Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Revealing my White Whale

Evidently only one commentor was curious what my White Whale that I posted about was.  So after waiting on USPS to do their thing, here it is:

1955 Hunter Wieners Bill Virdon
It may not look like much but is has been a loooooong time coming.  How bad have I wanted this card?  I have searched ebay for it every day for 10+ years.  Twice I have even given someone a handful of one-hundred bills on their way to The National to buy it in any condition.  But both times they came back with only my money.

Why was it so hard to find?  Well Hunter was a St Louis meat packaging company.  In 1954 and 1955 they put Cardinal players on the side of their hot dog packages.  Evidently for some reason people in the 50s were not to keen on saving their hot dog wrappers.  That means they are very scarce.  How scarce?  As an example it is a 30 card set and only 71 total cards have ever been graded by PSA.

In hand this thing is way smaller than I ever expected.  I always expected it to be oversized, regular card width but tall.  Like an Exhibit card cut in half from top to bottom.  It is in fact undersized by both height and width.   You can't tell from the scan but the sides have a couple little nipples where it was attached to the other part of the wrapper.  The only "cut edge is the top, the bottom scuffed up but looks to have a "factory cut".

While the front looks great that back doesn't.  Good thing it is in a case because I think that is hot dog mold.

A little (lot) more about my search for this card.

Now I had said in my original post that I have never seen on before but I have found where one was sold as part of a lot multiple times.  However each time was long after the fact.

I did kind of have a shot at buying one once.  When I first started the blog in 2008 I found one image for this card online and swiped it then added it to my Virdon wantlist on this blog before I moved it to google sheets.

So I had this image on the blog for years then out of the blue I get an email one day.  The guy said I have the 1955 Hunters Bill Virdon that you want.  Not only is it the card you want it is the exact one you stole the image of, you can tell because how it is hand cut.  He said he was selling his collection and wanted to offer me this card before he sold it as part of a big lot, how much would I give for it?  I made him an offer and never heard from him again, no response.  Guess I didn't offer him enough.  (side note - the offer I gave the guy was more than I just bought this one for)  Month's later I found an already completed auction on some oddball antique site where it was sold as part of a lot.  (For ALLOT!!)

Funny thing is when you go to PSA and look at the registration report, right now, look what comes up.  It's that same card I grabbed the image of, that I was offered then not responded to, then sold in a lot, and now it's PSAs example of the card itself.


Mark Hoyle said...

Congrats on finding the ultimate Virdon. I had read your other post when I was on Vaca. I had a feeling this was the one. Is that the last piece you need ?

AdamE said...

Thanks Mark!

I started to reply but it got long. So long I decided this would be good material for another post.

Mark Hoyle said...

I had no idea what this card looked like. You and I have emailed quite a bit over the yrs and I actually had written the name of this card in one of the notebooks I always carry to shows just in case by chance I ever came across it.

night owl said...

Congrats. I have yet to see a single Bill Virdon card, let alone the one you've specifically asked that I look out for at any of the Syracuse shows I've been to.

Also, congrats on updating your blog look.

AdamE said...

I might have found that Syracuse card but I don't know for sure. I bought a 1974 Virdon Team Issue but it's him in a yankee uniform, though the card dimensions are correct. Is that the Syracuse card, I don't know? They're is no mention anywhere of a 1974 yankee Team Issue Virdon so maybe.

I don't remember my blog text being so skinny. When I tried to post something the other day a horizontal card barely fit across it. It took me about 2 hours to figure out how to widen it. In the proccess the format and colors also got changed. I think I liked the old colors better but they have disappeared into the neither and color blind me doesn't know what they were. So I hope everyone else likes the current color too.

AdamE said...

I must have mentioned it when I picked up the Venezuelan. Thank you for looking for a card that I only passively mentioned. That's pretty impressive for someone who I've only exchanged words with via email.

Greg Zakwin said...

congrats on the pickup! and congrats on the very reasonable price as well.

Tim B. said...

Congrats! I really like how you split the win and the reveal.