Monday, December 2, 2019
1948 Menko Beauties
I'm in love with these.
I picked up the above lot of extremely colorful and just all around wonderful menko a little while back off of Yahoo Auctions. There are sixteen cards which seem to come from 6 different sets (based on the different back designs, some have very similar designs on the front).
I've only been able to identify three of the sets they come from in Engel - JCM 1, JCM 100 and JCM 48. All of those were issued in 1948 and judging from the similar designs I think the others were too.
I just love the artwork on them, when you put them in a binder page or lay them out together like in the scan at the top of this post they just scream for your attention in a way that few other baseball cards are capable of.
I got a few cool players of note in the lot. Some highlights include
His claim to being the first Central League Eiji Sawamura award is complicated by the fact that the award had been given out to other pitchers in the previous 3 seasons. But during those seasons it was given to the top pitcher in all of NPB. From 1950 until 1989 it was only given to the top pitcher in the Central League, hence his being the "first" to win the Central League exclusive version of the award. Takehiko Bessho pitching for the Pacific League Nankai Hawks had won the real first award in 1947 and it wasn't until Hideo Nomo won it in 1990 that another Pacific League pitcher was so honored.
He wasn't a power hitter (96 career home runs), but I do like the way this card makes him look like a real slugger with the explosive clouds emanating from where he connected with the ball!
He is also known for having batted alongside Wally Yonamine in the Giants lineup and being one of the American's best friends who helped him adjust to life in NPB.
Anyway, just a few "stuff I recently got" highlights!