During each month from June through September 1952, the children's magazine Shonen Shojo Boken Oh issued an uncut strip of three large baseball cards bound into the magazine. A total of 12 different cards were produced. The cards are very rarely seen today, and the Japanese Baseball Card Checklist & Price Guide, Vintage Edition 2.1 has assigned a scarcity factor of R5 to the issue, indicating that five or fewer copies of each card are known to exist today. Of the 12 cards issued, easily the most coveted by collectors is that of Jimmy Newberry.
In 1952, Jimmy Newberry and John Britton, two veterans of the Negro Leagues, became the first African Americans to play in postwar Japan Pro Baseball. Newberry had already spent five years pitching for the Birmingham Black Barons when Harlem Globetrotters owner, Abe Saperstein, who owned his contract, made arrangements for Newberry and Brittain to play in Japan for the Hankyu Braves. Newberry, a pitcher, did quite well, winning 11 games with a 3.22 ERA.
While Britton stayed in Japan for the 1953 season, Newberry returned to the U.S. Well past his prime, Newberry pitched for four years in American Class B and Class C leagues before retiring after the 1956 season. Jimmy Newberry's story is an important chapter for both Japan Pro Baseball, and for racial progress. Blank backed.
Size: 3 5/16" x 5 7/16"
Condition: Vg to Vg/Ex