NonSports Forum

Net54baseball.com
Welcome to Net54baseball.com. These forums are devoted to both Pre- and Post- war baseball cards and vintage memorabilia, as well as other sports. There is a separate section for Buying, Selling and Trading - the B/S/T area!! If you give an opinion of a person or company your full name needs to be in your post. Contact the moderator at leon@net54baseball.com should you have any questions or concerns. Enjoy!
Net54baseball.com
Net54baseball.com
T206s on Ebay
Pre-WWII Cards
Post WWII Cards
Vintage Memorabilia
Babe Ruth Cards
Ty Cobb Cards
Lou Gehrig Cards
Mickey Mantle Cards
Goudey Cards
Bowman Cards
T205s on Ebay
Tobacco "T" Cards
Caramel "E" Cards
Vintage Baseball Postcards
Football Cards on Ebay
Exhibit Cards
Strip Cards
Baking Cards
Sporting News
Playball Cards on Ebay

Go Back   Net54baseball.com Forums > Net54baseball Postwar Sportscard Forums > Postwar Baseball Cards Forum (Pre-1980)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #151  
Old 02-16-2019, 03:03 AM
seanofjapan's Avatar
seanofjapan seanofjapan is offline
Sean McGinty
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Japan
Posts: 181
Default

There is a weird error on that card. It depicts Masaji Hiramatsu, and correctly shows the kanji for his name on the back. But the furigana version of his first name says ďSeijiĒ instead of Masaji. The kanji can be read either way, so likely whoever wrote the card back just didnít know how to read his name (a common problem in Japan)!
__________________
My blog about collecting cards in Japan: https://baseballcardsinjapan.blogspot.jp/
Reply With Quote
  #152  
Old 02-25-2019, 09:29 PM
nat's Avatar
nat nat is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 546
Default Kazuyoshi Tatsunami

Kazuyoshi Tatsunami was an infielder for the Dragons from 1988 to 2009. Over the course of 2586 games he accumulated 2480 hits, walked more than he struck out, and posted a batting line of 285/366/408. He wasnít a power hitter, although he would sometimes post above-average slugging percentages. Likewise, heíd occasionally record double digit stolen bases, but it wasnít really a part of his arsenal. In some ways he reminds me of Pete Rose. Both were versatile defensive players (Tatsunami was mostly a second baseman, but he played about three seasons worth of games at both third and short, and another 150 games in the outfield). They were both table-setter type hitters, although without much speed. Now obviously Tatsunami didnít break Ty Cobbís hits record, but he and Rose were the same kinds of player. Moreover, as befits a player with gap power and a long career, he is Japanís all-time leader in doubles, with 487. (Although the shorter season must be noted, I expected the Japanese leader to have a higher mark than this: it would put him 76th in MLB, just below, among others Mel Ott, and just above Lou Brock.)

Despite being consistently very good, he was selected to only two best-nines of the course of his 22 year career. He did win a Rookie of the Year award, and several gold gloves. But he rarely led the league in any offensive category. Allen remarks that he was never the best player on his own team. On the other hand, as a veteran player in 2007 he led the Dragons to only their second Japan Series championship, and their first in more than half a century. And Albright likes him well enough, ranking him as Japanís 48th greatest player

To all appearances, he has spent his retirement writing. Amazon has an author page for him. And while Iím not 100% sure this is the same guy, it looks like him, some of the books are about baseball, and Hiroki Nomura Ė one of his coauthors Ė was also a professional baseball player.

Tatsunami is one of the newest members of the hall of fame. And I mean new. He was elected in 2019.

My card is from the 2000 Calbee set. Itís much larger than the tiny 80s Calbee cards, but still slightly smaller than standard baseball card size. Somewhere along the line (1990?) Calbee started putting text on the front of the cards in English instead of Kanji. I donít know why.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg tatsunami.jpg (47.0 KB, 131 views)
File Type: jpg tatsunami back.jpg (66.8 KB, 126 views)
Reply With Quote
  #153  
Old 02-25-2019, 10:13 PM
seanofjapan's Avatar
seanofjapan seanofjapan is offline
Sean McGinty
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Japan
Posts: 181
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nat View Post

My card is from the 2000 Calbee set. Itís much larger than the tiny 80s Calbee cards, but still slightly smaller than standard baseball card size. Somewhere along the line (1990?) Calbee started putting text on the front of the cards in English instead of Kanji. I donít know why.
Nice write up, I like Tatsunami quite a bit and was happy he got in.

Calbee started writing player names in Roman letters on the front of the cards literally in the middle of the 1990 set - the first series had the names in kanji then series 2 had them in Roman letters (and the size switched then too). I think the decision was specifically made to make the cards more accessible to foreign collectors, they actually presaged this in the 1989 set by writing the player's names in Roman letters on the card backs for the first time.

