Looking through my 2008 Topps cards, I came across this fellow:
Luis Mendoza is a rookie pitcher who might have a shot to crack the Rangers rotation. Ok, that's cool, it's nice to see a MLB Rookie card that is actually a real live rookie card (oops, maybe not) and might have some sort of impact in the league this year. The picture struck me though. I've seen a lot of cards from Topps with the lame Olan Mills backdrop or stood up against the firing squad wall, but this was the most nondescript photo yet. I've seen more interesting passport photos. Then I saw this card from that other set...
What the? ... Same lousy photo! Yet something sees amiss. What could it be?
Not only did Topps use the same stock photo of Luis, but they actually photoshopped the Rangers uni on him! They didn't bother to photoshop the Braves new AAA centerfielder Josh Anderson out of his Astros jersey, but they did the paint job on this guy. On top of that, according to his Transactions section on Baseball-Reference.com he was traded from the Red Sox to the Rangers in July 2006. Does this mean both major card manufacturers are incapable of finding a picture of this guy that isn't almost 2 years old? What the hell happened to the vaunted Topps picture vault? Apparently their photo staff now consists of some guy from Levittown armed with a cameraphone who tries to go to a few games each year and they scrounge through the leftovers at Glamour Shots for the rest. Maybe that's being unfair to Topps. It could be that Luis is just very hard to find.