30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Monday, September 9, 2019

Cardboard Déjà Vu

When Sadaharu Oh hit his 756th home run to pass Hank Aaron for the world lifetime home run record on September 3rd, 1977... I was only five years old and over 5,000 miles away.  But word traveled across the Pacific Ocean and eventually hit my ears (although it might have been a few years later).

And like Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron, Oh became one of those larger than life sports figuresFast forward a few decades and somehow I stumbled across his 1975 Calbee #1315 baseball card and decided to add it to my most wanted list.  
I've been racking my brain thinking about where the heck I could have originally seen it, but just can't figure it out.

1975 Calbee #1315

I honestly don't even remember adding it to my most wanted list, but I'm sure glad that I did... because last week Sean over at Getting Back into Baseball Cards....in Japan sent me one for my Japanese PC.

One look at this card and I can understand why I wanted a copy for my collection.  It captures a well-cropped Oh in the middle of his swing... with Koichi Tabuchi of the Hanshin Tigers behind the plate.

Here's a look at the back of this awesome card:

I'm not exactly sure what any of the text says... but I can make out the card number in the upper-righthand corner.

Sean included one more 1975 Calbee card inside of the package:

1975 Calbee #987

Are you feeling a sense of déjà vu?  I know I did.  Check out the two cards side by side:

The card on the right features Isao Harimoto with another cameo by Tabuchi.  I feel like this isn't the first time I've seen two cards that look very similar... yet feature different players.

By the way... Harimoto is the NPB's all-time hits leader and the only guy in NPB history to collect 3,000 hits in the league.  It's pretty cool that the photographer captured the NPB's all-time home run and hits leaders in nearly identical shots.

Here's a look at the back of Harimoto's card:

Thank you Sean for adding both of these vintage Calbee cards to my Japanese PC.  As soon as things settle down... I'll scrape together some Montreal Expos for your collection and get them shipped out across the Pacific.

Stay tuned.  The Oh isn't the only card I'll be crossing off my most wanted list this week.  Until then...

Happy Monday and sayonara!


  1. Very nice! I recently purchased an Oh card from 1960. It’s one of the very few cards in his flamingo stance. It’s also one of only 3 cards I have ever had graded(still waiting it’s return). Probably only a 5 but having it slabbed and authenticated will be cool. I’ve been an Oh fan since the late 70s when I first read about him when I was in elementary school. Love older Japanese cards and yours are nice!!
    PS. Do you have the 79 TCMA set? Great way to get a ton of HOF players without breaking your budget!

  2. I wonder if those photos were taken during the same game. Certainly could have been, based on the backgrounds. (Same goes for the Rollie Fingers and John Odom cards you mentioned on my blog post yesterday!)

  3. Might've originally been on my blog, though the post went up almost three years ago:


    It's definitely a beautiful card, and I'm glad you got your hands on a copy!

  4. Glad you like them! The text on the back of Oh's card is kind of interesting, it identifies him as the "Number 2 home run king". The card was released in the brief time just after he had surpassed Babe Ruth's career total of 714, but before he had passed Aaron.

    The catcher Tabuchi, incidentally, is also mentioned on the back of the card. The previous season (1975) he had beat Oh to lead the Central League in home runs which was big news since it was the first time in the 70s that anyone other than Oh led the league!

  5. That is a really nice card and well cropped!

  6. baltmoss68 - i thought i owned the 79 set... but now i'm not 100% sure. i'll have to check my dad's house when i go down there next time

    gregory - i'm gonna guess that it was the same game. and i totally though about the fingers and odom too

    nick - it was totally your blog that opened my eyes to this awesome card! i guess it's been on my list for 3 years

    sean - that's pretty cool i wonder if he knew he'd eventually become the home run king. thanks for the info on tabuchi. i learned some cool stuff from just two cards

    sumomenkoman - yeah... both cards are pretty awesome!

  7. Very interesting post. I'm not very familiar with Japanese Baseball. Cool cards!

    1. I'm not either... but I definitely know Sadaharu Oh.