99.9% of cards purporting to be 1994 Calbee Hokkaido Ichiro cards are forgeries--even most slabbed cards!!! This one is authentic. 1994 Calbee Ichiro cards, #s C-37, C-38 and C-39, were last minute additions to the special Hokkaido
set and were released in minute quantities several weeks after the set's initial issue date. #C-37 is Ichiro's earliest Calbee card, and therefore is his Calbee rookie. Beginning in late 1995, a person appeared both in Japan and in the U.S.
selling large quantities of "scarce Hideo Nomo, Hideki Matsui and Ichiro cards" to surprised collectors. The cards were quickly judged to be counterfeit. This person made a reappearance in 2001 with his previously unsold counterfeit
Calbee Hokkaido Ichiro cards, most notably at the 2001 All Star Fanfest in Seattle. During this time, several thousand of the counterfeit cards were sold in the U.S. and Japan. Unfortunately, quite a number of the cards made it into slabbed
holders before the various authenticating companies became aware of the fraud.
It's easy to spot a counterfeit 1994 Calbee Hokkaido Ichiro card if you know what you are looking for, and you have an authentic card for comparison. Please look at the side-by-side card reverse images presented here. The card on the
left is the authentic card offered in this auction. The card on the right is counterfeit. Counterfeit cards had too much purple color used in the printing process. Please note that the orange boxes near the center of the authentic card are a
much lighter color than the boxes on the counterfeit card. Also, Ichiro's thumbnail photo has a much more purple cast in the face and background of the counterfeit card. If you ever purchased all three Ichiro Calbee Hokkaido Rookies at
once, you can be virtually assured that they are counterfeit, because it was nearly impossible to find even one of these cards in the original packs. It would have taken quite improbable luck for the same person to open packs containing all
three cards, or even to find a person who could sell him the ones he was missing. We guarantee that this card is absolutely 100% authentic and will provide a letter of authenticity for the winning bidder should he or she request one.
Size: 2 1/4" X 3 3/8"
Condition: Near Mint