Kazuto Tsuruoka (1916-2000) played under the name of Kazuto Yamamoto from 1946 to 1958. Known as The Godfather, the right handed hitting infielder was named to the all star team in each of his eight professional seasons with the Hawks. However, he was best known for his managerial skills. He managed in Japan Pro Baseball for 23 consecutive seasons, leading the Hawks to 11 pennants and two Japan Series championships before retiring as a manager in 1968.
Since this autograph dates from 1949, it was signed using the name, Kazuto Yamamoto in blue ballpoint pen. The vast majority of signatures of Kazuto Tsuruoka in the hobby today were signed in later years, when he was using the Tsuruoka name. Therefore, this is a rare autograph. In fact, it is one of only two single signed "Kazuto Yamamoto" autographs that we have ever offered.
The long vertical baseball card on which Tsuruoka signed is part of a fairly well known but still uncatalogued set. The shape of the card is ideal for Japanese autographs, since they are generally written vertically.
Size: 1 7/8" x 5 3/4"
Condition: Autograph--7.5 out of 10. Baseball card--Good with a pinhole at the top and paper and glue residue on the blank back from having originally been a prize winner card on a display sheet.