We know that this card is a second prize winner card
associated with one of the JBR 52 sets or with JBR 122, but unfortunately, we
don’t know which one. We are certain
that the card is not a prize winner card for JBR 52c, which was published in
1950. By 1950 Wakabayashi was a member of the Mainichi Orions. He is pictured here wearing an Osaka Tigers jersey. All other JBR 52 sets and JBR 122
were issued in 1949.
Born on a pineapple plantation and a graduate of
McKinley High School in Honolulu, Henry Tadashi “Bozo” Wakabayashi enrolled at
Hosei University. Hosei was a member of
the powerful Tokyo Big Six University League and recruited Wakabayashi
primarily for his pitching ability.
Unfortunately, his command of the Japanese language was spotty, and the
league decided that Wakabayashi would have to improve his Japanese reading and
writing skills before being allowed to participate in Big Six contests.
Eventually, he starred in the Big Six League,
and when Japan Pro Baseball began in 1936, he became a member of the Osaka
Tigers, where he stayed for 14 seasons.
He somehow managed to continue with the team throughout World War II,
despite the fact that he was an American citizen!
By 1949, Wakabayashi was 41 years old. He had been player-manager for the Tigers
since 1942. Despite his advanced age, he
won 15 games that year on the mound.
Overall, he had 237 career victories with only 144 defeats, with a
glittering lifetime ERA of 1.99.
Blank back card
Size: 3 1/2”
x 5 7/16”
Good to Vg, but the card has a very small amount of writing on the blank back.