Monday, August 24, 2020

Cataloguing One of the World's Rarest Sets

 


I made a pretty awesome find last week.  Actually "finds".  There were a few lots of random old menko that were put up on Yahoo Auctions by an antique dealer.  I think there were at least a dozen lots, each containing about 30 cards.  When perusing them I noticed in the photos that sprinkled throughout were a few that had backs featuring spaceships and aliens, which I had never seen before. Like these:


I looked them up in Engel and found them catalogued as set JCM 134 "1958 B&W Space Fantasy".  This here is the entire listing:

 

Wow, not enough of these cards have been discovered to create a checklist? That got my attention, so I put bids in on all of the lots that had at least one of the cards with these backs in them.  The bidding went really high on some of them so I wasn't able to win them all, but when the dust settled I had won several of the lots which cumulatively included the above 8 cards.  

So here we go, the world's first attempt at creating a checklist of this set.  Here are the ones I have, listed in numerical order according to the number on the back (some cards have the same number).  I got a couple of Hall of Famers in there but mostly commons:

120057 Hiromasa Ariyoshi (Lions)

163055 Youji Tamatsukuri (Lions)

206350 Tadashi Higaki (Carp)

630225 Hirofumi Naito (Giants) 

643001 Sho Horiuchi (Giants)

643001 Katsuya Morinaga (Carp)

740321 Tatsuro Hirooka (Giants, HOF)

918205 Tokuji Iida (Swallows, HOF)

This is definitely an incomplete checklist and whoever won the other lots would probably be able to add to this (I couldn't get a good enough look at the photos to get the player names in those ones).

I'm pretty happy to add these to the collection!

20 comments:

  1. Not enough of these cards have been discovered to create a checklist? Yeah... I'd call that rare. Congratulations on adding a few to your collection.

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  2. Man, you keep uncovering such cool stuff.

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    1. Thanks, there is a lot out there to find!

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  3. I have a couple from this set I think - Satoshi Sugiyama and Kazuhiko Kondo.

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    1. We should probably contact Engel about updating the checklist then. 10 known cards between us plus whatever he knows about is enough I think.

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  4. You can add:

    561802 Miyamoto

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  5. Oh, yeah, also - I got a letter from Japan the other day. So some sort of mail service seems to have been re-established.

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    1. Nice! I just checked and Japan Post has started accepting letters and postcards to the US, but all other service is still suspended (no packages, etc). Good start though, hope things start working again (though looking at the news in the US I'm not sure what is going to happen to your postal service. Hope saner heads prevail.)
      https://www.post.japanpost.jp/int/information/2020/0806_01_01_en.pdf

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  6. Heck yeah, unchecklisted cards coming out of the woodwork after 62 years. Freaking sweet. The quality of those drawings on the back are really good. Congrats!

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    1. Oh yeah! Probably in a few years time there won't be many left to discover so I'm enjoying the act of making a contribution to the knowledge base while I still can :)

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    2. Sounds like Engel is ready for another update.

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  7. With all of the finds that you keep making, it sounds like this Engel should be contacting you! :)

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    Replies
    1. There certainly are a lot of them these days!!

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  8. There must be quite a number of cards in this set, as I have front and back images for ten cards, and only one of them is among Sean's eight cards, plus the three others that have been mentioned in the comments. I will include the partial checklist in the next edition of the Guide. Those who commented here who have cards from this set, please email me images of the front and back at japanbb@aol.com. I will try to publish the next edition in time for the 2021 National Sports Collectors Convention. Thanks for your interest. Gary Engel

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    1. Thanks a lot for the comment Gary, I'm glad that these will help with a checklist in the next edition!

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  9. Amazing find. I have #332070 Shigeo Nagashima to add to your checklist.

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    1. Oh wow, thanks - that is a good one to add!!

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