One of the most unusual late 1940s bromide sets, JBR
76 features sharp black & white player images combined with interesting
graphics, including team names, logos, player names, uniform numbers, etc.
Backs normally contain gold text and the Kagome Company logo in a miniature
postcard format. This card of Henry Tadashi "Bozo" Wakabayashi is a
blank back variation card. We don't know why the gold postcard type text is
missing, but it is certainly something unusual.
Wakabayashi was the first American superstar player
in Japan. Born on a pineapple plantation in Hawaii, he learned baseball as a
child on the playing fields of a nearby US military base. He later toured Japan
with a Nisei team from Stockton, CA, impressing Big Six University scouts.
Hosei U. tried to enroll him, but the other schools objected, as Wakabayashi's
Japanese language skills and overall academic knowledge did not meet Big Six U.
entrance standards. A compromise was reached, and after nine months attending a
Japanese prep school, Wakabayashi was admitted
As a pro (1936-53),
Wakabayashi, a pitcher, starred with the Tigers and Orions, compiling a
lifetime ERA of 1.99 to go with a career won-loss mark of 237-144. His best
season was 1944, when he went 22-4, 1.56. Wakabayashi pitched throughout World
War II in Japan, despite the fact that he was an American! In 1964, he became
the first American inducted into the Japan Baseball Hall of Fame.
Size: 1 3/8" x 2 3/8"
Condition: Ex/Mt to Nm