The JBR 44 set was a special gift to purchasers of Shonen Book magazine in October 1962. The cards were originally enclosed in a silver foil cardboard case. Each uncut panel of either two or three cards has a hole at the right edge where it was attached to a bolt inside the case. Attached card pairs or trios have a tab with the team name. All cards in a panel share the same card back. The set is rare and carries a scarcity factor of R4 in the Japanese Baseball Card Checklist & Price Guide, Vintage Edition 2.1, signifying that 10 or fewer copies of each panel are known.
This panel (panel #17) features three members of the Kokotetsu Swallows 1962 pitching staff. The players depicted are (left to right) Yoshio Kitagawa, Seiji Shibutani and Masaichi Kaneda (HOF). Kaneda is considered by most to be Japan's greatest pitcher ever with 400 lifetime victories and 4,490 strikeouts. Kitagawa, a righthander, spent four years with the Swallows, followed by three seasons with the Yomiuri Giants, winning as many as 18 games in a season. Shibutani, a lefty, was a rookie in 1962, making this a Shibutani rookie card. Unfortunately, in eight seasons with the Swallows and Atoms, He managed only a 40-85 lifetime record.
Obviously, the key to this panel is the Kaneda card.
Size: The uncut panel is 4 1/4" x 2 3/8". Each card is 1 1/4" x 2".