Lot # 25: 1949 JK 15 Yakyu Karuta--Shuichi Ishimoto (HOF) (Rookie)

Category: Baseball Cards

Starting Bid: $100.00

Bids: 3 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
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Item was in Auction "Auction 62: Ended 11/14/2021",
which ran from 10/30/2021 8:00 PM to
11/13/2021 11:00 PM



Shuichi Ishimoto was an outstanding pitcher at Hiroshima Commercial High School, but he is best known as a manager. After dropping out of high school, he played for the fabled Dalian team in Manchuria before returning to Japan, becoming Hiroshima Commercial's manager shortly thereafter at the tender age of 26. He went on to lead his alma mater to four National High School Baseball (Koshien) Championships. He is generally regarded as Japan's greatest prewar high school baseball manager.

When Japan Pro Baseball began in 1936, he was hired to manage the Osaka Tigers. Between 1936 and 1939, he managed the team to two league championships. His overall record included an astounding 263 wins and only 78 losses. After leaving the Tigers, managerial success eluded Ishimoto. From 1940 to 1942, he led three different Japan Pro Baseball teams to losing records. After seven years away from the league, in 1949, Ishimoto returned to JPB to helm the Robins.

Despite his long career associated with Japanese baseball, Ishimoto was not featured on any baseball cards until 1949. Thus, the card offered here is an Ishimoto rookie card. Since he was a manager at the time, only a few different 1949 Ishimoto rookie cards were produced. This JK 15 karuta card is a very high grade example. The blank backed card may be in top condition because it was printed as an "extra card" for the karuta set.

Normally, each karuta player card contains a Japanese hiragana character to be matched with its associated reading card. This card has no character in the circle at upper left because, as the text at bottom indicates, it is to be used as a replacement card if the set owner loses one of the regular cards. In this instance, the "extra card" of Ishimoto was never used.

1950 marked Ishimoto's return to Hiroshima, as he was named manager of the newly formed Hiroshima Carp. After a disastrous run of four seasons as manager, Ishimoto was let go by the team. Nevertheless, he will always be remembered for his fabulous stint as Osaka Tigers manager, as well as his time as skipper of the Hiroshima Commercial High School team.

Size: 2 1/8" x 3"

Condition: Would be Nm/Mt except for poor registration of the blue color.

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