Since 2016 they have reverted back to putting the names in kanji on the front and back, I kind of like them better that way, though it does make them more of a challenge.
__________________
My blog about collecting cards in Japan: https://baseballcardsinjapan.blogspot.jp/
Reply With Quote
  #154  
Old 02-28-2019, 01:27 PM
buymycards's Avatar
buymycards buymycards is offline
Rick McQuillan
Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 2,437
Default Menko question

Hi, I am hoping that someone can help me identify these. I have 21 of these cards, which are approximately 1 5/8" x 2 1/16. They have the same fronts as the 1950 JCM21 Menko's, but the backs are blank. The ones that are listed on eBay have backs similar to the back of a playing card. The other Japanese cards that I have had over the years were thicker than American cards, but these are thinner.

Any help will be appreciated. Thanks much! Rick
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Menko.jpg (75.4 KB, 118 views)
__________________
Rick McQuillan


T213-2 128 down 57 to go.
Reply With Quote
  #155  
Old 03-01-2019, 10:45 PM
nat's Avatar
nat nat is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 546
Default

Hi Rick!

I'm afraid that I don't have much insight to offer, but I'll do my best. Those sure do look like JCM21 cards, but I've never heard of them with blank backs before. It's possible that they are JCM21s that didn't get printed on the back. Quality control for Japanese baseball cards circa 1950 can't have been too good. There are lots of uncatalogued sets, but it seems weird to me that they would issue an identical set that's just missing the printing on the back.

As for the thickness, again I can offer only a guess. Menko cards from the early 50s tend to be relatively sturdy, a few of them are almost Goudey-like. Which makes sense, since they were intended to be thrown at the ground. They weren't baseball cards exactly, they were toys that had pictures of baseball players printed on them. Despite how it's catalogued, it's not clear to me that JCM21 is a menko set. They've got no menko numbers, and no rock-paper-scissors symbols. It seems to me that JCM21 is really just a deck of playing cards. Now, I don't have any cards from the set, so I can't say anything about it's thickness. But if JCM21s were meant to be used as playing cards and not menko cards, it's no surprise that they would be much thinner than is normal.

Sorry I can't be any more help than that. Hopefully some of our more knowledgeable collectors can chime in.

You know, I might as well include a card in this post. Here's an upgrade to my Futoshi Nakanishi. Or, well, 'upgrade' is the wrong word. On my other card he's sharing the spotlight with Takahiko Bessho, whereas here he has the whole card to himself. I'm not sure which set this card is from. It looks like it belongs to several of the JCM12 variations, but the only one that both has a border and pairs Nakanishi with this menko number is 12e, which Engel describes as "painted looking". This card doesn't look especially "painted" to me, but that's my best guess. In any case, it belongs to the JCM12 family.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg nakanishi.jpg (63.7 KB, 112 views)
File Type: jpg nakanishi back.jpg (69.8 KB, 114 views)
Reply With Quote
  #156  
Old 03-02-2019, 08:09 AM
buymycards's Avatar
buymycards buymycards is offline
Rick McQuillan
Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 2,437
Default Thanks

Thank you, I appreciate your help!

Rick
__________________
Rick McQuillan


T213-2 128 down 57 to go.
Reply With Quote
  #157  
Old 03-04-2019, 08:56 PM
nat's Avatar
nat nat is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 546
Default Takeshi Koba

Takeshi Koba was a middle infielder, mostly playing for Hiroshima, from 1958 to 1971. The leagues that he played in were very low offense affairs, but even by those standards he wasnít a stand-out offensive player. Some years he was above average, some years he was below. His best season was clearly 1963, when he hit 339/380/441, but then in 1964 he ďhitĒ 218/272/261, so it all balances out in the end. Eyeballing this, but Iíd guess that he was, on the whole, a roughly league-average batter. Which of course would make him above average offensively for a shortstop/second baseman, but weíre not talking about Ernie Banks here or anything. His career totals are well-short of Meikyukai standards, in part because of his offensive troubles, in part because he career was a bit short for a hall of famer, and in part because he was a part-time player his last few seasons.

Presumably he was a strong gloveman. As befits a shortstop, he wore uniform number 1.

There may have been some degree of tragedy involved in Kobaís offensive ineptitude. His 1963 ended with getting hit in the face with a pitch, prompting a fear of inside pitches that apparently never abated. Not being able to protect in the inside corner is going to make being an adequate batter pretty difficult.

Itís common to see Japanese players, at least those who play at a hall of fame level, in NPB as teenagers, since Japan doesnít have the same kind of minor league system that MLB does. (They have a B squad for each team, and those teams do play against each other, but itís not nearly the same thing.) Koba was 22 as a rookie; B-R says that he spent the time playing the industrial leagues. Which, I gather, is more like playing Indy ball in the US than it is like playing in the affiliated minors. And while Indy players to, occasionally, make the big leagues, itís not something that they should plan their careers around exactly. On the other hand, Wikipedia says that he had to get a job after his father died, and that working at a real job delayed the start of his baseball career. I suppose these two explanations arenít entirely inconsistent. Perhaps he had a job with a firm and played on their baseball team on the side? (Is that how the industrial leagues work? Or is it more like, a firm sponsors a baseball club?)

