O-Pee-Chee was a Canadian producer of bubble gum and collectibles like trading cards and candy that was very popular in the mid 20th century. Their baseball cards from the 1950s-1970s in particular have retained significant collector value over the decades. Some of the most valuable and sought after O-Pee-Chee baseball cards to look out for if you have an old collection or come across a box of them somewhere include:
1952 O-Pee-Chee Willie Mays: Considered one of the key vintage rookie cards in the hobby, the ’52 O-Pee-Chee Mays is the first major league card issued of arguably the greatest player ever. High grades in this vintage rookie card can fetch tens of thousands of dollars or more depending on condition. Even well-worn lower grade examples still trade hands for thousands.
1956 O-Pee-Chee Sandy Koufax: Koufax’s rookie card marked the emergence of one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball history. His career was relatively short but brilliant. PSA 9s have sold for over $30,000 and mint PSA 10 examples can surpass $100,000. Condition is critical as usual for vintage but even lower grades hold four-figure value.
1952 O-Pee-Chee Mickey Mantle: Widely considered the finest switch hitter of all time, Mantle’s rookie card is iconic. High graded ’52 O-Pee-Chee Mantles can rival or exceed the prices seen for the ’52 Topps variation depending on circumstances, with PSA/SGC 9s bringing five figures and perfect gems escalating above that.
1957 O-Pee-Chee Hank Aaron: A key vintage card that pays homage to “Hammerin’ Hank” Aaron who became the home run king and one of the game’s all-time great hitters. Higher graded ’57 O-Pee-Chee Aarons can reach the $10,000 price point or more and offer a more affordable way to own an early card of this legend compared to his debut ’54 Topps issue.
1959 O-Pee-Chee Roberto Clemente: Not truly a rookie since Clemente played parts of 1955-1958 prior, but his ’59 O-Pee-Chee was the first card depicting Clemente in a Pirates uniform. Considered an icon both on and off the field, high grade Clementes command mid-five figures. Even worn copies still trade in the four-figure range.
1955 O-Pee-Chee Orlando Cepeda: Cepeda’s impressive career got off to a fast start winning Rookie of the Year in 1958. His ’55 O-Pee-Chee is one of the more important cards from the mid-’50s period showing promise before his superstar peak. High graded examples push the $10,000 territory.
1969 O-Pee-Chee Tom Seaver: Seaver burst out of the gates as a star pitcher winning Rookie of the Year and the NL Cy Young in his first season. While the 1969 Topps Seaver is far more extensively produced, the Canadian O-Pee-Chee variant holds tremendous value graded tight at SGC/PSA 9-10 frequently eclipsing $5,000-$10,000.
1968 O-Pee-Chee Nolan Ryan: Ryan made his major league debut at age 19 in 1966 but entered superstardom later on. His ’68 O-Pee-Chee remains a notable first card from his early Angels period. Tightly graded copies in the PSA 9-10 range currently bring up to $3,000-$5,000 depending on auction activity and available supply.
1971 O-Pee-Chee George Brett: Brett burst out of the gates as a star third baseman for the Royals and eventually made his way to Cooperstown. Compared to his more common ’74 Topps rookie, high grade copies of his ’71 O-Pee-Chee debut are prized by vintage collectors willing to pay over $1,000.
1956 O-Pee-Chee Roberto Alomar: Not truly a rookie since Alomar broke in briefly in 1988-1989, but his ’56 O-Pee-Chee was issued during his early peak years anchoring second base for the Blue Jays dynasty clubs of the early ’90s. Considered one of the best fielding second basemen ever, PSA/SGC 9s trade for $1,000-3,000 currently.
Those represent some of the highest valued O-Pee-Chee baseball cards based on long-term sales data and recent auction performance. As with any vintage collecting area, condition is paramount. Lowest graded examples of even the above mentioned star rookies may only yield a couple hundred dollars. But for collectors looking to invest in affordable yet historically significant pieces of cardboard from the 1950s-70s baseball card boom era on a budget, keeping an eye out for O-Pee-Chee issues of all-time greats makes plenty of sense. Armed with this detail, one could potentially recognize a hidden gem and valuable O-Pee-Chee card worth money if seen in the wild or an old collection.