On November 2, 1974, in front of 50,000 fans at Korakuen Stadium in Tokyo and millions more on Japanese TV, Hank Aaron and Sadaharu Oh engaged in a home run hitting contest. The contest was held prior to one of the games of the New York Mets Tour of Japan. In a tense, exciting contest, Aaron defeated Oh by a score of 10 homers to 9. Oh was then 34 years old and had slugged 634 homers, while Aaron at age 40 had hit 733. On September 3, 1977, Oh would ultimately pass Aaron to become world home run champion on his way to 868 homers.
In 1977, Calbee issued a special limited 96 card Sadaharu Oh series of cards, which commemorated the Japanese slugger's baseball career from the beginning to the day when he hit career homer #756 to surpass Aaron. This series of cards was issued late in the year, and as such is much scarcer than nearly all other Calbee 1977 baseball product. In fact, it is one of Calbee's scarcest issues in their 50 year history of producing annual sets of baseball cards. One card in the set (offered here) features both Oh and Aaron during the 1974 home run contest. Only two cards have ever been issued in Japan that depict both Oh and Aaron. This one is the only one in which they are wearing their baseball uniforms. Moreover, this is the first time in our 33 years of buying, selling and auctioning Japanese cards that we have presented this card at auction.
Since Hank Aaron's recent passing, interest in his cards has skyrocketed. The winner of this card will own one of the rarest cards ever issued that depicts Hank Aaron. This is the only copy that has ever been graded by SGC, making it 1 of 1 at the SGC 80 level with none graded higher.
Size: 2 3/8" x 3 1/8"
Condition: SGC 80 (Ex/Mt)
Highlights of the Oh/Aaron home run hitting contest can be seen below