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 of issue 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. 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. 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. 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 rarest cards in person.
This is your chance to own one of the Kabaya-Leaf rarities. In fact, this is the first time we have ever had the privilege to offer the card of Katsutoyo Yoshida at auction.
Of all the thousands of Kabaya Leaf cards graded by PSA and SGC, only five examples of this card have ever been slabbed, which is a testament to its rarity. An
outfielder/first baseman, Yoshida, a Yomiuri Giant in 1967, had spent the bulk of his career with the Toei Fighters. His best seasons were 1961 and 1962 when he
batted .298 and .307 respectively. His 13 year Japan Pro Baseball career ended in 1969 in a brief stint with the Nishitetsu Lions.
Size: 2 3/8" x 3 3/8"
Condition: SGC 4 (Vg/Ex)