The Japanese Wikipedia page has a summary of this part of his career. Here is what it says, as best as Microsoft can translate it. Make of this what you will:
"It stops in the eyes of the concentrated person Wataru of Nippon Sumikin Biase Baseball Club Supervisor (at that time) candidly by chance, and it is recommended to join in the Nippon Sumikin Mining Place when the play is shown to the junior in the ground of the high School of the alma mater during summer vacation. Then, he dropped out of Senshu University and joined Nippon Sumikin Mining. Joined the company's Bize mining Office ( nise-cho , Kaho-gun , Fukuoka Prefecture ).

In Nippon Sumikin Bise, he played for two consecutive years from 1956 to the city , and played against Kankalon in the first round at the1957 Tournament , and Shunsuke Murakami Nippon Sumikin in this match. The pitcher has achieved the first full match in the history of the tournament. The team-mates at that time were equipped with Eto Shinichi , Yoshida Katsutoyo , and Yu-ei , who later entered the pro.

1957 The concentrated person was selling old leaves to the director Katsumi Shiraishi of Hiroshima Carp (at that time) who had come to the joining of Eto who was a colleague in December , and old leaves became the joining to Hiroshima."
After retiring as a player Koba turned to managing. From the mid 70s to the mid 80s he managed the Hiroshima team, having quite a bit of success with what has traditionally been something of a sad sack franchise. Three years managing Taiyo in the late 80s didnít go as well. As a manager his trademarks were running and versatility. The Carp had base stealers who could play lots of positions and switch hit. Classic gritty small-ball stuff. Man, I bet MLB these days makes him roll his eyes. Joey Gallo is, like, the anti-Koba. Since leaving the Whales he has not returned to pro ball, but has gone to work in amateur baseball. Like Yoshio Yoshida (who is credited with developing baseball in France), Koba has spent his time working to spread baseball to countries in which it is not popular, and he is currently the manager for the baseball team at Tokyo International University. In 2002 he ran for mayor of Hiroshima, but lost to Tadoshi Akiba.

The card is from JCM 14c, issued in 1960.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg koba.jpg (46.2 KB, 101 views)
File Type: jpg koba back.jpg (51.9 KB, 100 views)
Reply With Quote
  #158  
Old 03-06-2019, 09:58 PM
nat's Avatar
nat nat is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 546
Default Shunichi Amachi

Shunichi Amachi was a manager for the Dragons. He piloted the team from 1949 to 1951, again in 1954, and then in 1957-8. It was under his guidance that they won their first Japan Series, and their last for another half century. Oddly, he never played baseball professionally. At Meiji University he was a catcher, but he never did make it to NPB as a player. Albright ranks him as Japanís 18th most successful manager, but his methodology leaves something to be desired. (Itís a system of the ďassign X points for YĒ type, where thereís no reason that X is worth Y points, and so nothing that the system actually measures.)

In addition to serving as a manager, he had a decent career as an umpire. He was an umpire for a league of six universities based in Tokyo from 1929 to 1947. In addition to college umpiring he put in some work umpiring high school matches, most notably in the Koshien tournament. Following his career as an umpire he took over managing Teikyo Commercial School baseball club, for whom his future ace with the Dragons, Shigeru Sugishita, pitched. Their careers would be fairly well intertwined, as it was on the back of Sugishitaís forkball that Amachiís Dragons won their Japan Series.

Amachi was not on my original list of hall of famers to acquire. I set out to get cards of professional hall of fame players, and while Iíve made exceptions for players who were inducted as managers but who had long and successful playing careers (Hara comes to mind as an example), Amachi definitely doesnít fall into that category. (Given that he didnít play baseball post-college.) However, this is the only Amachi card that Iíve ever seen for sale (outside of uncut JCM21 sheets), this particular card is from JGA16, a set that Iíd never encountered before. Indeed, Engel gives is rarity level R4 Ė indicating only 5-10 of each card known to exist. And while I think that Engelís rarity levels should probably taken with a grain of salt, it surely at least indicates that there arenít many of these floating around. So I picked up Amachi-san. JGA16 was issued in 1949, making this Amachiís rookie card, if thatís what you call a managerís first card.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Amachi.jpg (48.2 KB, 89 views)
File Type: jpg Amachi back.jpg (63.7 KB, 91 views)
Reply With Quote
  #159  
Old 03-25-2019, 10:02 PM
nat's Avatar
nat nat is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 546
Default Kazuhisa Inao

The first post in this thread featured Kazuhisa Inao, sharing a card with Takehiko Bessho. That was almost 11 months ago. My early write-ups about Japanese players were pretty skimpy (just five lines for Inao), and given that Iíve picked up a new Inao card, Iíd like to take this opportunity to do a better job.

