The 1967 Kabaya-Leaf Set is legendary among collectors both in Japan and the United States. This was the first Japanese attempt at American style baseball cards, and has remained one of the most popular Japanese series ever. Nearly 20,000 cards from this 105 card set were imported from Japan at the time by American soldier Mel Bailey, and these are still the vast majority of all Kabaya-Leaf cards known in the U.S. and Japan today. After collating the cards into near sets, Mr. Bailey sold over 100 of these near sets by mail order until the supply ran out in the early 1970s. Unfortunately, despite having so many cards, he was unable to put together more than a handful of complete sets from the packs he originally purchased in Japan. Ten cards were scarcer than the others, including cards of four members of the Yomiuri Giants which were practically non-existent. That's why today, when a Kabaya-Leaf set is offered to the public, it will generally consist of either 95, 96, or 101 cards. Even many of the most advanced Japanese card collectors have never seen any of the four rare cards in person.
This is your chance to own one of the Kabaya-Leaf rarities. The card #2, featured here, features Yomiuri Giants pitcher Hidetaka Watanabe. Watanabe, a righthanded pitcher, spent 19 years in Japan Pro Baseball, the first nine seasons with the Yomiuri Giants (1964-1972). Watanabe's greatest season was 1970, in which he went 23-8 with a 2.52 ERA, throwing a no hitter along the way.
Size: 2 3/8" x 3 3/8"
Condition: PSA 6 (Ex/Mt) (1 of 2) with none graded higher.