Lot # 115: 1959 Silver Tie Bar Commemorating the Emperor's Game--Most Famous Game in Japanese History

Starting Bid: $100.00

Bids: 14 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
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Item was in Auction "Auction 57: Ended 4/25/2020",
which ran from 4/8/2020 4:00 PM to
4/25/2020 11:00 PM

On June 25, 1959, the Yomiuri Giants played the Hanshin Tigers. It was the first time in Japan Pro Baseball history that any the Emperor of Japan had attended a game. Before the game, the teams lined up on the field and bowed to honor the Emperor Hirohito. To the players, this game was more important than any Japan Series encounter. Hall of Fame pitchers Masaaki Koyama and Motoshi Fujita started on the mound, and the game was a tense seesaw duel. After seven innings, the game was tied 4-4.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Tigers brought in rookie and future HOFer Minoru Murayama. He pitched a perfect eighth. The Tigers then failed to score in the top of the 9th. In the bottom half of the inning, Murayama faced Japan's all time most beloved player, Shigeo Nagashima, who was then in his second year as a pro. The rookie grooved a fastball, and Nagashima belted it into the stands for a 5-4 Giants win. Thus ended the most famous game in Japanese baseball history. And it was just in time, because Nagashima homered at 9:12 p.m. The emperor needed to leave the stadium at 9:15! Despite Murayama's subsequent HOF career, the gopher ball he threw to lose the game that night, remains the most famous pitch in the history of Japanese baseball. The pitch haunted him for the rest of his life. Meanwhile, Nagashima's homer further solidified his image as Japan's golden boy.

The silver tie bar presented here commemorates this most famous game. The Japanese legend on the back reads "Big emperor's game commemorative 6/25/59 Tokyo Yomiuri Giants team". "K10 silver" is also stamped on the back. We don't know whether this tie bar was originally presented to a Giants player or a team dignitary. Nevertheless, only two copies of this piece of memorabilia are known. Furthermore, the tie bar is the only piece of memorabilia related to the Emperor's game that we've ever encountered.

Size: 2 1/4" x 1/2"

Condition: Ex

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