Thursday, July 14, 2016

Beautiful Cards: 1975 Calbee #714 Kaimaku Series with Shigeo Nagashima getting flowers

I`ve had a big stack of recently acquired 1970s Calbee cards sitting next to my computer/scanner this week so the temptation to do posts about one of them each day has been too great to pass up.  Today`s subject is the above beauty, mainly focused on Giant`s manager Shigeo Nagashima.

The picture in the card was taken on April 5th, 1975 before the opening day (kaimaku) game at Korakuen Stadium between the Giants and Taiyo Whales (whose manager Akiyama can kind of be seen behind Nagashima). Needless to say, as with the Oh card I wrote about yesterday the main subject (Nagashima) is less interesting than the rest of the stuff in the photo, particularly the two women in kimono.

They are presenting the two managers with bouquets of flowers just before the game, which is something that happens a lot in Japanese baseball games (not necessarily always flowers, but some sort of ceremonial gift).  I did get to learn the Japanese term for that from the title on the back of this card (花束贈呈 - bouquet presentation).

Its interesting that the two women presenting the flowers, who totally steal the show on this card, aren`t named or even referred to on the back text.  I wonder if they are even aware that they were featured on it, and that forty years later a foreigner would pick it up, find their images interesting, and write a blog entry about it.  Probably not.  Interesting how life works out sometimes.

The card`s provenance is a bit confusing, since there are actually two seperate Calbee sets from 1975.  This card is from what might more accurately be called the 1974-75 Calbee set since numbers 1 to 504 were issued in 1974 while numbers 505 to 935 were issued in 1975 (this one is #714).  Then after that they began another set starting from card #1, which continued into 1976 and forms the massive 1975-76 set of over 1400 cards.  The two are distinguishable mainly on the back, the 1975-76 set having a border made up of stars and baseballs, while the 1974-75 set to which this one belongs has no border.

Anyway, its kind of a cool card, depicting a scene that is rarely featured on baseball cards.


  1. Who would have thought. I'm beginning to love the 1970s Japanese cards more and more. The massive amounts of mini cards and variety of subjects in the 1970s and early 1980s makes this era really fun. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for reading! The 1970s cards in particular have become my favorites. The 1980s ones are great too, but I`m starting to appreciate the larger size of the ones from the 70s which kind of present the photos a bit better.

  3. Opening Day 1975 would have been Nagashima's debut as Giants manager.

    1. Oh good call, that would make this his manager rookie card then I guess :)