So:

Kazuhisa Inao pitched for the Nishitetsu Lions from 1956 to 1969. Inao did not begin his baseball career as a pitcher Ė when he was in high school he was a catcher with a famously strong arm. Strong enough that taking up a role on the other side of the battery was the obvious move as soon as he went pro. As a 19 year old rookie he posted a 1.06 ERA in a league with a 2.60 ERA as a whole. Put that in the 2018 National League and you get a 1.65 ERA, AKA, a little bit better than DeGrom, who led the league by 70 points and won the Cy Young Award. He was never again quite that good, but he was pretty close through his mid 20s. Both the 1957 and 1958 seasons concluded with MVP awards for Inao. As was standard in the 1950s and 60s, he pitched an insane number of innings, topping 400 in two different years. Then he pitched 11 innings in 1964. It doesnít take too much imagination to figure out what happened there. From there on out his innings pitched were severely limited (although still healthy by contemporary MLB standards). Shoulder injuries were the main problem in 1964, and a training program that involved throwing an iron baseball didnít help.

Despite the late career injuries, Inao was obviously one of Japan's greatest starters. In a league in which 200 wins is a notable achievement (itís the bar for the Golden Playerís Club), Inao won 273, along with an ERA that is third-lowest all-time. (Behind Hideo Fujimura and Jiro Noguchi. And, yes, it was in a low-run environment.) Albright has him ninth all-time, and third among pitchers.

A curious thing about Inao is that, despite being one of Japanís greatest starting pitchers, he actually made more appearances out of the bullpen than he did as a starter. It was common for starting pitchers to frequently make relief appearances, but Inao did a lot of it. He appeared in 754 games, but started only 304 of them. Along the way he put up a career 276-137 record, good for a .668 winning percentage. (Including 42 wins in 1961.) Now a pitcher has only limited control over their wins and losses, but it goes without saying that that is an impressive record.

And the Lions were good. They won the Japan Series from 1956-1958. But of course their goodness was due in no small part to Inao himself. In the 1958 Series he won four consecutive games. Itís like Randy Johnson from 2001, but, like, times two. In all he appeared in games 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. Game five concluded with Inao hitting a walk-off home run in the 10th inning.

After retiring from the mound, Inao took up managing. He found a difficult time to do it. In the late 60s and early 70s Japan was rocked by a series of game-fixing scandals that collectively became known as the ĎBlack Mist Scandalí. (B-R has a nice summary here.) It first broke with the Nishitetsu team, so Inao was at the center of the storm immediately. He managed the Lions to five sub-500 seasons before retiring. A decade later he took up the top spot for the Lotte Orions, managing them to a mixed record over three seasons.

My new Inao card is from the JCM41 set, which was issued in 1959. It's a couple years more recent than my other Inao card, but still early in his career.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Inao.jpg (43.1 KB, 73 views)
File Type: jpg Inao back.jpg (64.9 KB, 74 views)
Reply With Quote
  #160  
Old 03-31-2019, 08:57 PM
nat's Avatar
nat nat is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 546
Default Takehiko Bessho

Takehiko Bessho was, like Inao, featured in the first post in this thread, and, like Inao, did not get the write-up that he deserves. My biographical efforts today represent an attempt to remedy this situation.

Bessho began his career before WWII, playing for Nankai. He would continue playing for them when he returned from the war, but soon found himself with the Giants. As best I can make out from the Japanese Wikipedia page, there was no uniform player contract at the time, and the reserve clause was something more like a tradition than a legally enforceable contractual provision. In any case, it seems that substantial bonuses (Wiki mentions cars and houses) were used to ensure that players did not seek employment elsewhere. But Bessho was dissatisfied with the skimpy renumeration offered by Nankai, and had long wanted to play for the Giants, so he bucked tradition and declared himself a free agent.

However Ė however Ė it also seems that the Giants were writing checks and making promises (viz. for a house in Tokyo) while he was still under contract with Nankai. There may have been some extra-contractual inducements for Bessho to seek free agency. The Giants were ultimately fined for tampering with Nankaiís property, and Bessho was suspended for the start of the season, but the contract with the Giants was deemed legal. (How you can be fined for entering into a legal contract is beyond me. Youíd think either everything is okay, or the fines are imposed and the contract voided.) The reserve clause was formally incorporated into Japanese contracts starting in 1951.

Anyway, it worked out well for the Giants. Bessho would go on to the be greatest pitcher in Giantsí history. In total he pitched 4350 innings at a 2.18 ERA, to garner 310 wins (against 178 losses). He was consistently excellent. In 1952 (a year that I picked literally at random) he had an ERA half of the league average. In the 2018 AL youíd need a 2.13 ERA to cut the league rate in half. Blake Snell was the only pitcher with a mark better than that, and he won the Cy Young Award. (Wow, the leaders ran away from the pack in the AL last year. Mike Fiers with 10th in the league in ERA with a 3.56 mark.) To eyes accustomed to modern MLB numbers, his strikeout-to-walk rates donít look good (below 2:1 for the first half of his career), but in context they were terrific. The Central League in the 40s and 50s drew lots of walks and didnít strike out much.

