#CardCorner: 1978 Topps Bill Virdon
Some years, they were part of their team card offerings – wedged into a corner. Other sets featured them with their coaching staff… sometimes as a collection of floating heads.
And sometimes they didn’t make the cut at all.
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But in 1978, Topps produced what might have been their best tribute to managers. And one of the best of those was the No. 279 card of Bill Virdon.
The card features a landscape design, a rarity for Topps during its first four decades of production. The manager’s current photo was depicted on the right half of the card – in this case showing the 46-year-old Virdon as the Astros skipper.
Always a stickler for physical fitness, Virdon appears significantly younger than his years with his chiseled jaw, blue eyes and trademark round spectacles. Already at the helm of his third big league team, Virdon showed little wear-and-tear from being an MLB manager.
The left side of the card contained a black and white photo of Virdon “as player”, offset in a postage stamp design. Virdon is shown swinging the bat with the Pirates, a team for which he played 11 seasons and later managed.
Seems Topps couldn’t have picked a better time to feature a lifetime contributor to the game.
Craig Muder is the director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum