Sadaharu Oh is not the only future superstar who was a rookie in 1959. Isao Harimoto (HOF) also made his debut that season. In fact, Harimoto was named Pacific League Rookie of the Year in 1959. Harimoto is the only Japanese player
to amass more than 3,000 hits and 500 home runs during his career. He was an 18 time all star and was named to 16 Best 9 teams. He won 7 batting championships. However, being a Pacific League player for most of his career, he did
not receive nearly the acclaim as did Oh and other Central League stars. This lack of attention is true for baseball cards as well.
While well over a hundred different rookie cards were produced of Oh, only 11 were manufactured that depict
Harimoto. The JBR 61 Yakyu Shonen card was originally part of a three card strip bound into the 6/18/59 issue of the magazine. Therefore, we know exactly when it was issued! Moreover, we cannot confirm that any other Harimoto rookie
card was issued earlier. Thus, this card has been anointed Harimoto's earliest rookie card. At present, only three copies of this card are known in the hobby. Therefore, the winner of this lot will receive a truly desirable card of arguably one of
the five greatest hitters in Japan Pro Baseball history.
Size: 2 1/4" x 5"
Condition: Vg to Vg/Ex