The Sunday Mainichi Lottery Prize Card set is exceedingly rare. The cards were designed to be part of a drawing for prizes at the end of the 1959 baseball season sponsored by the Mainichi Newspaper Co., owners of the Mainichi Orions. The cards are individually hand numbered. The very high quality images are much nicer than those found on most cards of the era, and are reminiscent of the 1960 JBR 23 Toshiba bromides.
While we believe that there is a card for every member of the Orions team, only six different cards are known at this time. We assume the reason that the cards are so scarce is that most of them were turned in so that the bearer could participate in the lottery. Only two examples of the Katsumi Nakanishi card are known to exist.
Despite a decade spent as a star in Japan Pro Baseball, Katsumi Nakanishi was not known to have been pictured on any baseball card until now! A graduate of Kansai U., Nakanishi first pitched for the Orions in 1956. In 1957 he went 13-4, with a 1.91 ERA. In 1960 he was 16-10, 2.14. His career ERA was only 2.83. Nevertheless the super rare 1959 Sunday Mainichi Lottery Prize Card issue is the only known set containing a card of Nakanishi.
Size: 3 5/8" x 5 1/2"