The image on this blank backed card depicts Kazuto Tsuruoka in a hybrid uniform, consisting of the 1946 Great Ring jersey, pants and stockings, but with a 1947 Hawks cap. (Kinki Great Ring became the Nankai Hawks for the 1947 season). Since there are no known 1946 cards for Tsuruoka, and his only other previous season was 1939, for which there are no known cards of any player, we wonder whether this is the earliest rookie card of Tsuruoka in existence.
After the 1939 season, Tsuruoka left for the war effort, and did not return to Japan Pro Baseball until 1946. In his eight short seasons as a player in Japan Pro Baseball, he batted .295 and was a two time league MVP. He then went on to manage the Hawks for 23 seasons, leading the team to 11 pennants and two Japan Series titles. Overall, he had 1,807 wins and a .609 winning percentage as a manager. This is your opportunity to own the only known example of what may be Kazuto Tsuruoka's earliest rookie card.
Size: 1 13/16" x 2 11/16"