This card was a serendipitous pickup a few months ago. It was part of a box of cards I acquired, but it was completely unlike anything else in the box (other than it being a baseball card).
Here’s the back:
I love Japanese baseball cards, but it’s hard to find much information on them, especially when one doesn’t understand Japanese. Most of the box contained 1970’s and early 1980’s Topps cards, and from Googling I could see that the back looked similar to Calbee cards of the era… but which year? And which player?
“584” on the back appears to be a card number, and from the photo I could tell that the player in question was a pitcher for the Yomiuri Giants.
After various Googles had gotten me nowhere, I went to tradingcarddb.com. Assuming that it’s a 1970’s Calbee and knowing that the set in question had to have at least 584 cards, I started searching. Just that information alone helped me narrow it down to 1974-75 Calbee (936 cards) and 1975-76 Calbee (999 cards).
#584 from the 1974-75 set is Toshiyuki Mimura, a shortstop for the Carp… so he’s not the guy.
#584 from the 1975-76 Calbee set is Tsuneo Horiuchi, who was a pitcher for the Giants.
…And if you look at the back of my card, the second line under the flag has an “18” in the middle… That didn’t catch my attention at all until I did image searches on Horiuchi and found that he wore #18. Looks like we’ve got a winner.
If it is Horiuchi, then I’ve got a decent card. Horiuchi is a Japanese Baseball Hall Of Famer, having won three Sawamura Awards (roughly the equivalent of the Cy Young), as well as an MVP (1972) and Rookie Of The Year (1966).
So if anybody out there can confirm that this is a 1975-76 Calbee and/or Tsuneo Horiuchi, it would be greatly appreciated.