We have a very special Overexposed induction this week. For the first time ever, we’re inducting an entire team set, and since this is a website that celebrates the history of the California Golden Seals, and their descendants, the Cleveland Barons, we proudly present you O-Pee-Chee’s version of the 1976-77 Cleveland Barons. At least, I think that’s supposed to be the Barons. If it wasn’t for the word “Barons” written across the top of the cards, I would have some serious doubts. After all, what uniforms are these?
Here, it looks as though Fred Ahern’s head is floating around. Where does the uniform begin and end?
The reason for the generic white uniforms is because the Seals moved to the Cleveland over the summer, and the Barons’ new uniforms had yet to be designed, but why not just keep the players in their Seals uniforms and say “Team transferred to Cleveland”?
Another thing with a lot of the Barons’ cards this year is that the photos are atrocious. There are so many blurry close-ups you would think you were looking at the pictures after having downed a few pints.
Here’s Len Frig after having just woken up from his afternoon nap.
And Dave Gardner looking like he’s just realized a second too late that he’s stepped in a pile of dog sh*t…
Here’s a blurry shot of Bobby Stewart…
How sad is it that poor Tim Jacobs’ one and only hockey card doesn’t even have him in a real NHL uniform.
Here they just took the colour out of Wayne Merrick’s old St. Louis Blues uniform. I know, I know, Merrick got traded to California in mid-season, bla bla bla, so ok, I’ll give O-Pee-Chee a mulligan for scrambling to change Merrick’s photo at the last minute, but what excuse did O-Pee-Chee have for the treatment Jim Neilson got?
This is one of the weirdest cards of the set. O-Pee-Chee used the exact same photo of Neilson they used the year before, in their 1975-76 set. Take a look for yourself.
See? OK, so Neilson only played 26 games for the Seals in 1975-76, so maybe he wasn’t playing the day the photog came to the arena, but still, they could have sat him down in front of some pale blue background and taken a new shot. All they did was change the tint on the photo. Neilson’s ’76-’77 card reminds me of making a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy.
Why they didn’t just let the players appear in their California Golden Seals uniforms is beyond me, especially since a few players were given the honour of having a card with an actual NHL uniform that year.
Al MacAdam, for example, being one of the Barons best players, didn’t get the white jersey treatment, oh no. Fun fact: Did you know that MacAdam once played for the legendary Charlestown Chiefs of the old Federal League? It happened. Check out the proof below.
Oh, there’s the “Team transferred…” line.
I really should stop nitpicking. It’s not like all the cards in this set are bad. There are in fact a few decent ones. Rick Hampton, for instance, got a card with a real uniform.
So did “Cobra” Simmons.
Gilles Meloche looks rather stylish rockin’ the Pacific blues.
And Bob Murdoch and Dennis Maruk? Well, green is kinda like blue, right?
If you’ve never seen the Seals play, you could at least say that Murdoch and Maruk got rookie cards that don’t look like total crap.
So there you have it, a (mostly complete) team set that somehow managed to showcase five different uniform schemes, not one of which was designed for the team whose name appears on the front.