This autographed photo emanates from the 2007 Sotheby's Fujita Collection Auction. To quote the 2007 auction catalog, "The Mitsuhiko Fujita Collection represents the finest and most extensive collection of baseballs and photos ever offered which document this Golden Age" (late 1920s to early 1930s) of Japanese baseball.
This photo is signed by Japan Hall of Fame member, Masao Date. An Osaka native, Date was a member of the powerful Ichioka High School teams. After graduation, he played for Waseda University from 1928 to 1932. He began his career as a catcher, compiling a record .469 batting average in Big Six University play. By 1931, he had become a pitcher, and was nicknamed "Iron Arm" when he defeated arch rival Keio University in three consecutive games. He was also one of the star pitchers who participated in the 1931 and 1934 U.S. All-Star Tours of Japan. We are unfamiliar with the uniform that Date is wearing in this photo. Given Date's very youthful appearance, and the fact that the young Mr. Fujita, like Date, lived in Osaka, it is possible that this is a high school era photo and autograph. Fountain pen English signature.
Size: 3 3/8" x 4 1/2"
Condition: The autograph grades 7 out of 10. The photo has a chip in the upper left corner of the white border. Paper and glue residue is found on the back due to previous mounting in a photo album.