Card of the Day: 1964 Topps Bill Virdon

Today’s Pittsburgh Pirates Card of the Day choice came down to who appeared his most recently among Dave Parker and Bill Virdon. Both great Pirates outfielders were born on June 9th, so they split the Card of the Day honors. The answer to that question is in the title. Parker last appeared here one year ago today on his 1976 Topps card. Virdon’s last appearance was on December 4, 2021, which is far too long to go without him appearing here. I’ll try to get Parker in sometime soon, as we really shouldn’t be going more than a year without seeing him. Today is the day we look at the 1964 Topps card of Virdon, which is card #495 in the set.

Here’s the front of the card:

This is actually the first regular card of Virdon in this series, completely unplanned. Considering that we are now three years and three month into this almost daily series, that was a surprising discovery. The card linked above is from a subset of the 1961 Topps set. His only other appearance here was on a card with Danny Murtaugh, which was a subset of this same 1964 Topps set. I didn’t put any thought into the specific card for today. I chose it because of what you will see in the pricing section below.

The 1964 Topps set is middle ground for me. The design is okay, though they didn’t match up any team colors or include team logos. Both of those things help, I say as I grade these cards 59 years later. I like how they extended the pictures into the border in this set. This is the last set before Topps went into their odd pink/purple phase for the Pirates cards, which lasted five years. When you look at it that way, the blue team name/red box at the bottom doesn’t look too bad.

I always say I like the action style photos better than portrait, even if it is staged action. Topps refused to pick a side here with their cropping. Is it a portrait, or is it an action photo? The answer to both appears to be yes.

Here’s the back of the card:

The back here provided an interesting color choice, with all orange on their off-white background. They did the one thing here that never makes sense to me on cards. Why is “Pittsburgh” abbreviated? Look how much room there is between his name and the team name…

The bottom part here is a trivia question that took away value from the card if you did what you were supposed to do. Sure you’re curious as to which catcher threw out eight men in a game, but don’t scratch off the bottom with a nickel or a dime (quarters and half dollars don’t work?). The answer is Duke Farrell in 1897, five years after the Pirates acquired him and put him at third base for the entire season.

I mentioned the pricing section up top. That’s because someone has a PSA 10 of this card on Ebay. Their asking price? $18,000! However, it does have an offer option, as well as free shipping. Behind that is a PSA 9, which in some cases can be indistinguishable from a PSA 10 by the naked eye. I’m sure someone out there has a PSA 9 that looks better than a PSA 10. That one is $2,000, which comes with the offer option and the free shipping as well. A PSA 8 takes us all the way down to $187.

There are some autograph choices in the $14-$20 range, which isn’t bad considering that this is a semi-tough card to find due to being in a later series in the set. You will pay at least $10 for a decent looking ungraded card.