31 May 2013

Frankly Friday: Double Deckled

For this episode we will study two very similar cards I got from a dealer on Ebay on a fairly recent Frank Howard buying binge. I paid a bit more for one over the other partly because the seller thought it was some kind of proof or error card, but it was actually a typical case of Topps vs. O Pee Chee. Lets go back to 1969 the summer of love... of baseball cards.

Both Topps and OPC in 1969 had an odd ball insert. It might be called many things but officially they are called "Deckle Edge" cards. The Topps version is closer to the standard 2.5" x 3.5" card size than the OPC both cards are smaller than standard size. Looking at them side by side at first glance they appear to be the same. Both are black and white photos with facsimile autographs and a crazy wavy edge style. The deckle edge is an old style that is used for stationary paper and was a common style for photographs back in the early 20th century for photo albums. Anyway the larger Topps card has a light blue facsimile autograph to simulate a ball point pen signature where the OPC card has a bold black facsimile autograph to simulate a felt-tipped magic marker now "sharpie" style pen. The backs are also different. The Topps card at the bottom has the player's name in bold blue print and is numbered of  "33 photos" the number of cards in the sub-set in a rectangular lined box with the typical bare minimum Topps late sixties copyright identification info. The 24 card OPC set has completely blank backs and are not officially numbered. Common numbering for the OPC cards is standard alphabetical by player name. This explains whey the seller thought it was a promo 'proof' or a misprint. That coupled with the different colored facsimile autograph on the front makes the uninformed think its something really special and rare. Before I had done a tiny bit of online research I wasn't sure what to think of it. Another slight difference is the style of the deckle edge the Topps is more rounded and regular almost smooth edge where the OPC is mostly straight and sharp. The picture is also cropped differently on the OPC card with the facsimile autograph higher on the numbers, but approximately in the same area and orientation on the card (and closer to/on the right edge of the photo).

Purchase details: Since the two cards were purchased from the same seller they were "combined" shipping of $5.90 (I seem to recall I had asked the seller for an adjusted invoice since they said they "combined" shipping, but I guess to them that means little to no discounting, like Ebay itself.)
The cost of the 1969 O-Pee-Chee Deckle Edge blank back ("#12") Frank Howard Senators - $9.99
The cost of the 1969 Topps Baseball Deckle Edge #16 Frank Howard Senators - $2.99

My OPC card is aged a bit more than my Topps. Don't know if this is due to the differences in the card stock or just in the differences in how they were stored/exposed over the years.

 1969 Topps Baseball Deck Edge Insert 16 Frank Howard Senators
(Front and Back)

1969 O Pee Chee Baseball Deckle Edge NNO (12) Frank Howard Senators
(Front and Back)

When I was a kid I had some of these deckle edge cards I'm not sure how many or who but over time they  all disappeared, or were destroyed by my careless younger self. I think I might have even tossed some way or cut them up even more. I recall in the basement of the house I grew up in we had an old singer sewing machine built into a sewing stand. In one of the drawers my mom kept a pair of sewing shears (scissors) that had a wavy ruffled edge that to my child mind made perforation edges, which I used to mispronounce and misspell as something like "perferation". I'm sure many of these cards and maybe a few others I trimmed a bit with those scissors to make the perforation more uniform.

No comments: