My Jhonas Enroth O-Pee-Chee Retro Blank Back parallel cards from from 2010-2017.
I really like player collecting. I really do. I like the hunt to chase down many different cards to try and shorten the wantlist and keep an eye out for those really elusive cards. The easy ones are 'expected' pickups, the rare stuff you'll need to wait and see if/when it surfaces, then there is that third category that really can bug every player collector..... the pesky ones.
You know the cards. They aren't particularly valuable, you can search and find a lot out there for a few notable players, but for whatever reason that hole continues to exists in your wantlist. Even when case upon case have been ripped open, nobody has seen that one card you'll been looking for, and it seems to happen every year around the same time like clockwork. Inspired by a older Upper Deck article from May, I decided to write about a specific pesky card:
The O-Pee-Chee Blank Backs...
If you've been collecting for any amount of time, especially dedicating that time collecting a certain player, you'll know that the yearly O-Pee-Chee Blank Backs can be brutal. Maybe I'm just over-exaggerating here, but I find these are some of the toughest parallels to consistently grab every year, simply because a lot of collectors just don't know that they have them in their possession. The lower end product gives the younger crowd a shot at hitting some of their favourite players without breaking their bank accounts, and at the end of the day that is fantastic for the overall health of this hobby in my opinion. However, on the flip side, this leaves a lot of cards sitting in boxes to never see the light of day.
Keep in mind, these O-Pee-Chee Blank Backs don't feature any kind of marking or stated print run at all. They are simply unannounced Easter Eggs that have popped up in OPC products for years. The print runs have been discussed to death, and depending on the year, I've heard an estimated number of just 5 to 15 copies exist for these blank back SP'd (Short Printed) parallel cards.
After making it's unannounced debut in the hobby inside packs of 2008-2009 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee, these Blank Back parallels, created deliberately, pay a tribute to the older O-Pee-Chee sets many years ago, when cards of that time period were sometimes printed with a blank back by mistake, due to large-scale production errors. So when looking at these hockey card origin stories, it makes me appreciate these blank back cards that much more, even if some of them aren't that valuable. Although, if you hit a good name, I've seen player collectors pay considerable amounts of money to land a Blank Back of their favourite player.
But with all the low-end products out there, it makes these cards much more harder to obtain if it falls into a casual collectors hands. It doesn't look any different than the original retro, other than the backing, so at first glance one might not know what they pulled is so short printed. I love how it stays true to the original blank backs, but for a player collector it can be a long wait before one surfaces, and if one does and you miss out on it, who knows when another one pops up.
At the top of this blog post you'll notice I've shared all 6 Blank Back parallels I've been able to track down for my Jhonas Enroth card collection, but that wasn't without its difficulties. I've been lucky that either case breakers or collectors have known to look at the backs of their O-Pee-Chee cards to see what they had, otherwise I'd probably still be looking for all of these. I was lucky enough to snag 2 shortly after their respective product released, others I had to wait years to finally obtain them to cross them off the list.
The backs may be blank, but these O-Pee-Chee Blank Backs parallels won't be missing from a show-and-tell when I'm sharing some of the neatest cards from my collection. They are a great tribute to the past and a look into hockey card history at the same time.
Have you found your blank backs yet? Or are you still looking to add them to your collections?
Please leave a comment below.
- Aaron / creasecollector
Author - Aaron
I've been collecting Hockey cards since the late 90's. Mainly the goalies since 2005. I also Co-Host a Hockey Card Podcast.
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