JK 23 is an unusual set in that each card features a color headshot of a baseball player on the front, and a purple tint, full body image of a sumo wrestler on the back. The 44 card set was originally issued with a boys' magazine in six uncut sheets. One of only three men to play in the Negro Leagues, U.S. minor leagues, U.S. Major Leagues and Japan Pro Baseball, Larry Raines (1930-1978) began his career with the Chicago American Giants. He then journeyed to Japan, where he spent the 1953 and 1954 seasons with the Hankyu Braves. In 1954, he led the Pacific League with a .337 batting average. The next year, he embarked on a career in American minor league baseball, playing primarily for Indianapolis of the AAA American Association. In 1957, he finally reached the U.S. Major Leagues, appearing with the Cleveland Indians and batting .262 in 96 games. In 1958, he appeared in the 1958 Topps set. Unfortunately, he was sent back to the minors early that season, where he remained through 1961. In 1962, he rejoined the Hankyu Braves for a final year. This card features a wonderful close-up image of Raines taken during the season in which he won the Pacific League batting title.
Size: 1 3/4" x 2 1/2"
Condition: Vg/Ex to Ex. Hand cut from a sheet.