Friday, August 26, 2011

Vintage Card of the Month: Byron Whizzer White

The August Vintage Card of the Month is from the 1955 Topps All American set which featured college stars of the era (1920s-1955). Before he became a Supreme Court Justice Whizzer White was a monster halfback on the football field. He played basketball, baseball and football at the University of Colorado where he led the nation in rushing his senior year.

He was the 4th pick in the 1938 NFL Draft by the Steelers (Pirates at the time) and in 1938 he led the NFL in rushing before returning to school as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. In 1940 he decided to return to the NFL and signed with the Detroit Lions for the “insane” salary of $15,000/year. Again he led the NFL in rushing before cutting his pro career short to join the Navy at the onset of World War II. After the Navy he decided to go back to school to work on his Law degree instead of playing football.

 The big draw for White’s cards is because of the error, Topps accidently switched White’s back with Gaynell Tinsley’s back and the error cards sell usually for $125 and up while the corrected card sells in the $25-50 range. My copy is the corrected version with White’s bio on the back.

Besides the obvious Topps quality control issues the card is in great shape with only a bit of staining along the right border. The surface is nice and the color is solid. The 1955 All American cards are notorious for being mangled and as you can see with mine, the card is not only off-center but it was cut at an angle. You can actually see the upper corner of the next card on the top right border of my card. Good to know Topps has kept up the tradition poor quality control after 56 years.

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