Card of the Day: 1987 O-Pee-Chee Cecilio Guante

Cecilio Guante was featured here on a strange card from the 1983 Donruss set one year ago today. That card for no apparent reason called him “Matt” on the front. Today’s Card of the Day choice probably isn’t as strange, as we have shown some other examples of it being done in the last three years, but it definitely looks odd. Let’s get right into the card so you can see for yourself. On his 63rd birthday, we take a look at the 1987 O-Pee-Chee card of right-handed pitcher Cecilio Guante, who played for the 1982-86 Pittsburgh Pirates. It is card #219 in the set.

Here’s the front of the card:

I mentioned that we have featured cards similar to this before. One of them was the exact opposite of what makes this interesting. The 1985 O-Pee-Chee card of Steve Kemp pictured him on the New York Yankees, but the team on the card was the Pirates.

The photo you see here is from the 1987 Topps set, which came out much sooner than the O-Pee-Chee set. Guante was traded to the Yankees in the six-player deal that brought Doug Drabek back to the Pirates. That deal occurred on November 26, 1986. That was too late to adjust his 1987 Topps card, as those were set to hit the shelves in time for Christmas. When the O-Pee-Chee cards came out, they just added notes to players who were traded, such as the one you see here saying “Now with Yankees”.

So when all of that comes together, you end up with something like this, where it’s clearly a Pirates uniform on Guante, but there’s a Yankees logo, along with the red box for the name, which went along with Yankees cards in the set. Pirates players had a gold box with black writing. Not only did the regular Topps set show Guante with the Pirates, they got a photo of his with the Yankees for the 1987 Topps Traded set. The O-Pee-Chee card is basically the middle ground of those two sets.

Here’s the back of the card:

The O-Pee-Chee backs have colors closer to the Topps Traded set. It’s a bit brighter with the yellow/blue, and lighter on the background color, which is a gray color on the 1987 Topps set. As you can see by the back, everything is written in English and French. These sets were released in Canada, so they had to appeal to all fans. They didn’t translate the stuff at the bottom (height, weight, birth day, etc). The stats you see here represent his entire career with the Pirates.

One interesting translation here is the “On This Date” section. As you might be able to guess, the translation on “une date memorable” comes out to A Memorable Date. Not sure why they didn’t translate it directly (according to Google translation, that would have been “à cette date”). Some others could be off, I know as much French as anyone who took it for 1/4 of the year in eighth grade, but I could tell that one didn’t match up.

The O-Pee-Chee cards are tougher to find than either of the two Topps sets (technically there were three with the Tiffany version)  mentioned above. That doesn’t translate to extra value though. The only thing that helps the prices on these cards is the limited quantity available for sale. There are 15 auctions for this card right now on Ebay, with three sellers listing it under $2 delivered. There are two auctions of note, both autographed copies. One is $28 and the other is $30, with the latter being a card for sale in Canada. There is one closed auction for this card from the last three months and they paid just over $2 delivered.