Tag Archives: 1989-90 O-Pee-Chee

Brothers From Another Mother – Mike Huff/Hough

20 Mar
1992 Topps - Mike Huff

1992 Topps – Mike Huff

1989-90 O-Pee-Chee - Mike Hough

1989-90 O-Pee-Chee – Mike Hough

So, they may have spelled their names differently, but Mike Huff and Mike Hough might very well be related to each other.

How we know they’re different people:

Mike Huff was a marginal Major League Baseball player who played in 369 total games for the Dodgers, Indians, White Sox and Blue Jays.  Mike Hough was a pretty regular NHL’er for over a decade, retiring after the 1998-99 season when he realized that playing for the New York Islanders, Utah Grizzlies and Lowell Lock Monsters in one season wasn’t fun anymore.

How we’re not sure they’re different people because we’ve never seen them in the same room together:

Both of the Mike Huffs/Houghs were born in 1963.  The baseball version was born in Honolulu, and the hockey version was born in Montreal.  Yeah.  Honolulu.  Sure, Mike Huff.  Also, both are listed at 6 feet 1 inch tall.  Convenient.  The kicker here is that Mike Huff, again, conveniently, never became a regular Major Leaguer, which made it much easier to manage his professional hockey career in the NHL.  He just joined his baseball team midseason once he was done on the ice.  I’m convinced this is true and I won’t listen to your reasons why it’s not.

Haircuts I Wish I Could Pull Off – The Rob Brown

5 Jan

1989-90 O-Pee-Chee - Rob Brown

Rob Brown’s haircut is saying something here.  I’ll tell you what it is: “I just got promoted to Mario’s line for a year and scored 115 points.  I’m going to live the dream for a while with some sick flow until I become an IHL superstar in the mid-90’s.”

If Rob Brown could have listened to his haircut, he would have been able to predict the future.

Happy 2011 everyone.

Amazing Airbrushing – More 1989-90 O-Pee-Chee

22 Nov

1989-90 O-Pee-Chee - Marc Habscheid

1989-90 O-Pee-Chee - Randy Cunneyworth

We’ve already looked at a couple of cards from this set – which is one of my all-time favourites, by the way – but you can’t talk about airbrushing without looking at these two cards.  Marc Habscheid and Rany Cunneyworth’s cards from the set are essentially everything that horrible airbrushing represents:

-A weak, blurry photo
-Butchered lines and logos
-Attempts at realism (see sticks, helmets and gloves)
-Attempts at shadowing and motion (see jerseys)

Amazing Airbrushing – An Introduction to Life Before Photoshop

5 Aug

I’ve never really been sure why they did it.  Until the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, it was pretty common practice for card manufacturers to airbrush images of players who had switched teams since their most recent photos.

Touching up cards was not restricted to one company, but Topps (and Canadian sister company O-Pee-Chee) certainly made their airbrushing the most obvious, primarily because they did a terrible job of it.

I, for one, always wondered why everyone didn’t adopt the practice of putting simple text of “Now with (new team)” or “Traded to (new team)” on the photo instead of making the card look so ridiculous by airbrushing.  There was absolutely no way that anyone would have thought the airbrushed photos were real and unedited.  Hell, put the new team’s logo on the card if you want to, but don’t make the player’s photo look like a cartoon.

However, the fact that there are so many poorly airbrushed cards out there has led me to create this new category: Amazing Airbrushing.  It is here that I will help the world chronicle the wonders that exist in the world of altered photos on sports cards.  You’re welcome.

Leading us off in the Amazing Airbrushing category: A couple of classics from one of my favourite all-time hockey sets.

1989-90 O-Pee-Chee Hockey - Chris Kotsopoulos

1989-90 O-Pee-Chee Hockey – Chris Kotsopoulos.

Background: Kotsopoulos had played the previous four seasons in the blue and white of Toronto, and actually only ended up wearing the real Red Wings uniform twice, so there is a chance that this is actually one of the best pictures of Chris in a Detroit jersey.

