The very scarce JBR 61 cards were issued in uncut panels of three cards within the pages of a boys' magazine over a period of several months during early 1959. According to the information on the backs, 100 cards of sports stars
(various sports) were issued, but we believe that the number of different baseball player cards is just over 30. Nearly all cards from this set seen today are singles, cut from the panels after they were removed from the magazine. More than
100 different 1959 Sadaharu Oh rookie cards were printed, but the JBR 61 Oh is special because it is the earliest documented Sadaharu Oh rookie card. The date of the magazine's (and hence the card's) publication was March 18, 1959.
Thus, it was made available in the pre-season of Oh's rookie year! Conceivably, there could be an earlier Oh rookie card, but it is doubtful. Almost certainly, an earlier date of issue than March 18, 1959 could not be proved for any other card.
Baseball Card Checklist & Price Guide, 2nd Vintage Edition assigns a scarcity factor of R4 to this set, indicating that between five and ten copies of each card exist. However, there are only four known examples of the Sadaharu Oh card,
essentially giving the Oh card a scarcity factor of R5. This is undoubtedly the ultimate Oh rookie card, as it has an impeccable pedigree as his earliest card. Moreover, it contains a large, attractive, clear close-up image of Oh batting.
Furthermore, it is a high grade card that is well-centered on both front and back.
Size: 2 1/4" x 5"