Normally, uncut pairs of tobacco menko cards including JCM 12d, were issued affixed to display sheets as third prize winner cards. A taba (hanging bundle) of single cards would contain the occasional card with the number "3" stamped on the back by the manufacturer, thus entitling the bearer to select an uncut pair of third prize winner cards from the appropriate display sheet. However, in an unusual move, in addition to their regularly issued single cards in tabas, the Marusan Co. decided to issue some JCM 12d uncut pairs in tabas as well.
The uncut pair featured in this lot was originally issued in such a taba of uncut pairs. Thus, unlike virtually all uncut pairs originally issued on display sheets, there is no glue residue or paper residue on the reverse side. Moreover, this pair was removed from its taba very recently, after having remained untouched in its original state for nearly 60 years! And in an incredibly fortunate happenstance, the uncut pair includes the most famous and successful duo in Japan Pro Baseball History.
Remarkably, Sadaharu Oh and Shigeo Nagashima are the two players whose cards form this pair. Known as the ON Cannon, the duo led the Yomiuri Giants to nine consecutive Japan Series championships. Nagashima, known as Mr. Giants, is the most beloved vintage player in the history of Japanese baseball. Oh was Japan baseball's greatest hitter prior to Ichiro (or maybe even including Ichiro).
Oh's rookie season was 1959 and Nagashima's debut occurred in 1958. Thus, these are early career cards in unusually high grade. If the pair were separated, the Oh card especially would be in extremely high grade. This uncut pair would occupy an important spot in the collection of any Sadaharu Oh or Yomiuri Giants fan.
Size: Each card is 1 13/16" x 3. The uncut pair is 3 5/8" x 3".
Condition: The uncut pair is Nm/Mt. The Oh card, if properly separated from the uncut pair, would be at least Nm/Mt and perfectly centered. The Nagashima card is centered 30/70 left to right and would be Nm+ if separated from the pair.