Why this airbrush job is amazing: 1.) The attempt at arena lights glare on the red helmet.  2.) Airbrush + Mustache = Twofer.

1989-90 O-Pee-Chee Hockey - Larry Robinson

1989-90 O-Pee-Chee Hockey – Larry Robinson

Background: Robinson, clearly a future Hall of Famer by 1989, had played his entire career in Montreal, and was moving to Los Angeles to join Wayne Gretzky for the 1989-90 season.

Why this airbrush job is amazing: 1.) Heavily overshaded white home jersey, 2.) Wavy logo, I believe in a poor attempt to make it fit in with the jersey, 3.) Another mustache – but this is a Hall of Fame mustache.  Boom.

Haircuts I Wish I Could Pull Off – The Brett Hull

12 Jul

1989-90 Topps #186 - Brett Hull

I had a friend who actually had his hair cut like Brett Hull as a kid… and it looked identical.  I was jealous as hell.  I mean, look at how much fun Brett looks like he’s having on that 1989-90 Topps card.  Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

The thing about Brett’s haircut is that it wasn’t the mullet in its purest sense.  If you consider that a pure mullet is truly business in the front and party in the back, Brett’s ‘do was a bit off.  What Brett had was fun, spiky party in the front, and all-night-kegger-gongshow in the back – party at both ends.  The only business that Brett was conducting in the late 80’s and early 90’s was scoring goals.  1989-90 was the year of 72 tallies, followed by 86 the year later, followed by 70 the year after that.  And he did it all with his signature party flow.  Unbelievable.

I remember my disappointment when my mother told me that this testament to human ingenuity in the early 1990’s wouldn’t be possible for me.  Apparently, I just didn’t have the right kind of hair for that, like my buddy had.  I think what she was trying to tell me was that I would look ridiculous if I tried, so I give her some credit for sugar coating it for me.  But, 20 years later I’m still bitter – especially since my buddy doesn’t have The Brett Hull anymore, even though he’s fully capable of doing so.  What a waste.

The 1989-90 Topps set (and of course its Canadian O-Pee-Chee counterpart) is one of my favourite hockey sets of all time.  The design is great and the rookie selection, while not high end in value like the lesser-produced 1988-89 sets, is still pretty good.  Rookie highlights include Brian Leetch, Theo Fleury, Gary Roberts, and my personal favourite, Joe Sakic.

The set is full of great players and some pretty solid photography for the era – plus, full stats on the back and they are easy to sort by teams.  Also, this was the last year that there were just Topps and O-Pee-Chee in the hockey card market.  The next year brought us Upper Deck, Score, and Pro Set, and things would never be the same.

Manly, Magical Mustaches – Lanny McDonald

5 Jul

1989-90 O-Pee-Chee Lanny McDonald (#7)

Ok, so this one is obvious.  But seriously, look at that thing, rippling in the breeze on that piece of 1989-90 O-Pee-Chee brilliance.  The guy scored 500 goals, 1000 points, and capped it all off that 1988-89 season by winning the Stanley Cup in his final game, as a member of the only visiting team to win the Cup on Montreal Forum ice.

I legitimately believe that Lanny McDonald’s mustache is the reason why there are 27 words in the Albanian dictionary for mustache – this fact is on Wikipedia, it must be accurate.  There are not enough words to describe something as spectacular as that flowing burnt sienna facial mane in English.  He’s too classy to call it a fanny duster or a trash ‘stache, and it’s more than a crumb catcher – that thing can keep whole meals warm to enjoy later.

Am I saying that Lanny McDonald wouldn’t be in the Hockey Hall of Fame had he not grown the mustache?  Yes, I am.  I believe it gave him the powers he needed to succeed.  Lanny McDonald’s bare upper lip affects him in the same way that Kryptonite can kill Superman, or the way water can melt the Wicked Witch of the West.  He had to keep the mustache flowing to keep the bare lip at bay.  And flow it did… thanks for the great years, Lanny.

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