Card I selected: #110 – Carl Yastrzemski
There are a ton of guys with 3 cards in 1981, as about 11 teams had a Coke team set. So you’d just need to find somebody who is on one of those teams and also has an O-Pee-Chee card. When I did my complete set post, Yaz was my 2nd favorite card in the set. My favorite was a subset card of Tug McGraw after the Phillies clinched their first World Series, which doesn’t have any parallels. The Red Sox are one of those teams that have a Coke set, and Yaz naturally has an OPC card. So I went with him. It’s a cool photo of him cleaning off his bat.
# of cards (including the Topps card): 3
The parallel sets in 1981 include:
- Coca Cola team sets
1981 Topps #110
1981 O-Pee-Chee #110
The Canadian version of the Topps set. The set was again 374 cards, but somehow Yaz got the same number in this case. Unlike 1980, the front of the card is slightly different from the Topps card. There are a ton of differences for this card:
- The baseball on the front says “O-Pee-Chee” instead of Topps.
- The position on the cap is spelled out in both English and French .
- The card number is – usually – different.
- The copyright says O-Pee-Chee and notes the card was printed in Canada.
- The card is printed on white card stock and tends to be poorly cut as cards from the early 80’s were for OPC.
- The position on the back and the words “complete major league batting record” are shown in English and French.
- There’s an O-Pee-Chee logo on the back instead of the Topps logo.
1981 Coca Cola Red Sox #11
Topps issued 11 team sets in 1981 as a promotion with Coca-Cola. Each of the 12-card sets features 11 players from the team and an advertising card. Here’s how you can differentiate these cards from the Topps version:
- There is a Coca-Cola logo in the upper corner on the front.
- The card number is different.
- There’s a Coca Cola logo on the back where the Topps logo is.
- There’s copyright information regarding the Coke logo on the back.
Any sets I didn’t get: No, but I could have done some creative things with Topps Traded. Carney Lansford and Ray Durham both switched teams in the 1981 offseason. You can find them both in the Topps set with their old team (Angels & Cardinals), in the Coke set (Red Sox and Cubs) with the new team and a completely new picture. They are also in O-Pee-Chee, and then of course in Topps Traded.
I’m going more for “Rainbow” cards, so I didn’t do that here.
Other cards I would have liked to do:
- Al Hrabosky, Mike Schmidt and Kent Tekulve because I liked all of their photos. Tekulve and Schmidt have a Coca-Cola version. Schmidt’s card would be cool, because he has the All-Star designation and it’s shown in French and English on his O-Pee-Chee card.
- Kirk Gibson because it’s his rookie card. There’s a Coke version for him as well.