Here are 3 RJ cards from the same season involving the same picture….yet all are different. The first one is the standard Topps issue (#458). The next is the O-Pee-Chee issue (#148). Like all the other O-Pee-Chee cards I’ve listed, the back is brighter & has the text in French & English. But because O-Pee-Chee was released AFTER the Topps cards, RJ had already been traded so they wrote “Now with Mets” on the front (on his right shoulder) and have the Mets cap on the front. Next up is a Topps Coke issue (#4). They used the same picture but airbrushed a Mets cap & jersey on him. It’s surprisingly pretty authentic looking for the time.
In this 1981 Donruss card (#122) it shows RJ on the front in a Padres uni with Padres above his name. On the back side under Career Highlights it states that he was traded to the Mets already. Sounds like Donruss was a little lazy back in their first year.
This card from the 1981 Fleer (#487) set is interesting. Everything on the back is normal and for the most part everything appears to be normal on the front. But look at the patch on his sleeve and his uniform. The picture was taken 3 seasons earlier, during the 1978 season when the Padres hosted the All-Star game (hence the patch). Also, 1978 was the ONLY year they used those particular uniforms. By 1981 they were already wearing the uniforms that are now referred to by all the fans as the ’84 unis. So it’s kind of a retro card before they had retro cards I guess.
This is a 7 UP Padres/Chicken cup. “You can put beer…errr…I mean soda in it.” Like a lot of the other things recently I’m not sure whether this was a stadium giveaway, sold in stores or a 7 UP giveaway. I noticed a small date on it that says 1/81 though, so unless they produced these way in advance I’m assuming it wasn’t a SGA. You can never go wrong with the Chicken so this is a pretty cool item.