Friday, June 29, 2007

89-90 O-Pee-Chee

O-Pee-Chee's ability to make very simple, yet totally awesome cards was uncanny. I can't think of a single set from the company's first season in 68-69 to their 91-92 set that I don't like (I'll get to the 92-93 set in a later post). 89-90 was the end of O-Pee-Chee's monopoly on NHL hockey cards and they finished their reign with a simple, if unspectacular, set that still rules as hard as just about any set released since.

I think it is probably safe to assume that the same people involved with this set were involved with the other sets I've already covered on this blog (90-91 and 91-92), so you get the same problems that those sets faced: too many close-ups and not enough actions shots. I guess whoever was in charge of photography for O-Pee-Chee liked to get all his photographs out of the way during the warm-up so he could sit back and enjoy the games. As a result you get a lot of shots of guys standing around and unfortunately few shots of guys in action.

Like the other O-Pee-Chee sets before it, 89-90 O-Pee-Chee has a simple two-colour back (or does that count as three?) with each player's NHL (and, where applicable, WHA) stats. O-Pee-Chee didn't need to bother with holograms, extra pictures or even full colour backs; they knew they had the formula down, so why mess with it? As an extra courtesy, O-Pee-Chee crudely painted over the jerseys of some of the players who were traded or signed away from their teams in the off-season so you don't have imagine what they would look like in their new team's jersey.

Five of my favorites:
#17 - Patrick Roy - A classic.

#63 - Randy Cunneyworth - More from the collection of horribly painted jerseys. I guess Randy Moller was traded too late to get a paint job.

#299 - Buffalo Sabres - The Sabres team card features Dave Andreychuk tripping a Boston Bruin.

#51 - Glen Wesley - Wesley looks like a father you'd see yelling at his kids when you're at a fast food restaurant in some small town in the middle of nowhere.

#285 - Steve Weeks - When Steve Weeks wants to look back on his hockey career, all he has to do is pull out his O-Pee-Chee cards to see he spent a lot of time on the bench.