Cheap Wax Wednesday Box Breaks: 1994 O-Pee-Chee Baseball
Tomorrow, July 1st, is Canada Day. It’s somewhat similar to our July the 4th in the United States, but it celebrates Canada’s 1867 confederation. We celebrate with our friends north of the border, by opening up some 1994 O-Pee-Chee Baseball.
Going all the way back to the 1960s, O-Pee-Chee cards were made and released in Canada. Up until 1992, O-Pee-Chee cards looked exactly like the flagship Topps release, typically with just a couple of differences. Backs note they’re printed in Canada. Usually, there’s bilingual English and French text as well.
In 1993, O-Pee-Chee released their original set with a completely different design and checklist. 1994 would be the second, and last, of those sets. Later on, Upper Deck would buy the brand, and they released one O-Pee-Chee baseball product in 2009.
1994 O-Pee-Chee is made up of 270 base cards. The base cards featured team color-coded player nameplates and team names.
Each pack has an insert. Most packs feature an All-Stars insert, celebrating the 1993 All-Star teams.
There are three other, more scarce, inserts, Diamond Dynamos, Hot Prospects and 1993 World Series Champions.
Just 2,500 cases of the product were produced, and they were released exclusively in Canada.
1994 O-Pee-Chee Baseball Box Break:
Cards per pack: 15
Packs per box: 36
Price paid: $14
Each box also comes with a jumbo All-Stars box topper. This one features Kenny Lofton doing something you don’t see a whole lot of in today’s game — laying down a bunt.
Pack 1 highlights:
Don Mattingly, David Cone, Ivan Rodriguez, David Justice & John Olerud All-Stars (one per pack)
David Cone pitched parts of two seasons in Toronto, going 13-9 with a 3.14 ERA. He pitched on the 1992 Toronto World Series Champion squad.
Paul O’Neill, Dave Stewart, Tom Glavine, Joe Carter & Ryne Sandberg All-Stars
Will Clark, Barry Larkin, a badly miscut Alan Trammell, Matt Williams & Cal Ripken, Jr. All-Stars
Sandy Alomar, Jr., Rafael Palmeiro & Carlos Baerga All-Stars
Carlos Baerga is an underrated ’90s player. He won two straight Silver Slugger awards at second base in 1993-1994. He hit .318 during those two seasons, hitting 40 home runs, and knocking in 194 runs.
Paul O’Neill, Brett Butler, Doc Gooden, Raul Mondesi, Wally Joyner & Mike Piazza All-Stars
Chuck Knoblauch, Gary Sheffield, Barry Larkin, Jimmy Key, Alan Trammell & Albert Belle All-Stars
Jeff Kent, Bret Saberhagen, Eddie Murray & Ken Griffey, Jr. All-Stars
Griffey appeared in 13 All-Star games, batting .440.
Derek Bell, John Kruk, Wally Joyner, Sammy Sosa & Jack McDowell All-Stars
Bernie Williams, Moises Alou, Carlos Baerga, Jeff Kent & Ryne Sandberg All-Stars
Andres Galarraga, Manny Ramirez, Tim Raines, Cal Ripken, Jr. & Tim Salmon Diamond Dynamos (1:24 packs)
Tim Salmon won the 1993 AL Rookie of the Year award, batting .283 with 35 home runs and 95 RBI.
Deion Sanders, David Cone & our third Ryne Sandberg All-Stars
Lou Whitaker, Harold Baines, Marquis Grissom & Fred McGriff All-Stars
Curt Schilling, Larry Walker, Matt Williams, Andre Dawson & Tim Salmon All-Stars
Canadian Larry Walker played six seasons in his home country. In 674 games for Montreal, Walker hit 99 home runs and stole 98 bases.
Cecil Fielder, Deion Sanders, John Smoltz & Tim Salmon All-Stars
A loaded pack featuring Dave Winfield, Paul O’Neill, Tim Salmon, Lou Whitaker, Alan Trammell, Jeff Bagwell, Harold Baines & Jeff Bagwell All-Stars
Jose Canseco, Craig Biggio, Barry Larkin, Eric Davis & Kirby Puckett All-Stars
Jose Canseco played 17 seasons in the major leagues, but just one in Canada. During the 1998 season in Toronto, Canseco hit 46 home runs. The Montreal Expos invited him to spring training in 2002 (there’s a Topps card that year to prove it) but the team cut him before the start of the season.