Due to variation in league context itís hard to pin down Besshoís best season. It might actually have been 1952. That wasnít the year in which he had the lowest ERA, but some of those early seasons of Japanese ball didnít see many runs scored. And anyway, he was regularly far better than average. As with many starting pitchers of his day, Bessho made plenty of appearances out of the bullpen on his days off, although he wasnít as extreme about it as was Inao. Twice he cleared 30 wins in a season, which has got to be hard to do in a season thatís only 120 games long.

He was a pretty good hitter too. But unlike lots of his contemporaries (Fujimura, Nishizawa, Sekine) he didnít get a lot of playing time at other positions, at least not after his rookie year. He played 36 games at 1B and 27 in the outfield, putting up a .254 batting average to go with 35 career home runs in about 2100 at bats.

Besshoís fame in baseball started before his professional career did. As a high schooler in the Koshien tournament he pitched 14 innings despite having broken his non-pitching arm. He had it in a sling and the catcher rolled the ball back to him. After failing to get in to Keio he briefly attended a vocational school and pitched for Great Ring before being drafted. Initially he was sent to Manchuria. At the time it was controlled by Manchuckuo, a monarchy that was a de facto puppet of Japan. Iíve tried to figure out if he would have seen combat there. It seems unlikely. The territory was seized by Japan in the early 1930s, and the Soviets didnít invade until 1945, by which point Bessho was gone.

For his career Bessho was a 2x MVP, 2x Japan Series MVP, 2x Sawamura Award winner, and 6x Best Nine. Albright ranks him 11th all-time.

I picked up this card in the same lot as the Amachi card posted above. Itís also from the rare JGA16 set, issued in 1949. (And Iíve got a Kazuto Yamamoto from the same set if any type collectors need one.)

The JGA16 set must have been released rather late in the year. 1949 was Bessho's first season with the Giants (and there was a legal kerfluffle at the beginning of the season), but he's already pictured as a member of the Giants on this card.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg bessho.jpg (48.2 KB, 62 views)
File Type: jpg bessho back.jpg (69.7 KB, 66 views)
Reply With Quote
  #161  
Old 04-01-2019, 11:11 PM
nat's Avatar
nat nat is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 546
Default Shigeru Mizuhara

Another guy who wasn’t on my initial want list. But I was getting bored of not finding any cards that I needed, so I decided to pick up a couple more managers.

Shigeru Mizuhara played at Keio and joined the Giants as soon as the professional league formed. He was a second baseman who was pretty good with the bat. In the fall season of 1937 he was legitimately great, but mostly he was just pretty good. Since the pro league didn’t form until he was 27, it wasn’t long before he was past his prime. At age 29, in 1938, he tried pitching (as an amateur he pitched in addition to playing the field) and was quite good. His ERA was something like 40% better than average in the fall season. However he pitched only two unsuccessful innings in the spring, and never appeared on the mound again. It looks like the war was essentially the end of his playing career. Mizuhara was 33 in 1942, but still pretty solid with the bat. He posted an OPS of only 603, but against a league average of 528, that’s a healthy figure. (It’s almost impossible to imagine a league with a 528 OPS. Games must have been twenty minutes long and scores must have been easy to confuse with soccer.) Unlike Bessho – who as far as I can tell never saw combat – Mizuhara ended up in Siberia as a Russian prisoner of war. Word is that he taught baseball to the Russians.

Before the professional league formed, Mizuhara was a star amateur player. Maybe the best. He appeared in the all-Japan team that played the touring Americans in 1934. As a pitcher he got mauled in the November 13 game, even giving up a hit to Moe Berg.

Waseda and Keio had a famously contentious rivalry, and Mizuhara was at the center of it in the 1930s. In a game between the two universities in 1933 Waseda players who so incised with Mizuhara that they threw garbage at him. Most of which he ignored, but when they threw a half-eaten apple at him he threw it back. Which prompted an enormous riot. They don’t make college baseball like they used to.

But anyway, the important thing about Mizuhara was his work as a manager. From 1950 to 1960 (inclusive) he managed the Giants. They were great. This was the Giants of Bessho, Kawakami, and Yonamine. They won eight pennants and four Japan Series. In 61 he left for the Flyers, staying with them through 1967. The Flyers were always the Giants’ little brothers (at the time both teams played in Tokyo), but they were good in Mizuhara’s time with them and won a pennant of their own. In fact, between 1950 and 1967 none of Mizuhara’s teams finished below 500, and only the 1967 Flyers were exactly a 500 team. In 1969 he returned to the dugout, managing the Dragons for three mostly unsuccessful seasons. Albright regards him as the second greatest manager in history and credits him with being one of the managers who introduced platoon match ups to Japan.

