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Thread: Anyone knowledgeable about Japanese baseball (particularly vintage)

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    Anyone knowledgeable about Japanese baseball (particularly vintage)

    I picked up a lot of signed pictures from the 1931 US Tour of Japan. Most had American players (Grove, Simmons etc) but a few were signed by Japanese players including a number of players in the Japanese HOF. I know in the US market, HOF autographs are a very popular category to collect (especially those that died decades ago) but I wasn't sure whether that was the case with Japanese players, and if the items I won are particularly valuable.

    Anyone knowledgeable about Japanese baseball (or maybe people who speak Japanese and can check out info on Japanese websites) would be greatly appreciated!

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    Senior Member MrMet's Avatar
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    Isnít @madbull34 our Japanese collector?


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    I mainly focus on Japanese players who come to the MLB. But I can read Japanese and have also visited card shops in Japan. If you have scans I can try to identify the autos and lookup their prices.

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    madbull34, any help would be really appreciated.

    Scans are below.

    All I've got on them (from asking around and doing my own research:

    Atsushi Kono - Japanese HOF - Died 1946 - Kono was a star pitcher at Waseda University.
    Hisashi Koshimoto - Japanese HOF - Died 1935 - Koshimoto was the manager at Keio University, Waseda's big rival.
    T. Oshi-ta - Don't know who he is
    Takizo Matsumoto Japanese HOF - Died 1958 - Matsumoto helped re-establish Japanese baseball after the war.
    Jiro Ito - Ito played briefly in Japanese pro ball. He was terrible as a pro, but he had been a star at Hosei University in the early 30s
    ? - Someone else signed a few of the cards and is not identified on the PSA/DNA label and I haven't been able to find out any more

    The rest of the signers on these are American...


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    Last edited by Topnotchsy; 06-11-2018 at 11:43 PM.

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    Not really related but can anyone help me with about 200 vintage Japanese matchbooks.

    I know NOTHING about them, and lot prices are all over the place...
    Don't forget to use the FCB Link when buying on eBay!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Topnotchsy View Post
    madbull34, any help would be really appreciated.

    Scans are below.

    All I've got on them (from asking around and doing my own research:

    Atsushi Kono - Japanese HOF - Died 1946 - Kono was a star pitcher at Waseda University.
    Hisashi Koshimoto - Japanese HOF - Died 1935 - Koshimoto was the manager at Keio University, Waseda's big rival.
    T. O****a - Don't know who he is
    Takizo Matsumoto Japanese HOF - Died 1958 - Matsumoto helped re-establish Japanese baseball after the war.
    Jiro Ito - Ito played briefly in Japanese pro ball. He was terrible as a pro, but he had been a star at Hosei University in the early 30s
    ? - Someone else signed a few of the cards and is not identified on the PSA/DNA label and I haven't been able to find out any more

    The rest of the signers on these are American...


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    I'll take s stab at it tonight after I get home from work.

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    I can't help you with values or even info about the players but these are amazing. I've been fascinated with early Japanese baseball since I read "No-Hitter" (Chip Hilton book) as a kid.
    I PC Jeff Frye, Ozzie Smith, Jeff Bagwell, and Matt Holiday. Working on 2006-2018 Allen & Ginter sets
    https://jefffryecollection.wordpress.com - My collection website with galleries and want lists

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    Kono Atsushi (河野安通志) 1884 - 1946. Founder of the first professional Japanese baseball team. Japanese wikipedia page: https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%B2...80%9A%E5%BF%97

    I searched Yahoo auction Japan, Rakuten and Card Mint but came up empty. Only autos of him I saw were all in museums. Definitely a tough auto.

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    The only Japanese baseball player with Oh****a T. would be Oh****a Tsuyoshi (大下剛史). But he was born in 1944 so he wouldn't match the 1931 inscription. The only other player with the surname Oh****a would be Oh****a Hiroshi (大下弘) 1922 - 1979 but he would've been 9 years old in 1931. So not him either. Must be a coach or official.

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    Looking up Koshien November 28 1931 brings up the Herb Hunter / Fred Lieb led all-stars that toured Japan. That would match the H. Hunter part. I looked up the Japanese all star team roster but didn't see a player named O****a.

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    The 3 autos that PSA/DNA didn't identify all look like the same person. Hard to make out but it looks like L. Nakama / Nakuma?

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    Looking through the Japanese HOF member list I came across Takeji Nakano 1884-1947. Would closely resemble the T Nakano like autos in the 1st, 3rd and 4th photos.

    His Japanese wikipedia page: https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E4%B8...AD%A6%E4%BA%8C. He was known more for his umpiring skills and served as chief umpire for many Waseda and international games.

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    madbull34

    This is a huge help, thank you!

    If you have any thoughts on the value of these, or know anything about the market for vintage Japanese HOF autographs, I'd really appreciate it. I'm really lost on trying to value them.

    The pictures are all tied to the 1931 series (I probably should have said that). The lot had 21 pictures, though only a few had Japanese players (I added a few of the American players below)


    Attachment 80547Attachment 80548Attachment 80549

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    I'll do some more digging around tomorrow but these are all super tough autographs with some of them deceased as early as the 1940s. It's certainly been fun researching these players I never knew anything about.

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