Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Complete set of 1947 JCM 75: The Film Noir of Baseball Cards

 This is my oldest complete set, an uncut sheet of JCM 75 from 1947 featuring all 8 cards.  This is kind of cheating since I obviously got the set all in one go, but it still counts!

The set has a lot of star power, more than half of these guys *5 out of 8) are hall of famers.

The artwork is quite striking.  The images are a bit crude, not unlike other menko from the late 40s, but what is really interesting is the exaggerated shadows on all the players.  It makes them look like characters from a film noir detective thriller from the same era.  Especially Takehiko Besho:

Another interesting thing about this sheet is the backs.  7 out of 8 of the cards feature a "Baseball" back with a batter and math equation.  But one card, that of Bozo Wakabayashi, features Tarzan and an elephant for some reason.  I'm curious about why his card has a different back!

Kind of a cool set that currently sits in my ultra exclusive pile of "things I want to display if I ever move into a house big enough to display stuff in and also is not full of toddlers constantly covered in blueberry jam".

6 comments:

  1. Awesome. Tarzan was super popular in the 1940s and there are actually quite a few menko of him during this time. Although, it is weird that he appears on a baseball back!

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    1. yeah, I've seen a lot of Tarzan menko out there, they are kind of cool too!

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  2. I have half of this set (the top half) in uncut form. Despite how it's catalogued I think it shouldn't be regarded as a menko set. It's got a menko number (or, well, math equation) but no rock-paper-scissors, and, most importantly, it's really really thin. Like, rough paper. There's no way these would flip over - unless a good gust of wind came along. Sometimes I wonder if the flimsy stock was due to post-war shortages?

    But I do like the set. It's got good colors. And Tarzan!

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    1. That is true about the thin cardboard, though there are a few other sets like that.

      There are actually two ways of playing menko. One is to try to flip the card over, which these wouldn't be good at. The other is to try to knock a card out of a ring drawn on the ground, which these might have been used for as they don't require cards as sturdy.

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  3. These cards are stunning. Love the colors... and the lone Tarzan back is interesting. Hope you one day find the story behind that so you can share it with your readers.

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  4. These are absolutely gorgeous! I could be wrong, but to me, this is the kind of thing - because of the visual appeal - that could get a lot more people interested in collecting Menko.

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