Believe it or not I have found two White Whales. The Hunter Wieners Virdon I posted about a few times and my original White Whale the 1959 Topps Venezuelan Bill Virdon that I picked up out of a Discount Bin. Yes you read that correct, a discount bin. You see the Venezuelan looks EXACTLY like the regular Topps the only difference is they are on different card stock.
|Not the Venezuelan but they look exactly alike (other than this one is autographed)|
So what other Virdon's are out there that are Whale worthy? Well here are the contenders:
1964 KDKA Tag Bill Virdon. It is an insert from a Pittsburgh area laundromat. I have never seen the Virdon, I only know it exists because it is listed on Beckett's site but I have never seen even a picture of it. All I can find are a few of the other players.
1972 Post/Gazette - I have seen this one as part of a team set only. Normally I wouldn't include a newspaper clipping but it is to "card like" to not include. There is actually a set on ebay right now. But I just can't pay the $200 for a newspaper clipping it would require to pick up the whole thing.
1973 Post/Gazette - Same thing as the 72. I've seen it in set form but never alone.
Team Issues constantly pop up. I might have all of them but I might not. I have a bunch of team issues that I just don't know what year they are from. I probably find one a month that I have never seen.
|JD McCarthy Kneeling Postcard|
|1966 James T Elder Postcard|
Signa-Cuts are out there for me to find. Signa-Cuts are the scourge of player collectors. I'll pick them up when I find a new one. There are 3 different 1/1 Signa-Cuts out there in the wild but since I already have three of my own 1/1 Signa-Cuts they don't feel very Whaley.
Buybacks - Another scourge to the player collector. The bad thing about them is there is no way to tell what was made as a buyback and what wasn't. It was bad enough when it was just Heritage but then Topps expanded it to their base set and did it for four years. Is there one of every Virdon card for each year of the buyback 2014-2017? Who knows? I doubt there is a 64 or a 72 in any of the years because Virdon was a high number but you never know.
|1973 Topps with ear|
Heritage 1/1's - I already have one Heritage 1/1 Stamp card but there is another out there. There is also a Heritage 1/1 Cut Signature card. I know who has the Cut Signature. He is a team collector and won't let it go. So I know that unless something changes I won't ever get this one.
So out of all the stuff I don't have how do I decide which is going to be my White Whale? It's the one that got away.
1961 Harmony Milk - I saw it on ebay once. I had no idea what it was. But it looks JUST like any other team issue. I put in a pretty good bid for it that I thought was way higher than I should ever have to pay for it. Nobody bid on it until there were seconds left and my bid got blown out of the water. I was really shocked at the bidding I thought there was no way anyone would pay that for a team issue. I mean it is the same picture as a half dozen other team issues this one just says Harmony Milk at the bottom. So I got out my Standard and found out it that nobody knew it existed. Harmony was super short printed and nobody knows what the whole checklist is and Virdon isn't one listed in the catalog. So for 6 years I have been kicking myself that I didn't look at the catalog before bidding so for that reason the 1961 Harmony Milk Virdon is my new White Whale.