Last week, our Vintage Pack Break of the Week traveled north of the border for a 1970 O-Pee-Chee Baseball pack. This week, we’re going back to the Canadian side for one of the tougher packs of the 1970.
In 1971 OPC pushed its set to the limit, producing a 752-card monster identical to the Topps issue. It was the largest OPC set yet and probably seemed overwhelming to Canadians who collected them at the time.
There are a few differences between the OPC and Topps issues. The backs are colored a yellowish-orange, unlike the Topps cards which were done in green. The text on the back is printed in both English and French for cards #1-523 while #524-752 are only printed with English text. The two languages are separated by the player’s headshot, giving the backs of the OPC cards a design radically different than the Topps issue.
Some cards of players who changed teams in the off-season have that transaction noted on them as designers tried to keep the sets as current as possible since they were printed a bit later than the Topps issues in the U.S. There are also a couple of numbering differences in the 1971 OPC set but for the most part, the set retains the same content as Topps.
Steve Garvey and Don Baylor are the top rookie cards, but the real draw is the Hall of Famers in the 1971 set.
Cards in the 1971 OPC set are plagued by the centering issues that affect virtually all OPC issues.
Each 1971 OPC pack contains eight cards with 36 packs per box. The 1971 OPC set came packed with a Story Booklet insert that first came out in the 1970 Topps packs.
Packs today generally sell for $200-350 each, depending on condition.
Here, courtesy of Just Collect Inc., is a 1971 OPC Baseball pack break: