This uncut sheet was most likely issued as a first prize on a display sheet for the JCM 38a rectangular menko set. The complete set contains 76 cards. However, it is our good fortune that among the six Japan Hall of Famers depicted on the sheet, two of the cards are rookie cards of Hall of Fame Members Shigeo Nagashima (bottom right corner) and Kiyoshi Sugiura (second row left).
Nagashima and Sugiura had already been teammates at Rikkio University for several years when they burst onto the Japan Pro Baseball scene. The two had led the Rikkio U. team to its first two Tokyo University League Big Six championships since 1931. Both players' pro debuts (especially Nagashima's) were incredibly highly anticipated. The pair did not disappoint as Nagashima, playing for the Yomiuri Giants, was named Rookie of the Year in the Central League, while Sugiura, a member of the Nankai Hawks, was voted voted ROY of the Pacific League. Nagashima clubbed 29 homers in 1958 and batted .305, while Sugiura won a whopping 27 games.
Four additional Hall of Famers have cards on this sheet including Tatsuro Hirooka (top row center), Kazuhiro Yamauchi (second row center), Kenjiro Tamiya (bottom row center) and Michio Nishizawa (bottom row, second from right). Also, there is a card of Hawaiian Jack Ladra 3rd row right).
Size: The uncut sheet is 9 3/8" x 12". Each card is 1 13/16" x 3".
Condition: The sheet has a touch at each corner. There is a small vertical tear near top right which affects one common card. That card and the adjacent card (Hirooka) have creasing. However, the majority of the cards would be Nm/Mt or Mint if cut from the sheet, including the Sugiura rookie.