Friday, April 10, 2009

Seeing Double

More from Fleer of the 1990's

Topps did it quite often in the late 1960's. Was it laziness? cheapness? just didn't care? I don't know. But for whatever reason, Topps reused photographs from one year to another. A lot

1968 and 1969 Ernie Banks

1967 and 1969 Glenn Beckert

1968 and 1969 Ken Holtzman

1967 and 1969 Randy Hundley

1968 and 1969 (Deckle Edge) Don Kessinger

1968 and 1969 Rich Nye

Did I say "a lot'? I mean really, A LOT!!

But by the late 1970's the practice had pretty much ended. Thankfully.

So I was pretty surprised when I was going through my Fleer Cubs and found that Fleer had resurrected the practice in 1991 and 1992. There are four cards from the 1991 update set that showed the same (or nearly the same) picture in 1992. I guess they figured they could kill two birds with one stone. Knock out the '91 update set and get the '92s out of the way at the same time.

George Bell. The pictures aren't identical, but from the same at bat. He finished the swing in '92 and drops the bat in '91.

Danny Jackson. Again, not the same picture, but the same delivery, just a second later.

Heathcliff Slocumb. The exact same picture

Dave Smith. The exact same picture.

Fleer, slackers!


  1. Topps did that with Henry Aaron for three years (1954-1956). It's looks odd when the cards are pictured together (

  2. I wrote 2 posts about this same thing happening with Topps fb cards. Mike Siani 1973 and 75 were the same photos and Bob Klein 1974 & 76 were the same.
    Back then, it really sucked because often these were the only pictures I would get of the players. I certainly couldn't 'Google' them!

  3. I knew this happened quite a bit in the '50's, 60's, and 70's. I was just really surprised to see it in the '90's.

  4. I'm going to have to disagree on the Bell card. On the '92, you can see a blond in black with her back to the field. She is not in the update photo. Plus, if you look real close, George is wearing a long blue wristband on his '91 card. There is no wristband on the '92.

  5. Also, I looked at the Smiths and McElroys and disagree with them as well.

    For the McElroy, the photos might have been from the same pitch. But they are clearly two different photos. Just look at his necklace and the logo on the jersey. If you compare those in the two cards, you can see that they are not the same photo.

    For the Smith card, just look at his grip on the ball. If you compare those two cards, you will see two very different grips.

    Since those three cards were different, the Jackson may as well have been too. The Jackson photos could (and I stress could) have very easily been taken in the same game, but on two different pitches.

  6. zman40, your point about the blonde in the George Bell photo doesn't hold up. Look at the base of the brick wall, at what resembles a black air-conditioning vent. Notice in the 1991 photo, Bell is further to the left of this spot than he is in the 1992 photo. Therefore, the blonde you mentioned would be out of the picture frame (she's off to the right).

    That being said, these COULD be 2 different at-bats, since I'm sure Bell's follow-through is the same from one swing to the next.