I try to stay very positive about the hobby, but over the years, I’ve seen a lot of comments that the 1989 O-Pee-Chee hockey set has the worst photos of goalies ever. Well, I clicked through all 330 cards in the set on TCDB and counted 32 goalie cards, and it turns out, yup, many are genuinely awful.
There are quite a few goalies in warm-ups, others that are zoomed in too tight, and glaringly few action or in-game shots. The Patrick Roy card, #17, stands out amongst all the other goalie cards just for not being terrible.
The 1989 O-Pee-Chee hockey set is pretty great in a lot of other ways, though. It has a few Hall of Fame rookie cards (Joe Sakic and Brian Leetch), many other stars, and an excellent design that invokes a “grey ice-like effect,” as Cardboard Connection describes. However, OPC overproduced the set, and, as I said, the photos they and Topps selected for the goalies were atrocious; here are a few examples:
1989 OPC #11 Peter Sidorkiewicz
The image is so zoomed in that it could just as well be a baseball catcher.
1989 OPC #92 Sean Burke
One could suppose that OPC wanted collectors to know what the goalies looked like. But perhaps posed head and shoulders shots would have been more appropriate.
1989 OPC #97 Mike Liut
Liut could be skating around in warm-ups or pulled from the game; there’s little context, and the image is very dark.
1989 OPC #137 Greg Millen
Another shot zoomed in so far as to lack context; Millen might just be sitting on the bench.
1989 OPC #144 Glen Hanlon
Hanlon sure looks sad.
1989 OOC #155 Ron Hextall
Speaking of sad, I can’t say that Hextall looks too pleased in this photo either.
1989 OPC #170 Clint Malarchuk
This photo isn’t that bad, Malarchuk seems to be doing something, but then you have a stick in the foreground as a distraction.
1989 OPC #204 Rick Wamsley
Do you think his pads were once white?
1989 OPC #258 Mario Gosselin
1989 OPC #263 Ron Tugnutt
Tugnutt’s photo has to be a warm-up shot, right? It would be pretty silly to have published an image of a goalie not noticing a puck at his feet.
1989 OPC #285 Steve Weeks
You wouldn’t even know that Weeks was a goalie from this photo.
The number of “bad” hockey cards out there is somewhat humorous. And while the pictures selected for the goalies in the 1989 O-Pee-Chee hockey set leave a lot to be desired, they give us something interesting to laugh and talk about. Happy collecting!
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