Wednesday, October 17, 2018


When I started my Oscar Gamble collection a few years back one of the first things I did was create a master checklist of all his cards.  Currently that lists sits at about 180 pieces of cardboard, a far cry from the over 2000 Trevor Linden cards I've been chasing for the better part of 20 years.

The other thing I looked at was the number of high-end pieces in the Oscar Gamble world of collecting.  I didn't want this project to be a bank-breaker....and I can say with great enthusiasm it's been anything but.

The majority of the cards on the list are pretty easy to find.  70's and 80's base cards can be had quite quick on eBay or COMC.....but where's the fun in just clicking a bunch of buttons and having your collection shipped to you??  I wanted to get some of these cards the good old fashioned way - digging through boxes.

At the one of the recent trade nights I attended, I saw a box that had my name written all over it.  I was excited with what I found.

1979 O-Pee-Chee #132

This is EXACTLY the type of card I've held off buying for the past three years in the hopes I would track one down here in the city.  My patience more than paid off as the thrill of finding it really reinforced to me how much this project is right for my hobby world.  It's a frickin' base card that most people would toss and I was thrilled to find it and buy it.  The fifty cents was more than well spent.

I love the "Trade" text that sits on this OPC version and the mishmash of a sweet San Diego uniform and cap coupled with the Rangers banner along the bottom just add to the appeal.  Not to mention the great overall condition of the cardboard itself.

I bought it not knowing if I needed it or not - and I could care less one way or another.  It was just fun finding a #WalletCard.

1981 O-Pee-Chee #139

One is good, two is better.  And this card brought back a huge flood of memories.

The 1981 OPC baseball set was my first dive into the baseball card world when I was a kid.  Hockey cards were fun in the winter time, but they weren't the year-round hobby that it is now.  So what's there to collect in the summer?  Well other than Gremlins cards, ET and Michael Jackson it was baseball.

I didn't know who most of these guys even were but the thrill of opening packs was what I remembered - and enjoyed most.  Heck, I still love the enjoyment of ripping into packs of cards.  It's the essence of the hobby.

Seeing this simple design with the cap in the corner just made me remember the great cards from the set I had.  Gary Carter standing all stoic withe the multicoloured cap in the corner of the card, George Brett with the profile close-up, Reggie Jackson, Harold Baines, the list goes on and on.

Again, the condition of the card is fantastic considering it's over 35 years old and the entering is surprisingly fantastic.  A real bonus for the collection.

1983 Topps #19

I was laughing out loud by the time I pulled this third card out of the box.  This was better luck than most of the current boxes being ripped in the store.  I mean, c'mon......THREE Oscar Gamble cards in one night??  Outstanding.

This 1983 offering comes from my favourite set that I built as a kid.  For some reason I thought this was a more complex checklist and the variety was as good as it could get.  I had no idea the Ryne Sandberg and Tony Gwynn cards were "special" so they got the same treatment as the others.  Heck, I still have the Sandberg - the same one I had in my little collection box as a kid back in '83.  Why?  It's pretty damaged and isn't worth the price of the cardboard anymore.  Sentimental value though is a mighty big thing.

Once again, some solid corners on this card.  A little smudge in the bottom left.....but who cares.  This card has a story now.  I dug it out of a box and have given it a life it likely never would've had if I hadn't tracked it down.

That's what collecting is all about.

And who says base cards are boring??!!  Seeing these cards just makes me yearn to build a set again.  But I've learned my lesson plenty times in the past.  I build them and the they lose their lustre.  I'm much more content as a player collector.

With these three outstanding Oscar cards, I'm now within a whisper of the halfway point in my Oscar Gamble quest.  Ninety cards down and about ninety to go.  I've said it a few times....this project has been the most fun in my years of collecting.  End of story.

Now as a special bonus, I will share the all-time greatest baseball card next to the 1976 Topps Traded 74T.  This was THE card for me as a kid.  I was really excited to find it and am so happy to have it in my possession and part of my hobby arsenal.

1982 O-Pee-Chee
#111 Carlton Fisk In Action

This card absolutely wowed me the first time I saw it.  First off, catchers are awesome.  Fisk at the time was one of the best in the league.  The Whits Sox jerseys are high on the list.  The focus on his face says it all....cheek full of chaw and everything.  Oh, and he is going all out to make that catch.  A perfect moment captured by the photographer.

It is just an excellent example of what a baseball card should be.

I also love the way the card makes it look like Fisk is just concentrating on the OPC logo.  Go get it Carlton!!!

You're welcome.

1 comment:

  1. The 1982 Topps/OPC Carlton Fisk in-action card is fantastic! Definitely one of my favorite cards in the set. Overall... I'm a huge fan of OPC baseball cards. I didn't really appreciate them when I was younger... always preferring the Topps card over the Canadian counterpart. But I think that's because the price guides usually stated they were worth less.