The card is a small bromide from the JBR 41 set, issued in 1950.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg mizuhara.jpg (43.3 KB, 91 views)

Last edited by nat; 04-04-2019 at 10:26 PM. Reason: Correcting info about 1934 tour.
Reply With Quote
  #162  
Old 04-04-2019, 10:44 PM
nat's Avatar
nat nat is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 546
Default Osamu Mihara

Osamu Mihara was a force in Japanese baseball for decades. He rose to prominence with Waseda, and went pro as soon as it was an option. At 24 he was playing for the Giants (then Kyojin). He made his debut in the fall of 1936. All of his professional appearances (as a player) would be at second base, and there would be a total of 108 of them between 1936 and 1938. Although he was a part of the All-Japan team that played the Americans in 1934, once he went pro he was, at least as a batter, nothing special. He never hit a home run, although he did steal a few bases. His batting lines are about what you would expect from Japanese baseball in the 30s. I donít know what his fielding was like, but whatever reputation he had at the time couldnít have been from his offensive production.

B-R says of his role in the war only that he was a private in the army. Presumably thatís what interrupted his playing career. When he came back from the war he was 35 and hadnít played professional baseball in nearly a decade. A return to the field was not in the cards. He seems to have quickly secured a role managing the Giants, however. In 1947 Mihara supplanted Nakajima. The Giants, as usual, were extremely successful, but he didnít last long as the helm. Yomiuri replaced him briefly with Nakajima again, and then permanently with Shigeru Mizuhara (see the post above this one).

Because Iím looking into it: hereís an aside on Giants managers. The Giants are looking pretty good on this one: Fujimoto, Yokozawa, Nakajima, Mihara, Nakajima again, Mizuhara, Kawakami, Nagashima, Fujita, Oh, back to Fujita, back to Nagashima, Hara, Horiuchi, back to Hara. That is a heck of a lot of hall of famers managing the Giants, although admittedly not all of them are in the hall because of what they did as managers. Yoshinobu Takahashi breaks the streak. Although he was pretty good in his own right, weíll see. Everyone who managed the Giants from their founding in 1936 through 2015 is in the hall of fame. One starts to wonder in which direction causality runs here. Are the Giants super good at finding gifted managers, or does managing the Giants make a manager look like theyíre gifted?

Miharaís tenure at the head of the Giants was short-lived. Three seasons and then out. He sat out the 1950 season and then took over the top job for Nishitetsu. This is where he really made his name. The Lions were the powerhouse of the Pacific League during the 1950s and Mihara led the team through all of it. Their star third baseman was Futoshi Nakanishi, who married Miharaís daughter. Probably a good way to ensure that youíve got a spot on the team, but Nakanishi (a hall of famer in his own right) didnít need the help. In 1960 he moved on to the Taiyo Whales, leading them to their lone championship. In 1968 he joined the Kintetsu Buffaloes, with whom he had a fair amount of success. And then the last three years (starting in 1971) he managed the Yakult Atoms. They were a bit below 500 while he was there. Mihara was famous for a relatively gentle managing style. For instance, he never hit his players. The fact that this was notable I leave here without comment.

The card today is an uncatalogued bromide. Mihara is on the Giants, so that means the card is from 1947-9, but I canít pin it down any better than that. Heís talking to Shigeru Chiba, which is neat, two hall of famers on the same card, but it doesnít help date the card. Chiba played his entire career for the Giants, including the entirety of Miharaís tenure there. The back of the card has a stamp which, if my high-school Japanese doesnít fail me, is the kanji for Ďrokuí or Ďfiveí. Itís common for bromides to have back stamps Ė usually they indicate that the stamped card was a ďwinnerĒ which could be redeemed for a prize (usually a bigger card). Iíve never heard of a fifth-place prize (1 through 3 is pretty common), but I guess thatís what it could be.

Mihara is another late addition to my list, so picking up this card doesnít advance me towards my goal very much. Iím at 91%.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg mihara.jpg (49.4 KB, 77 views)
File Type: jpg mihara back.jpg (18.5 KB, 77 views)
Reply With Quote
  #163  
Old 04-06-2019, 09:49 PM
nat's Avatar
nat nat is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 546
Default

No cards today, but some interesting video. The internet thinks that this is video of Eiji Sawamura. Strangely enough, on a French website. I don't know enough Japanese to follow the voice-over.

Somebody also has a gif of (what is allegedly) his delivery.
Reply With Quote
  #164  
Old 04-15-2019, 10:36 PM
nat's Avatar
nat nat is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 546
Default JBR13 cards

These guys duplicate players that I already have, so no advancement on the project here, but thought Iíd share anyway. On the left we have Bozo Wakabayashi, in the middle is Tetsuharu Kawakami, and on the right is Hiroshi Oshita. These cards are from the JBR13 set Ė or at least the Oshita card is. The other two are identical to JBR13 cards except that they are blank on the back. (Or, well, they were before someone wrote on them.) My guess is that all three of them are JBR13 cards, just missing a pass on the back. Although I guess itís possible that theyíre from a set thatís identical but for the printing on the back. Iím really not a fan of this set Ė all the cards are boring headshots printed in sepia tone. Moreover, these three examples are in pretty rough shape: creasing, staining, writing, etc. On that note, however, I will say that I kind of like the writing.

