The printed text refers to this item as a card, but it is paper thin. The front depicts Sadaharu Oh, or a reasonably close facsimile of him, in his famed flamingo batting stance. The image is repeated nine consecutive times across the top. This particular example has a value of one point, as denoted by the large number at lower center. The back describes prizes that can be redeemed for various numbers of points by mailing the accumulated “cards” to the manufacturer.
Interestingly, Niitaka Seika (Confectionary Company) was the entity that produced the famous postcard of Lefty Grove during the 1931 U.S. All Stars Tour of Japan, which we have featured in three of our previous auctions.
The company was founded in 1905 in Taiwan by a Japanese named Taro Morihira. The candy was exported to both Mainland China and Japan. In 1931, Niitaka Confectionary became the first company to sell bubble gum in Japan. Niitaka ceased operations in 1970.
These home run cards were included in a product known as “drops” (possibly gum drops). The year of issue must have been between 1962 (after Oh began to use his flamingo batting stance) and 1969 (before cessation of company operations).
Size: 2 5/8" x 1 1/16"
Condition: A diagonal crease in the upper left corner and some minor candy staining on the back. Overall Vg.