In commemoration of the 1934 U.S. All Star Tour of Japan, Takashimaya Department Stores issued a postcard sized, blank backed card of Babe Ruth. The card contains the
Takashimaya logo in the lower left corner, and a facsimile autograph of the Sultan of Swat. Advertisements found in the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper between November 4th and 11th for Takashimaya promoted a
"Baseball Sale". Customers who spent three yen at the store received a free ticket to a game. Shoppers were also invited to meet the players at Takashimaya, with the first 3,000 receiving a free Babe Ruth bromide.
Of those 3,000 Takashimaya
Department Stores Babe Ruth baseball cards, only three copies are known to exist today. All have been submitted to third party grading services, with two having been graded by PSA, and the other by SGC. Only one card has received a
higher grade than this example, and that card was sold privately a number of years ago rather than at auction. It may not be made available to collectors for many years. Thus, the card in this auction is the highest graded example that has ever been offered for auction.
The card offered here has surface creasing in the upper left and
right corners, possibly due to previous placement in photo mounts, and there are also several surface creases around the Babe's right calf and foot. However, the overall appearance of the card is quite nice, with sharp borders, nice
corners and very little fading of the image.
The example graded lower than the example in this auction received a grade of SGC 1.5 and sold in a 2016 Heritage Platinum Auction for nearly $9,000. The card on offer here is in much stronger condition. In fact, the Heritage card had a missing upper
right corner, significant chipping at the edges and Japanese handwriting on the back, along with numerous orange colored stains.
If you are Babe Ruth fan,
you now have an opportunity to own an extremely rare Japanese baseball card.
Size: 3 3/8" x 5 1/4"
Condition: PSA 2