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Lot # 750 (of 1727)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1967 Kabaya-Leaf (Japanese Baseball) Complete SGC-Graded Set (105)

Starting Bid - $2,500, Sold For - $17,625

Complete set of 1967 Kabaya-Leaf Japanese baseball cards, including the four exceedingly rare short-print Giants cards (# 2 Watanabe, 3 Jonouchi, 8 Takahashi, and 17 Yoshida), each encapsulated and graded by SGC. The 1967 Kabaya-Leaf set, which was the only baseball-card set ever produced by the company, is not only the most important Japanese baseball-card set ever issued, but also one of the rarest. To the best of our knowledge, the offered set represents one of only two complete sets ever assembled. Research indicates that these cards were imported into the United States and offered to collectors by mail for a number of years after their publication, with the official distribution probably ending sometime in the early 1970s. The publication of the Kabaya-Leaf set was a watershed event in the history of Japanese baseball cards due to the fact that its design was a direct departure from earlier Japanese cards. Borrowing heavily from the formats used by Topps in 1958 and 1959, the set featured two different-style fronts and was the first Japanese baseball issue to feature detailed biographical information and statistics for the respective player on the back of each card. Interestingly, the set only featured players from six of the twelve Major League teams in 1967 (Giants, Dragons, Tigers, Lions, Hawks and Flyers); however, the six teams represented just happened to be the top three teams from each league in 1966. Luckily for collectors, among the players featured in the set are some of the greatest players in Japanese baseball history, many of whom are in the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame. Included here are Sadaharu Oh, the fabled all-time home run leader; Isao Harimoto, the all-time hit leader; Kazuhiza Inao, one of the league’s greatest pitchers, who won thirty or more games on four separate occasions; and Shigeo Nagashima, a five-time MVP and one of the most popular players in history. The compilation of this set is nothing short of a miracle and it is further distinguished by its remarkable condition. Seventy-eight of the 105 cards in the offered set represent the highest-graded example listed in the SGC population report, including #2 Watanabe. The complete condition breakdown is as follows: Eighteen MINT 96: #4, 53, 55, 56, 59, 60, 62, 71, 103, 105, 109, 118, 302, 316, 318, 358, 401, and 403. Six NM/MT+ 92: #57, 63, 68, 106, 107, and 311. Twenty NM/MT 88: #6, 12 Nagashima, 16, 19, 66, 101, 104, 108, 115, 303, 307, 312, 315, 319, 351, 352, 353, 356, 361, and 407. Eight NM+ 86: #64, 67, 102, 111, 117, 308, 365, and 367. Twenty-eight NM 84: #1 Kawakami, 7, 10, 11 Oh, 14, 15, 51, 52, 54, 61, 69, 110, 113, 114, 301, 309, 313, 314, 317, 354, 357, 359, 360, 362, 364, 405, 408, and 410. Eighteen EX/NM 80: #3 Jonouchi (SP), 5, 9, 18, 58, 70, 112, 116, 119, 304, 305, 306, 355, 363, 402, 404, 406, and 409 Harimoto. One EX+ 70: #310. Four EX 60: #2 Watanabe (SP), 8 Takahashi (SP), 13, and 366. One VG/EX 50: #20. One VG 40: #17 Yoshida (SP). Total 105 cards. Reserve $2,500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $17,625


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