1990-91 Bowman Hockey Error Cards

Three mistakes were made in the 1990-91 Bowman Hockey set, produced by Topps in the fall of 1990. Only one of the errors was corrected, though.

Spelling/Printing Errors

#215 – Brian Leetch – The Error card spells his last name as “EETCH,” while the corrected card, obviously, spells his name “LEETCH.” 

However, I don’t really classify this as a spelling error; it is more of a printing error, as if the black ink was “blocked” from reaching that part of the card. Here is a close up of Leetch’s name on both cards.

Notice that the black border above the name is broken right where the “L” should be, and above the empty space between “BRIAN” and “EETCH.” It appears that blank ink was not properly applied in that area — even the first “E” in his last name seems a bit light — so I think it was more of a printing error than an intentional spelling error. 

Topps made a premium Bowman set that was printed on bright white O-Pee-Chee stock and sold as a factory set, called the “Tiffany” version because it was sold in Tiffany stores. Beckett Hockey claims that there is a Tiffany version of the Leetch error card. However, I seriously doubt that the card exists. Since the Tiffany Bowman cards were only sold as a 264-card complete boxed set, it seems unlikely that Topps would print an error card and also put it in a boxed set with the correct version of the card. 

Uncorrected Photo Errors

#12 – Al Secord – The front of Al Secord’s card pictures Duane Sutter. This error card is awful because: 

a) Al Secord never wore a helmet
b) Al Secord never wore number 16
c) The guy pictured on the card looks like a Sutter

As nice as it would have been for Topps to give Secord a proper card in its Bowman set, they never bothered to correct this mistake — probably because Secord retired over the summer of 1990. This uncorrected error also carried over to the premium Tiffany set. Coincidentally, Duane Sutter also retired over the summer of 1990. 

#46 – Peter Svoboda – Another bad photo mistake, the front of Peter Svoboda’s card shows Chris Chelios. Actually, it uses the exact same photo that is on Chelios’ card. 

Whoever proofed these cards that day was phoning it in, as Chelios — who was named the NHL’s best defenseman in 1989 — was a pretty recognizable player by 1990. That, and the exact same photo was used twice. Someone should have noticed. 

Like the Secord card, Svoboda’s card was not corrected in either the regular version or the premium Tiffany version of the Bowman set.


Author: Sal Barry

Sal Barry is the editor and webmaster of Puck Junk. He is a freelance hockey writer, college professor and terrible hockey player. Follow him on Twitter @puckjunk

7 thoughts on “1990-91 Bowman Hockey Error Cards”

  1. I really liked the design of this set but not the backs. I wonder where those 2 women are now on the front of Secord/Sutter’s card

    1. I have no idea who the women in the picture are. However I think the picture might have been taken at the Met Center.

    2. I have a 1990 bowman card with joe nieuwendyk picture on front woth his name and on back it is no.145 and on.bottom of card says pierre Turgeon..do you know anything about this..is it worth any money

  2. I pulled a Connor mcdavid o pee chee card 2017-18 #97, that has a darkened top two thirds. Way too dark, but Connor is still visible. Are you aware of any other problems (printing or error) with o pee cards last year? Thanks, Rick

  3. I was sorting a bunch from this set today and came across 3 cards had the back upside down and off print. Would see the name of one player but the card number from a different card.

    1. Yep, a printing error. The wrong backs were printed on the cards. Again, not a huge error, but more of a printing mistake. Cards like these might sell for $1-$2 to someone who collects cards of the pictured player.

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