The scarce Hero Gum baseball card set is divided into two types of cards. There are five very scarce cards, and four cards that have never actually been seen. The scarce cards, designated R4 by the Japanese Baseball Card Checklist & Price Guide, 2nd Vintage Edition (fewer than 10 examples known of each card), feature the players Toru Mori, Sadaharu Oh (HOF), Ritsuo Horimoto, Andy Miyamoto and Tadashi Sugiura (HOF). The never before seen cards are known only from the redemption program discussed on the backs of the cards. These players are Shigeo Nagashima (HOF), Motoshi Fujita (HOF), Motoyasu Kuroki and Takeshi Kuwata. The advertising poster offered here helps to unravel the mystery of why some of the purported cards in the set have never been seen. Anyone redeeming a card of Kuroki would win a bicycle. Redemption of a Nagashima card would entitle the card holder to a fielder's glove. Anyone turning in cards of Mori, Oh and Kuwata would receive a baseball bat (which explains why we have never seen Kuwata). The bearer of cards of Sugiura and Fujita would receive a baseball (and Fujita cards have never been seen). The redemption program is explained in full on this advertising poster. "Hero Gum 10 Yen" is printed in the top (red) portion. "Frankly Wonderful Redemptions" appears at the top of the white portion. The five player headshots seen in the blue section are (top row, l to r) Mori, Oh, Kuroki, (bottom row, l to r) Fujita, Sugiura. A thighs up photo of Kuwata is also seen. The drawing of player #3 swinging a bat is a representation of Nagashima. In our 30 years of buying and selling Japanese baseball cards and memorabilia, this is only the second copy of this advertising poster that we have ever encountered, and this one is in better condition than the other.
Size: 14 3/4" x 20 1/2"
Condition: Ex to Ex/Mt