Deja Vu Tuesday: Tony Esposito

Welcome to another sporadic installment of “Deja Vu Tuesday,” where we take a look at a hockey card and say “Hey, haven’t I seen that picture somewhere else?” Today, we will examine two hockey cards picturing Hall of Fame goaltender Tony Esposito. 

When the 2008-09 Champ’s Hockey set came out, it had many cards of retired greats, including Tony-O.

2008-09 Champ’s #96 – Tony Esposito

When I got this card, I knew without a doubt that this photo had been used on one of his 1970s cards — specifically, his 1974-75 Topps and O-Pee-Chee cards.

1974-75 Topps #170 – Tony Esposito

I remember this card very well because, after buying his 1968-69 O-Pee-Chee rookie card and 1981-82 Topps card, this was one of the earliest Esposito cards that I owned. My original copy of this card had a crease down the middle, but it only cost me a quarter back in the day. I’ve since replaced it with the copy you see above. 

It does not matter that this is a recycled photo; chances are, only a nerd die-hard collector like me would have cared enough to notice that a picture was being used on another card 35 years later. And it’s not a bad picture either. The photo may not be the most action-oriented, but it was probably taken during a game. Esposito appears poised and focused, and seems to be re-positioning himself — his stick is off the ice — to move with the play. 

Looking at how much brighter and clearer the Champ’s card is than the old Topps card, I would love to see an old hockey card set re-released using the same photographs as before, but produced with modern technology. 

Follow Sal Barry on Twitter @PuckJunk


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

2 thoughts on “Deja Vu Tuesday: Tony Esposito”

  1. Sal,
    Even they use an old picture of Tony -O he still kept the puck out of the net. Can you imagine he was property of the Candians at one time. Imagine a goalie tandem of Dryden and Tony-O. No puck will pass them. Also Tony -O also was famous for in later in his career the Bird Cage eye slots on the mask. Unfortunately there were no cards that show this. Now everybody is playing with the Bird Cage.

  2. I somehow lucked into finding a copy of that Topps card earlier this year, in about the same condition as the one you show. I can’t remember if I got it locally or from another collector, but I’m happy to have it. It’s currently my oldest Blackhawks card but I’ve not even actively collected for a year yet.

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