Whenever a company makes a set of retired greats, the likelihood is high that a photo used on a card many years ago may find its way back on a card again. Take for instance this photograph of Mike Gartner on his 2000-01 Upper Deck Legends card. I knew I saw it on another card before. You just don’t forget a menacing, pissed-off glare like the one Gartner is giving here — even if it isn’t directed at you.
It turns out, I was right…from a certain point of view, as Obi-Wan Kenobi would say.
While this photo technically wasn’t used before on a card, it was used on an 1988-89 O-Pee-Chee sticker The stickers were affixed to hard backings and measure 2 1/8″ x 3″, so they are sort of like cards.
Here are the two, side by side for comparison. Obviously, the Upper Deck card has brighter colors; that red really pops.
There is a second card in the 2000-01 Upper Deck Legends hockey set, called “Team Foundations,” that coincidentally uses another photo of Gartner that had been seen on a card before.
It was previously used on his 1983-84 O-Pee-Chee card, but not cropped as tightly.
It appears that Upper Deck airbrushed out that blue “blob” on the wall behind and to the left of Gartner’s head.
But getting back to the first card, I am glad that the awesome, “don’t mess with me” pic of Gartner was introduced to a new generation of fans 12 years after it originally appeared.
In fact, we are long overdue for this photo to make a third appearance. Maybe Upper Deck should use it as part of the Marquee Legends subset in an upcoming O-Pee-Chee set. This pic is too cool to not use every decade. ■