Jaromir Jagr’s 1990-91 O-Pee-Chee Premier rookie card was one of the most sought-after hockey cards of the season. As far as Jagr RCs went, this was the one to have that year, especially in the United States, where we had to pay through the nose to get OPC Premier cards. Seriously. Full sets were selling for $125; sealed boxes $250. The Jagr card itself was a cool $15. But through some shrewd purchases and trades, I ended up with several.
So imagine my disappointment when I opened a pack of Topps Hockey cards during the 1991-92 season and found this:
Yes, the exact same photo, but darker (typical Topps!) and cropped tighter. Suddenly, the 1990-91 OPC Premier Jagr RC was a lot less cool.
Recycling the photo was a lazy move by Topps, who was still the biggest card company at the time and could afford to purchase a new photograph. That was inexcusable, considering that Jagr was one of the most exciting new NHL players from 1990-91. He was named to the All-Rookie Team and played a part in the Penguins’ Stanley Cup Championship. Obviously, there were no shortage of Jagr photos, so using the same one as last year was pretty lame.
Meanwhile, O-Pee-Chee used the same photo in their 1991-92 set, too.
An interesting note about this photograph is that it was most likely taken during the 1990 preseason. Pittsburgh hosted the 1990 All-Star Game and all Penguins players wore an All-Star patch on their jersey in 1989-90. Jagr has the patch on his shoulder in this picture, so the team must have recycled a 1989-90 Pens jersey for Jagr to use in the preseason, or until a proper jersey was ready. ■
2 thoughts on “Deja Vu Tuesday: Jaromir Jagr”
Nice article. Not sure about your theory that the photo was taken during the pre-season though. I have always found the presence of the all star game patch curious as well. A few years ago I came across an article stating that the Penguins left the patch there for the first month of the 1990-91 season, and only removed it after the Chicago Black Hawks (hosts of the 1991 game) complained about it to the NHL.
Of course, this doesn’t mean the photo wasn’t taken during the pre-season, but keep in mind that Premier wasn’t released until January of 1991. So there would have been lots of time to snap the pic during the regular season.