Here we see Kaoru "Big Lebowski" Betto sliding into second base while fellow Japan Hall of Famer Shigeru Chiba awaits the throw. Based on the uniforms being worn by both players, and the fact that Betto moved to the Mainichi Orions for the 1950 season, we know that this card was issued in either Betto's rookie year of 1948 or in 1949. The card was most probably issued as a second prize winner card on a display sheet. This is the first example of this card that we have ever encountered.
Shigeru Chiba, known as the "Formidable Buffalo," was one of the greatest second basemen of all time. After his return from service in World War II, he was named to seven consecutive Best 9 teams. He was inducted into the Japan Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990.
Known as the "Gentleman of Baseball," Betto was a collegiate star who didn't begin professional play until he was 28 years old. The bespectacled right handed slugger had a graceful spread legged stance reminiscent of Joe DiMaggio. In each of his first six professional seasons, first with the Tigers, and later with the Orions, he was selected to the league Best 9 team as an outfielder. Blank backed card.
Size: 6 1/8" x 4"
Condition: Good. There is a pinhole in each upper corner. Extra paper is glued to the blank back along the top edge, as the card was originally attached to a display sheet by the manufacturer. Any other examples of this card, if they are ever found, will also contain this extra paper.