When we first auctioned these two cards in 2006, we said that it was the first time we had ever seen cards from this set. Twelve years later, these two specimens have returned to us. During the intervening years, we have seen examples of these two cards only one other time, and we still have never seen another card from this set. Obviously the cards are exceedingly rare. They were designed to be part of a drawing for prizes at the end of the 1959 season sponsored by the Mainichi Newspaper Co., owners of the Mainichi Orions. The cards are individually hand numbered. The very high quality images are much nicer than those found on most cards of the era, and are reminiscent of the 1960 JBR 23 Toshiba bromides.
In 1959, Hall of Fame outfielder Kenjiro Tamiya was enjoying his first season with the Mainichi Orions, after 12 years starring for the Hanshin Tigers. Originally a pitcher, the lefthander was converted to the outfield after a few years with the Tigers, where he developed into an outstanding hitter. During his career, he was selected to five Best 9 teams and led both the Central and Pacific Leagues in many offensive categories, including OPS twice, batting average and slugging percentage. He also led the league in being hit by a pitch seven times! In contrast to Tamiya, Hideyuki Suzuki was a part time outfielder who had an undistinguished six year career in the late 1950s and early 60s. These cards are ideal for the type collector. Blank backed.
Size: Each card is 3 5/8" x 5 1/2"