Chicago Blackhawks fans remember Doug Wilson as a workhorse –a gritty, reliable defenseman that always gave a sense of comfort and dependability when he was on the ice. Not-so-die-hard Hawks fans may remember him as one of the last players in the league to play without a helmet. After spending most of his playing career with the Blackhawks, Wilson was traded in 1991 to the brand-new San Jose Sharks. He played with the Sharks for two seasons before moving into a management position, now sitting as the team’s General Manager.
Upper Deck has made most of the hockey cards released over the past 15 years, and even though the card may not say “Upper Deck,” cards like SP Authentic, Parkhurst Champions and Fleer Retro are all made by Upper Deck. So, it is no surprise when the same photo of a player appears on different cards in different sets. There is one, less-than-flattering photo of Wilson that Upper Deck has used on various autographed and memorabilia cards over and over again.
Upper Deck started using this photo of Wilson in its 2007-08 SP Authentic set. The picture was used on his “Legendary Fabrics” card.
The 2011-12 Parkhurst Champions set included some on-card autographs. The Wilson card had a familiar image.
But that photo wasn’t done making the rounds. In the 2012-13 Fleer Retro set, sticker-autographs were included as special inserts.
Perhaps the nicest use of the common photo was in the 2013-14 SP Authentic set. These included on-card autographs, patched memorabilia, and only numbered to 100. The patches are often tri-colored or include recognizable pieces of the legendary Blackhawks logo.
As a plug for my personal collection, I’m chasing down these Wilson cards. In case anyone has one to get rid of…
Wilson is a leader in the San Jose organization, but the repeated use of his photo in a Blackhawks uniform keeps the love that Chicago fans have for him alive and well. ■
David Schauer is the Assistant Editor of Puck Junk. Follow him on Twitter @David_Schauer.