Alright, I still haven't sent out the dozen or so PWE's I was planning on, but trust me, everything is all sealed up and ready to go, just need to add addresses and stamps.
While I was digging into the Archives I busted a week or so ago, I remember pulling the Tyson Ross card and thinking "man, it seems like Tyson Ross looks the same on all of his cards." Well, after digging through my binders, it turns out that I was completely wrong, he actually has a pretty good variety of photographs on his cards, for the most part.
However, I was right in assuming that I'd seen this card before.
What tipped me off most was the Tony Gwynn #19 patch on Tyson's Archives card on the right. The Padres wore this after Tony's death in 2014, so it makes sense that it was on lots of 2015 cards (like the Topps flagship card on the left). However, seeing as how it's now two years removed from the '14 season, I figured this was a photo they had lying around.
I know Night Owl has done extensive posts about the number of Jackie Robinson cards that have the same picture on them, and I figured that, though it wasn't to the same extreme degree, that Topps had done that with Tony Gwynn as well.
Again, I was wrong. While I found a handful of cards that I could match up to another card, I couldn't find any groups of three or four that were the same.
Here's a pair from 2013 Allen & Ginter and a mini from the 2013 Topps set. Man, I remember not being a huge fan of those minis at the time, but after ripping a few packs of 2016 Topps Series 2 (which I found to be pretty boring), I think maybe I should've given them a bit more love. I especially dig the mini because you can see the green palm trees and orange from the outfield wall in the background.
Maybe I've thought that they were always just copying themselves because of the year they released their duplicates. The previous cards were both released in 2013, and this pair was released in 2014. While I'm one of the few who likes the '89 Topps design more than the '72 Topps design, I liked the '72 minis better. Gypsy Queen is usually one of my least favorite releases of the year, but the GQ card here looks better than this mini.
In 2012, I claimed this Allen & Ginter Tony Gwynn card to be my Card of the Year, and when I saw the All-Star card on the right come out in 2013 Archives, I still loved it. The empty seats don't quite look as good as the white behind the A&G card, but neither looks as good as the original card it was taken from (1985 Topps Glossy send in).
The "Before They Were Great" cards are pretty… uh, great, if you ask me, and I'm surprised that they came in the 2014 flagship set. The "Cut to the Chase" ones are pretty good as well, though I'm not always a huge fan of die-cuts.
Anyways, I'm sure every collector (well, at least those who collect modern day cards) has a gripe about re-using photos, but I guess it could be worse.