The text in the parentheses on the front of the cards gives the playerís team. On the Wakabayashi card it has been scratched out and replaced. Both the text and the replacement writing are illegible (at least to a non-Japanese reader like me), but Iíd be willing to bet that it originally said ďOsakaĒ and that the handwritten bit says ďMainichiĒ. The cards were issued in 1949, and the following season Wakabayashi was traded. You see this all the time on old American cards, it seems pretty likely that thatís what happening here.

As for the writing on the back: it appears to be a dice game. There are twelve, numbered, lines of text. I copied the first three lines from the Kawakami card into Google Translate and got ďmiddle hitĒ, ďchicken neckĒ, and ďleft hitĒ. While I suppose ďchicken neckĒ might be late-40s slang for a strikeout or something, my guess is that I mis-transcribed one of the symbols. Anyways, ďmiddle hitĒ and ďleft hitĒ sure make this sound like a game. Some of the text is repeated on the other cards. My guess is that each kid is supposed to pick a card (or maybe form a lineup Ė if they had enough cards), then they take turns rolling dice to see what happens in the game. The handwriting on all three cards looks the same to me, so they probably came from the same collection and it was the same kid drawing up the dice game.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg JBR13.jpg (17.7 KB, 62 views)
File Type: jpg JBR13 back.jpg (26.9 KB, 60 views)
Reply With Quote
  #165  
Old 04-17-2019, 11:05 AM
Jeff Alcorn Jeff Alcorn is offline
member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 54
Default

Hi Nat,

Thanks for continuing this series. The #2 listing on the back of the Kawakami card looks like the first kanji for shortstop, followed by the kana for go & ro. When you put those 2 together you get "gro" for ground- so #2 is saying "Ground ball to shortstop". You got the other 2 correct- a hit to center field and a hit to left field. These same types of abbreviations are on the back of all the Takara game cards issued from the late '70s to the late 90's, and are for playing a dice baseball game.

Thanks again,

Jeff
Reply With Quote
  #166  
Old 04-17-2019, 07:50 PM
nat's Avatar
nat nat is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 546
Default

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for the info. Either this kind of game was popular long before the Takara cards were printed, or whoever wrote on this cards did it long after they were printed - the JBR13 set is a 1949 issue.

(Also - I wonder how you are supposed to roll a 1...)
Reply With Quote
  #167  
Old 04-17-2019, 10:01 PM
seanofjapan's Avatar
seanofjapan seanofjapan is offline
Sean McGinty
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Japan
Posts: 181
Default

Great finds, I was about to comment on the similarity to the Takara games too.

I have a couple of the Takara ones and am very tempted to try actually playing the game, I just need to find someone to play it with!
__________________
My blog about collecting cards in Japan: https://baseballcardsinjapan.blogspot.jp/
Reply With Quote
  #168  
Old 04-22-2019, 08:36 PM
nat's Avatar
nat nat is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 546
Default

No new players, but another card that I picked up as a part of a lot, so I thought that I might as well share it.

This is Karou Betto, about whom I've written before. In America Betto is, sadly, probably best known for appearing on one of The Dude's t-shirts in The Big Lebowski. Which, let's be clear, is a fine piece of cinema, but a great player (and manager) like Betto deserves better.

The card is from the JCM 78 set, which was issued in 1949 to commemorate a tour of Japan by the San Francisco Seals. Seals players have 'Seals' written on the back of the card, Japanese players have 'Nippon' (Japan) on the back. I don't know why they decided to include the Japanese players that they did. There are only five of them in the set, so it's not like it's an all-star team that the Seals were playing against or something. Besides Betto it includes:

Takehiko Bessho - an all-time great pitcher
Takeshi Doigaki - a good catcher, but not a hall of famer
Kikuji Hirayama - an outfielder who had been a star before the war, but by 1949 was merely average
Shissho Takesue - a hotshot rookie pitcher who would quickly flame out
Attached Images
File Type: jpg bettoh2.jpg (62.3 KB, 37 views)
File Type: jpg bettoh2 back.jpg (74.8 KB, 37 views)
Reply With Quote
  #169  
Old 04-22-2019, 08:49 PM
seanofjapan's Avatar
seanofjapan seanofjapan is offline
Sean McGinty
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Japan
Posts: 181
Default

That Betto is awesome, I've never seen one of those before. I love how awkward the way they drew him holding the bat is, its almost like they had 8 year olds drawing these things, which I find quite endearing.
__________________
My blog about collecting cards in Japan: https://baseballcardsinjapan.blogspot.jp/
Reply With Quote
  #170  
Old 04-24-2019, 09:16 PM
nat's Avatar
nat nat is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 546
Default

Here's another player that I've written about before. Tokuji Iida was a power hitting first baseman.

