The 1952 JGA 38 Osato Gangu Color Cards are orders of magnitude scarcer than the 1951 black & white issue. This is the first time we have had the privilege to offer the 1952 Osato Gangu card of Bozo Wakabayashi. Only two copies are
known to exist. Born on a pineapple plantation in Hawaii, Wakabayashi learned baseball as a child on the playing fields of a nearby US military base. He toured Japan with a Nisei team from Stockton, CA, impressing Tokyo Big Six
University scouts. Hosei U. tried to enroll him, but the other schools objected, as Wakabayashi's Japanese language skills and overall academic knowledge did not meet Big Six U. entrance standards. A compromise was reached, and after
nine months attending a Japanese prep school, Wakabayashi was admitted. As a pro (1936-53), Wakabayashi, a pitcher, starred with the Tigers and Orions, compiling a lifetime ERA of 1.99 to go with a career won-loss mark of 237-144.
His best season was 1944, when he went 22-4, 1.56. Wakabayashi pitched throughout World War II in Japan, despite the fact that he was an American! In 1964, he became the first American inducted in to the Japan Baseball Hall of Fame.
Wakabayashi's inclusion in the 1952 Osato Gangu set is quite curious, as he did not pitch during at all during the 1952 season. His swan song consisted of two appearances in 1953.
Size: 1 5/8" x 2 9/16"
Condition: The card is missing a portion of the upper right border. Ex/Mt corners and surface.