The JCM 2 basic set of 16 cards (8 baseball cards) has been well known to collectors in the U.S. for nearly four decades. In fact, it is one of the most common vintage Japanese sets in existence. The Japanese Baseball Card Checklist & Price Guide, Vintage Edition 2.1 lists the cards in the basic set as "not scarce" or NS. Very few vintage Japanese sets are listed with that designation. Thousands upon thousands of JCM 2 cards have been discovered over the years, often in bulk.
However, in more recent years, it was discovered that there are three additional baseball cards in the set. For these three cards, the player image is the same as on one of the eight basic baseball cards, but the player's name has been changed! These changes appear to have been made late in the print run, when mistakes were corrected, or players changed teams. The three known modified cards are super scarce, and have received the designation of R5 in the Japanese Baseball Card Checklist & Price Guide, indicating that five or fewer examples of each of the modified cards are known.
In this case, the image for the card at auction was originally used for the card of Japan Hall of Fame member, Michinori Tsubouchi. In 1948, Tsubouchi was an outfielder for the Kinsei Stars. However, the player portrayed on this JCM 2 card is wearing a Tokyu Flyers uniform and appears to be a pitcher!
The card on offer here is the same as the Tsubouchi card in every way, except that Tsubouchi's name has been replaced by that of Flyers pitcher Giichiro Shiraki! Shiraki was indeed a pitcher for the Flyers from 1947 to 1952. He had won 30 games in 1946 and 26 games in 1947, making him the ace of the Flyers' pitching staff at the time. Apparently, someone made a mistake prior to the first, more massive printing and inserted Tsubouchi's name in error. As we see, near the end of the print run, the card was corrected, and Shiraki's name was finally inserted.
Many vintage Japanese baseball card collectors already have the eight baseball cards in the basic JCM 2 set. Here is an opportunity to work on truly completing a JCM 2 set.
Size: 1 1/2" x 2 3/8"
Condition: Good, off-centered left to right