This card is an uncatalogued menko. It's a pillar-style card, however, so it's pretty easy to guess about an issue date: late 40s or maybe 1950 or so. The art is weird. It makes him look like a lizard wearing blush.

Iida played for Nankai from 1947 through 1956, and Kokutestu for the rest of his career. Wondering what happened for him to change teams, I went through the roster of the 1956 Kokutetsu and 1957 Nankai teams, trying to find the player that he was traded for. But no one played for both of those teams. Anyone know what happened such that players changed teams in the 1950s, or, even better, what Iida's story is?

It's true that in the early days the reserve clause wasn't a formal part of player contracts, but after a scandal involving Takehiko Bessho it was included in the standard player contract starting in 1951. So Iida couldn't have just declared himself a free agent the way that Bessho did. I tried looking him up on Japanese Wikipedia but - probably due to my poor Japanese - couldn't find any information.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg iida2.jpg (45.2 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg iida2 back.jpg (42.5 KB, 29 views)
Reply With Quote
  #171  
Old 05-10-2019, 08:44 PM
nat's Avatar
nat nat is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 546
Default New Oshita Bromide

For your baseball-card-observing enjoyment today, I have a new Hiroshi Oshita card. Iíve written about him before. Oshita was a star player in the 40s and 50s. He was Kawakamiís big rival and famous for batting with a blue bat.

I bought this card for two bad reasons and one good one. Bad reasons first. To begin with, my only other Oshita card is a part of an uncut sheet and I wanted an Oshita to put in my binder. The second reason is that I was swayed by auction copy. I was eagerly awaiting the most recent Prestige Collectibles auction, hoping to pick up an interesting pre-war hall of fame menko. They had some, but they were either of hall of famers that Iím not interested in (i.e., managers) and/or out of my price range for Japanese cards.

They did, however, have a copy of this Oshita card. Here is what Prestige says about this card: ďCards from the JBR 109 set are rarely seen. In fact, this is only the second example of this Hiroshi Oshita card that we have ever encountered. The unusual design coupled with extreme rarity makes this an especially desirable second year card of Oshita.Ē Reading that, my interest was piqued. Just not enough to place the minimum bid. I did not buy my card from Prestige. But I found another copy for sale at exactly the same time as the Prestige auction was running, and I got it for less than half of what their copy sold for. (Although itís worth noting that their copy is in better shape than mine.) If this card is as rare as they say, itís got to be an amazing coincidence that two copies came up for sale at the same time.

Now for the good reason to buy it. This is just a really nice card. There are many bromide issues that are just a more-or-less random picture with a caption thrown onto it. But some serious design work went into this one. I especially like the background. Oshita is depicted as a giant standing in the middle of a baseball stadium, with a couple fielders standing behind him. Itís the same idea as on DeLong cards, but it works for DeLong cards (the DeLong Gehrig might just be the greatest baseball card of all time) and it works with this set too. This one has the best design of any of my Japanese cards, and is among my favorite one all around.

The set is JBR 109. I have the old edition of Engelís vintage card guide (the one distributed as a spiral bound book, not the one on flash drive) and it is not listed there. Given that Prestige only knows of two copies of this card, I assume that itís an R5.

I made the first post to this thread one year (plus two days) ago, so this sounds like a good time to take stock. Iíve added a few players to my want list that were not originally on it (they are guys that I had characterized as managers but who were inducted as players), so my project is currently 89% complete. (Backsliding a bit because of the added players.) Iíve got cards of 82 hall of famers (and duplicates of several). That works out to about one card every four and a half days. Not bad. Keeping the mailman busy.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg oshita 2.jpg (65.2 KB, 19 views)
Reply With Quote
  #172  
Old 05-15-2019, 08:26 PM
nat's Avatar
nat nat is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 546
Default Last JGA16 Card

For the sake of completeness, I thought that I'd post my third (and last) card from the JGA16 set. This is Kazuto Yamamoto (also known as Kazuto Tsuruoka). I've written about him before. He was an infielder for Nankai in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and a manager for many years after that. This card is from 1949; he was Nankai's regular third baseman and a player/manager that year. They decided to list him as a manager on this card.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg yamamoto 2.jpg (71.6 KB, 9 views)
Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Japanese card help conor912 Net54baseball Vintage (WWII & Older) Baseball Cards & New Member Introductions 5 02-10-2017 01:27 PM
Anyone have a 1930's Japanese Bat? jerseygary Net54baseball Sports (Primarily) Vintage Memorabilia Forum incl. Game Used 13 02-13-2014 07:16 AM
Help with Japanese Baseball Bat ? smokelessjoe Net54baseball Sports (Primarily) Vintage Memorabilia Forum incl. Game Used 5 03-02-2013 02:17 PM
Anyone read Japanese? Archive Net54baseball Vintage (WWII & Older) Baseball Cards & New Member Introductions 14 05-03-2006 12:50 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:34 PM.


ebay GSB