Friday, September 2, 2016

Back Checking - 79-80 OPC/Topps Bob Sauve

So as most hockey and baseball collectors know, Topps and OPC for the most part have been siblings in the card world. Depending on the sport, one is more desirable than the other and Topps was the American thing to do and OPC was the Canadian. With OPC when it comes to hockey, you usually had a larger set, you traditionally got a dose of French with your card and the card stock was lighter in colour and the cards were often poorly cut.

In 1979-80 Wayne Gretzky's rookie year, both sets had some similarities and differences based on a few factors but in all the first 264 cards in the set were mostly the same. To accommodate the new franchises, Topps made a single card and OPC made several introducing fans to the team's logo and players in the set.

While skimming through my Topps and OPC sets I found a neat difference by accident. Check it out!

1979-80 Topps Bob Sauve
Here is the front of the Sauve card in Topps form. As you can see, the card is cleanly cut and the blue is very bright and other colours are clearly define as well . IF we were just looking at the front of the card, Topps always wins hands down.

1979-80 OPC Bob Sauve
The OPC offering isn't as easy on the eyes. The colours are more faded/muted and this card features a pretty typical off-centre cut that OPC was notorious for especially in the late 70's and early 80's.

1979-80 Topps Bob Sauve
Here is the back side to the Topps card, darker card stock than the OPC version below but what I want to draw your attention to is the comic. I guess instead of having an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, Bob kept his on the posts but made a habit of cutting them off! As a math teacher getting ready to go back to work next week, there have been countless times I have had students measure "angels" when attempting trigonometry and I always make a point on how to correctly spell angles but sadly it still is often spelled incorrectly. Apparently this artist on this card had the same issues as some of my past students.

1979-80 OPC Bob Sauve
What I find cool about the OPC version is when they went to translate to French or potentially immediately following the Topps release they fixed the spelling on "angles" and it appears correct on this card. From what I can tell, I don't think they ever changed it on the Topps version so it would technically be an UER because from what I can tell the Beckett Hockey doesn't have it even listed as an error so for there to be two versions is pretty unlikely.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by, it has been ages since I did a back checking post so hopefully you enjoyed its resurrection!


  1. Great catch. Probably most of us wouldn't have even noticed. Some misspells obviously have funnier results than others.

  2. I wish they would have left the misspell and then translate it into French.

  3. I just read about the 79-80 Topps/OPC set in the latest issue of Sports Market Report - and I didn't see anything about the Sauve error. Good catch!

    1. Thanks! I haven't checked that out, worth reading?