The 1967 Kabaya-Leaf Set is legendary among collectors both in Japan and the United States. This was the first Japanese attempt at American style baseball cards, and has remained one of the most popular Japanese series ever. Nearly
20,000 cards from this 105 card set were imported from Japan at the time by American soldier Mel Bailey, and these are still the vast majority of all Kabaya-Leaf cards known in the U.S. and Japan today. After collating the cards into near
sets, Mr. Bailey sold over 100 of these near sets by mail order until the supply ran out in the early 1970s. Unfortunately, despite having so many cards, he was unable to put together more than a handful of complete sets from the packs he
originally purchased in Japan. Ten cards were scarcer than the others, including cards of four members of the Yomiuri Giants which were practically non-existent. That's why today, when a Kabaya-Leaf set is offered to the public, it will
generally consist of either 95, 96, or 101 cards. Even many of the most advanced Japanese card collectors have never seen any of the four rare cards in person.
This is your chance to own one of the Kabaya-Leaf rarities. The card #3, featured here, was recently discovered in Japan. It enters the card collecting hobby for the first time in this auction. Kunio Jonouchi started his Japan Pro Baseball
career with a bang in 1962, going 24-12 with a 2.21 ERA in his rookie season with the Yomiuri Giants. He was named Central League Rookie of the Year. He followed that up with five consecutive seasons of 17 or more wins from 1963 to
1967, including two more 20+ wins campaigns. Unfortunately, shortly thereafter, he succumbed to arm trouble, finishing his career with a 141-88 record.
Size: 2 3/8" x 3 3/8"
Condition: SGC 5 (Ex)