and 1978 on. (Building complete sets from those years is not an easy undertaking.)

Card back

Brinkman placed ninth in 1972's MVP voting, an amazing finish considering the .203 batting average and .279 slugging. Ed did play every game for AL Eastern division-winning Detroit and won the aforementioned Gold Glove, good enough to outpace better-known guys like Jim Palmer and Reggie Jackson. (Full results at

Value: Low-grade singles cost a dollar or two and OPC's rarity only seems to impact top-condition stars. (For example, CheckOutMyCards lists a mid-grade Bob Boone RC for $12, the same price as Topps versions.)

Fakes / reprints: Don't know of any OPC reprint issues and doubt someone would fake the set, given its low profile.


Chris Stufflestreet said...

"whiter card stock and a PRINTED IN CANADA line mark the only obvious differences"...

I think the addition of French text also makes the cards stand out from their Topps counterparts. But that's just my own opinion.

Matthew Glidden said...

Ha, that's so true. Guess I've written up enough OPC cards that the French feels normal now. :-)