It arrived and I am beyond excited.
Because I am a big jerk, I am going to put my white whale after a jump break. In the mean time, here is a picture of a white whale.
Let's run down the 1961 Fleer set a bit, if for no other reason than to prolong the reveal. Though there is nothing stopping you from skipping ahead.
The 1961 Fleer Baseball Greats set was actually issued in 1961 and 1962, The first series, consisting of cards 1 through 88, was issued in 1961 and, to state the obvious, the second series of cards 89 through 154 in the latter year. While cards 1 and 89 were checklists they did feature players on the front and I have seen autographed versions of each card, however I don't have either. All of the subject players were retired, though Ted Williams had just retired at the end of the 1960 season. Many of the players had died before the set was issued, but there were 99 players that were alive on January 1, 1961. Three died during the year: Schoolboy Rowe on January 8, Dazzy Vance on February 16, and Ty Cobb on July 17. It is safe to say that it is improbable that there are signed versions of the first two and I consider it unlikely there is a Cobb. I've certainly never seen one. So, we're down to a total of 96 cards that could theoretically exist in signed form.
In my previous post, I defined white whales as the cards that were of truly great players who died shortly after the set was issued. I said there was four, but when I relook at it, there are only three:
Rogers Hornsby (d. 1963)
Paul Waner (d. 1965)
Jimmie Foxx (d.1967)
So, now you know the options. Let's cut to the chase.