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  #31  
Old 05-16-2018, 11:38 AM
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Default Sachio Kinugasa

Kinugasa is most famous for his consecutive games-played streak. He didn't miss a game for 17 years. He began his career (in 1965) at first base, and moved to third in 1975. (Moving up the defensive spectrum is quite unusual.) He spent his entire career with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp, retiring in 1987. Amazingly, when he retired his consecutive games-played streak was still intact. He surpassed Gehrig, although Ripken would later pass him. Kinugasa rarely led the league in anything, and didn't make any best-nines until late in his career (since he was usually blocked by Oh or Nagashima). He was, however, often among the league leaders in many offensive categories, and places in the top 10 or so in many career statistics. His style was aggressive; he was a big slugger (504 career home runs) famous for a max-effort style of swing.


Inevitably mentioned in (western) Kinugasa biographies (of which this is one, so here's the mention), Kinugasa's father was an African American service man. He left the family when the future ball-player was young, and he was raised by his mother.


Kinugasa's nickname was 'Ironman'. One would think that the reasoning behind it was obvious, but the ever-reliable Wikipedia claims that it was taken from a manga.


He died less than a month ago.


This is also a Calbee card, although somewhat newer than the Oh posted above. This one is from 1982. Calbee cards tend to be slightly smaller than American cards, but for a while in the 80s they made them very small. This one is Goudey-sized or smaller.
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  #32  
Old 05-16-2018, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeDfan View Post
Is that O'Doul/DiMaggio card supposed to have cut corners?

I have one, but I thought it was trimmed...

Thanks,
Sean
I've only seen them with corners cut. I have no idea, though. Mine was pasted to notebook paper too.
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  #33  
Old 05-17-2018, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by nat View Post
Kinugasa is most famous for his consecutive games-played streak. He didn't miss a game for 17 years. He began his career (in 1965) at first base, and moved to third in 1975. (Moving up the defensive spectrum is quite unusual.) He spent his entire career with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp, retiring in 1987. Amazingly, when he retired his consecutive games-played streak was still intact. He surpassed Gehrig, although Ripken would later pass him. Kinugasa rarely led the league in anything, and didn't make any best-nines until late in his career (since he was usually blocked by Oh or Nagashima). He was, however, often among the league leaders in many offensive categories, and places in the top 10 or so in many career statistics. His style was aggressive; he was a big slugger (504 career home runs) famous for a max-effort style of swing.


Inevitably mentioned in (western) Kinugasa biographies (of which this is one, so here's the mention), Kinugasa's father was an African American service man. He left the family when the future ball-player was young, and he was raised by his mother.


Kinugasa's nickname was 'Ironman'. One would think that the reasoning behind it was obvious, but the ever-reliable Wikipedia claims that it was taken from a manga.


He died less than a month ago.


This is also a Calbee card, although somewhat newer than the Oh posted above. This one is from 1982. Calbee cards tend to be slightly smaller than American cards, but for a while in the 80s they made them very small. This one is Goudey-sized or smaller.
Great card. As a posthumous tribute to him, NHK Japan recently re ran his documentary from the time he was pursuing his ironman streak. Along with Koji Yamamoto he was the mainstay of those great Carp teams.

Ricky Y
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  #34  
Old 05-17-2018, 03:00 PM
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Default Yutaka Ohno

Let's continue with the Carp.

Ohno was Kinugasa's teammate for about ten years. He's another lifetime Carp, pitching for them from 1977 (when retired only one batter but gave up five ER) to 1998.

He's got an absurd winning percentage: .597. Just for some perspective, an American team with a .597 winning percentage would end up with a record of 96-66. Pretty good. He was a Sawamura award winner and 10-time all-star. I'm not sure why, but in 1991 the Carp decided that he should be a relief pitcher, and he started striking out everybody and their brother. His K/9 rate jumped from an already-respectable 8.5 to 11.3. In 1995, as a 39 year old, he returned to being a starting pitcher. His career, therefore, has something like the shape of John Smoltz'.


I just noticed, look at that grip. Did Ohno throw a knuckleball?

Also, let's talk about intellectual property for a minute here. I realize that Cincinnati and Hiroshima are a long distance apart, but surely the Reds have a lawyer filing lawsuits any time the Carp try to sell gear or licensed merch over here. Admittedly this doesn't happen much, but I had a Kintetsu Buffalos cap when I was a kid, so I imagine there are some Carp hats out there somewhere.
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  #35  
Old 05-17-2018, 03:35 PM
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What about Wally Yonamine the First American / Japanese to be in the Japanese HOF The card is one of his 1951 rookie cards
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  #36  
Old 05-17-2018, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nat View Post

Also, let's talk about intellectual property for a minute here. I realize that Cincinnati and Hiroshima are a long distance apart, but surely the Reds have a lawyer filing lawsuits any time the Carp try to sell gear or licensed merch over here. Admittedly this doesn't happen much, but I had a Kintetsu Buffalos cap when I was a kid, so I imagine there are some Carp hats out there somewhere.
They might. Trademarks are territorial so its not a problem for the Carp to use the same logo as the Reds in Japan, but if they sell that in the US they would run afoul of Cincinnati's TM. I'm guessing they might have some sort of arrangement worked out to avoid disputes (and also to sell Reds stuff in Japan, where it could be in breach of the Carp's trademark).

