Lot # 89: 1949 JBR 120b Previously Uncatalogued Victor Starffin (HOF) Autographed Baseball Card

Category: Autographs

Starting Bid: $400.00

Bids: 1 (Bid History)

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Autographed baseball cards of Victor Starffin are rare. A previously unknown baseball card signed by Starffin is unique! While the JBR 120b set is catalogued in the Japanese Baseball Card Checklist & Price Guide, Vintage Edition 2.1, this JBR 120b Starffin card was not known until now. The first foreigner elected to Japan's Hall of Fame, Starffin was the first pitcher to win 300 games in Japan Pro Baseball. His family escaped the Soviet Union in the early 1920s, settling in Japan in 1925. Shortly after his father was convicted of murdering a young Russian woman, Starffin joined the All Japan team that faced Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig & Co. during the fabled 1934 U.S. Tour of Japan. He also traveled to the U.S. in 1935 and 1936 with the Yomiuri Giants, facing many American major and minor league teams.

A Giants stalwart during the early years of Japan Pro Baseball, Starffin was forced to take the Japanese name Hiroshi Suda in 1940 to show his allegiance to Japan during World War II. He was later interrogated for being a Russian spy, placed under surveillance, and eventually relocated to a detention camp. After the war, Starffin acted as an interpreter for occupying forces and returned to Japan Pro Baseball. He retired after the 1955 season with 303 wins, a lifetime 2.09 ERA and two MVP awards. Marital problems supposedly drove Starffin to drink, leading to his untimely death in a 1957 alcohol related auto accident. Starffin was only 41 years old when he died. Signed in blue pen. Blank backed.

Size: Approximately 2 1/4" x 3 3/8"

Condition: Autograph--6 to 7 out of 10. Baseball Card--Poor.

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