November 11, 2017

White Whales Exist, Don't They?

Let me start off tonight by saying Happy Veteran's Day to you all and thank you to any vets or anyone currently serving our country. Your service is definitely appreciated. Sorry my post content today isn't related in some way.

In an effort to avoid the lack of posts due to the paralysis induced by overthinking what I should write about, I'm going to explore a topic that was floating around the cardsphere several weeks(maybe it was months) back. Sure, there is a lot of stuff I have to share that has piled up during the time I was absent from posting. There will definitely be trade posts, more ripping product posts, and a few really big additions to my collection all forthcoming. However, today's topic will be the ever elusive white whale. I really enjoyed reading some of the lists I saw a while back and thought that I should work on a list of my own. I decided to keep it to 5 pieces of cardboard that haven't found their way to my collection(or maybe anyone's collection) as yet.

1982 Oneonta Yankees Team Set - John Elway
First up, a card I wrote about way back in my first week writing this blog. It is truly my current Holy Grail. In my opinion, it may be the piece of cardboard that most perfectly sums up my sports fandom. My favorite MLB team drafts a prospect that turns out to be a HOF caliber, Super Bowl winning quarterback for my favorite NFL team. This gem has eluded me for two reasons, price and authenticity. While there are not an unlimited number of these available, I can easily find it on eBay right now. It's definitely not within my hobby budget right now. I'd ultimately like to find a low grade copy in my price range just so I can be sure it's the real deal and not a counterfeit. Since I'm not one for graded cards, I'd probably have an internal struggle over freeing it from its plastic prison once I had it in hand. Oh well, let's not put the cart before the horse.

2001 Topps Chrome What Could Have Been - Josh Gibson refractor
Yes, I realize this borrowed picture is not a refractor. Though I searched high and low, I could not find an image of the parallel version of this one. I've had a few chances to spear this 'whale' over the years. However, for one reason or another, my aim was never true enough to successfully reel it in. I lost a few auctions here and there. I thought I had a deal to acquire it in trade finalized, but it fell through at the last minute. I even found an auction for the entire 10 card refractor set with a really reasonable starting bid and while waiting for the ending date to draw nearer so I could pounce on it, the seller had a change of heart and decided to keep the set(I know because I messaged him/her about my interest and that's what I was told). At this point, I haven't seen a copy in the wild for just shy of a year. It's the centerpiece of the refractor set that I am halfheartedly building. Perhaps if I can ever snag a copy of this elusive gem, I'd be more inclined to actively chase the rest of my set needs down.

2014 Topps Update - Kevin Kiermaier clear(acetate) parallel /10
I have only seen this card on e auction block one time. It was earlier this year, I believe. I was ecstatic! It had a slightly larger than I wanted to pay price tag on it, but I figured I would sell a few cards to raise the PayPal needed to pull the trigger on a really limited RC parallel of one of my favorite Former Durham Bulls. I was regularly checking in on the listing to make sure that it was still available while I waited for a few items to sell. It was there. Still available. Then I get a notification that one of my items sold(one that would get me to a point where I could click the Buy It Now button). Unfortunately, while I was waiting for the buyer's payment, someone else beat me to the punch on the Kiermaier. It was as close to heartbroken over a card as I've ever been. Oh well, maybe one day I'll have a shot at one of the nine that remain.

2007 Allen & Ginter Bruce Lee Framed Relic
This piece of awesomeness was released during a period when I was not active in our hobby. Once finding my way back to the familiarity of collecting, it took me a while to warm up to A&G. I'm still not its biggest fan, but I do love it for cards like this. I really dig some of the non-baseball items they have included on the checklist over the years. When I was a kid in Upstate NY(Orange County for anyone who cares), one of the first activities I got the chance to participate in was Tae Kwon Do classes. I was about 6 or 7 and met a pair of brothers that were 2 or three years older than me. We worked our way up the ranks, earning our more advanced belts and at some point, we began choreographing our own demonstrations that we would perform when the facility we held class in would have an open house. We bonded over Bruce Lee(and campy, Bruce Lee look-a-like) films and like many young martial artists, wanted to emulate his every move. While visiting my family in California, I even begged my cousin and brother to take me to find his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame(they did - I still have the picture). I've seen this incredible relic once or twice, but it is far outside my hobby budget. Hey, a guy has to have dreams, right?

Alright, that's four of my five white whales and the reasons are all really similar as to why I haven't added them to my collection yet. The fifth and final card on the list is an entirely different story, a 'whale' of a different color if you will(though I won't call it that ever again).

2017 Topps Pro Debut Fragments of the Farm - Durham Bulls Snorting Bull sign relic
This is the second time I've written about this card here on the blog. Earlier this year, this image was released as part of the promo materials for the Pro Debut set. I was jacked! I knew I needed a copy of this card and figured it would be pretty easy to track down once the ripping of the packs, boxes, and cases of product began. However, my searching over the week's immediately following the product release turned up no sign of this card. Right about then, some of the factors that contribute to my unplanned blog hiatus began to kick in and when I had time for cards, it was more readily attainable items and this hunt went on the back burner. I always had a saved eBay search though. A few weeks back while I was trying to compile this list, I tweeted to see if I could find a confirmed sighting of this beast or if its existence was a myth. I received several replies saying they would keep their eyes open and let me know. I also got a reply from a fellow blogger that is also in search of one of these. Yes, the card in question's namesake blog(The Snorting Bull) author replied confirming that he had seen no evidence of its existence despite actively hunting for it. All of the evidence pointed me in the direction of giving up the search for a copy. That is until Topps replied to my inquiry stating that the image used in the marketing(and copied above) was taken of the actual card prior to pack out. However, when I inquired about its potential rarity, I got no further reply. So, if I am to trust Topps, I should apparently keep hope alive that I will one day see a copy of this in real life. I suppose only time will tell. Thanks for reading.


  1. Nice write up on some very unique cards! We especially like your Josh Gibson refractor chase, your Bruce Lee A&G relic card pursuit & we will definitely keep our eyes open for the "Snorting Bull" relic card out there ... it has to pop up sooner than later! Someone has to have one and should be willing to part with it for a trade or nominal fee! Keep hunting! -M. Carlson (SpartyHawk Cache)

  2. Digging that Bruce lee! Cards like that is why I enjoy ginter

    1. Yes, cards like the Bruce Lee are immediately what comes to mind when I think about A&G.
      Good luck on the Snorting Bull relic... I have to imagine that's a card that many collectors would like to stash away in their collection.

  3. Very nice summation - these are some great cards! I have a fascination with multi-sport athletes, so that Elway has always caught my eye, as well. Also, who wouldn't want a piece of the historic "Snorting Bull" sign? Good luck in your hunts!