Curt Schilling, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz & Juan Gonzalez All-Stars
Jeff Bagwell, Roberto Alomar, Mo Vaughn, Andre Dawson, Wally Joyner, Dave WInfield & Fred McGriff All-Stars
Tom Glavine, Don Mattingly, Manny Ramirez & Jeff Conine Diamond Dynamos (1:24 packs)
Jeff Conine may seem like an odd choice as a “Dynamo,” but during Conine’s first full season in the majors (1993) he hit .292 with 12 HR and 79 RBI.
Mark Grace, Gregg Jefferies, Tim Raines, Cal Ripken, Jr., Dave Winfield & Barry Bonds All-Stars
Jose Canseco, Craig Biggio, Ivan Rodriguez, Paul Molitor, Edgar Martinez & Larry Walker All-Stars
Roberto Alomar, Andres “Big Cat” Galarraga, Frank Thomas, Tom Glavine, Don Mattingly, Pedro Martinez & Paul Molitor All-Stars
Martinez really started to show the type of pitcher he was while playing in Montreal. He won the Cy Young his last season in Montreal, going 17-8 with a 1.90 ERA and 305 strikeouts in 1997. He would be traded to Boston that November.
Bo Jackson & Jeff Bagwell All-Stars
Kenny Lofton, Rafael Palmeiro, Greg Maddux & Marquis Grissom All-Stars
Raul Mondesi, Manny Ramirez, Jim Abbott & Juan Gonzalez All-Stars
Juan Gonzalez made his first All-Star team in 1993. He finished the season leading the AL with 46 home runs.
Bobby Bonilla, Mo Vaughn, Wade Boggs, Gary Sheffield & Roger Clemens All-Stars
Eddie Murray, Mike Mussina, Terry Pendleton, John Olerud & Barry Bonds All-Stars
Bernie Williams, Omar Vizquel & Pat Borders World Series Champions (1:36 packs)
Pat Borders was part of the back-to-back World Series-winning Blue Jays teams in 1992 & 1993. He won the 1992 World Series MVP, batting .450 over the six-game series.
Mark McGwire, Chipper Jones, Craig Biggio & Mike Piazza All-Stars
Cecil Fielder, Juan Gonzalez, Greg Maddux, Pedro Martinez & Carlos Baerga All-Stars
Mike Piazza, Manny Ramirez, Fred McGriff & John Olerud All-Stars
Olerud made his first All-Star team playing for Toronto in 1993. He finished the season leading the league with 54 doubles, a .363 batting average, .473 OBP and 1.072 OPS.
Carlos Delgado, John Olerud, Deion Sanders & Jeff Bagwell All-Stars
Frank Thomas, Dennis Eckersley, Ryne Sandberg, Tim Salmon, Roger Clemens, Ken Griffey, Jr., Kirby Puckett & Marquis Grissom All-Stars
Randy Johnson, Tony Gwynn, Harold Baines & another Marquis Grissom All-Stars
Grissom made his only two All-Star teams while playing in Montreal. He would play six seasons north of the border, stealing 266 bases over that time.
Dante Bichette, Wade Boggs, John Smoltz & Juan Gonzalez All-Stars
Ozzie Smith (leaping over Luis Gonzalez), Albert Belle, Jeff Bagwell & Albert Belle All-Stars
Lastly, the Albert Belle card back. Albert is looking tough on this one and he certainly was one of the most feared right-handed hitters of the ’90s.
The All-Stars inserts are a nice inclusion, especially because the base set isn’t all that exciting. A positive, though, is the sheer number of Hall of Fame players included in the set. I pulled well over 50 (that’s where I stopped counting) from just this box.
Unfortunately, I did miss out on pulling a Hot Prospects insert in this box. There are a few notable names in that set including Carlos Delgado and Manny Ramirez.
At under $15 for the box, I may even consider giving this one another shot just for the inserts.
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Want more installments of Shane Salmonson’s Cheap Wax Wednesday? Check out his other breaks in the archives.