A lot of the older teams here have uniforms, etc obviously modelled off of MLB teams (Tigers, Giants, Dragons) but its only the Carp which has the same initial as their US counterpart!
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  #37  
Old 05-18-2018, 09:51 PM
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Default Shigeo Nagashima

Lou Gehrig:Babe Ruth || ? :Sadaharu Oh


They were teammates for years, and played for the most successful team in history during it's most successful period in history. Forever linked as a part of the ON-Cannon. Nagashima was a gold-glove third-baseman (and in that was different than Gehrig), who hit 444 home runs and collected close to 2500 hits. He is probably a top-5 player all-time in Japan. Jim Albright ranks him 3rd over all. He was a five-time MVP and a best nine player every season of his career. (So, in context, he was better than Gehrig.) The Giants of the 1960s were just beyond belief.

The place where the Gehrig analogy really breaks down is in their respective roles in the broader culture. Oh was the better player, but not the bigger star. It's worth noting that the #1 (and #2, and #3, and so on) cards in the inaugural Calbee set were all of Nagashima. He is Japan's most beloved baseball player. He played for the Giants from 1958 to 1974, and took over managing the team after his retirement.

The card is from the JCM 54 menko set. It's a 1958 issue, which should make this one of Nagashima's rookie cards. (I don't know if that designation carries any weight or interest in Japan. The Japanese baseball card hobby is much smaller than its American counterpart, and it may have evolved in different ways. Which may be commendable, caring more about a player's first card always seemed a bit odd to me.) I'm a big fan of menko cards, and I think that I like the ones with the solid color backgrounds best of all. They're a bit artistic, sort of like 1949 Leaf (my favorite set). Engel gives this set a rarity designation of R3, indicating that 10 to 99 copies of each card are known. I wonder how he knows that. The back of the card says:

Who am I?
Team: Giants
Position: third
Number: 3
pitch right hit right
Weight 73 kg
Height 1 meter 79
School Ritsudai

I had a friend read it for me, but at this point I've encountered it often enough to know what 巨人 means.
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  #38  
Old 05-22-2018, 12:58 PM
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Default Kimiyasu Kudoh

I'm more interested in the older cards, but Kudoh is also a hall of famer, so he gets his moment in the sun (I'm sure he's thrilled by the honor).

Kimiyasu Kudoh was a star pitcher for a bunch of teams from 1982 to 2010. That's right, 29 years. If I lived in Japan, I suspect that he'd be one of my favorite players. I love players who have strange careers, and a 29 year career counts. Kudoh appeared in the Japan Series 14 times, and although he won an MVP award he never won the Sawamura award. He first rose to prominence with the Seibu Lions, leaving in 1994 as a 31 year old. He would return in 2010 to pitch his final season (well, his final six innings) at age 47. I suspect that this was a sentimental, "retire as a Lion" sort of thing. Despite the exceptionally long career, he accumulated only about 3300 innings pitched (fewer than Smoltz pitched, even though Kudoh's career was eight years longer). In part this is due to the shorter Japanese season, and in part to the fact that he spent both the beginning and the end of his career as a reliever. He was a good fielder (and gold glove winner) but a hilariously inept batter. He was 22 for 272 for his career, a .081 batting average. 224-142 W/L record more than makes up for it though.
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  #39  
Old 05-22-2018, 02:29 PM
Rickyy Rickyy is offline
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Funny thing growing up as a kid in Japan, we flipped menko cards all the time with both Japanese kids and American kids (who lived in and around the US military base) and I don't recall Japanese bb players on them at all. Most if not all had cartoon characters on them. Both square and round ones.

Ricky Y
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  #40  
Old 05-22-2018, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rickyy View Post
Funny thing growing up as a kid in Japan, we flipped menko cards all the time with both Japanese kids and American kids (who lived in and around the US military base) and I don't recall Japanese bb players on them at all. Most if not all had cartoon characters on them. Both square and round ones.

Ricky Y
As near as I can tell they stopped making baseball menko cards in the 1960s. If you were growing up after that point there wouldn't have been any. Baseball menko cards were a late-40s to 1960s thing.
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