Masaichi Kaneda is considered by many to be Japan's greatest pitcher ever. In a career that stretched from 1950 to 1969, Kaneda appeared in 944 games, mostly as a starter, and won 400 of them. He also managed to strike out a near
Ryanesque 4,490 batters, while achieving a lifetime ERA of 2.34. These are the most impressive statistics ever recorded by any pitcher in the world. Kaneda's prime was in the mid-1950s when he won three consecutive Sawamura (Japan
Cy Young) awards. By 1959, Hirofumi Naito, the other player in this uncut pair, was winding down his career with the Kintetsu Buffaloes after spending the previous decade with the Yomiuri Giants. He was primarily a second baseman.
JCM 136 is one of the more seldom seen tobacco menko sets of the era. Not only are these two cards in top condition, but there is no extra paper or glue on the back from previous attachment to a display sheet. Apparently, these cards never made it to a display sheet, or were cut from a first prize sheet many years ago. Based on the appearance of the borders, we suspect that they were simply destined for the display, but were never circulated.
Size: Each card is 1 13/16" x 3". The uncut pair is 3 5/8" x 3".
Condition: The white borders and images on the front retain their original luster as if the cards were just printed. Corners and borders are sharp. Each card would be Nm/Mt or better if the cards were separated.