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1958 Doyusha Company Jackie Robinson
Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $928.00
Graded GOOD 30 by SGC. This is perhaps the most interesting and noteworthy of all Japanese-issued cards for American collectors. It is also one of the rarest. According to Japanese card expert Gary Engel of Prestige Collectibles, who has specialized in Japanese card issues for twenty years, only three examples of this extraordinary card are known to exist. Issued in Japan by the Doyusha Company, this card features Jackie Robinson and was released shortly after Robinson's playing days with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Robinson's final season was 1956. Like Babe Ruth before him in the 1930s, when Robinson toured Japan with the Dodgers following the 1956 season, he made quite an impression on the public. Robinson was not just a great player, but a legend whose historical significance resonated with the Japanese public in 1956 just as it does in America today. When the Doyusha Company released its baseball card set in 1958 (fifty-three cards are known in the set), they included only one American player: Jackie Robinson. Robinson is pictured on this card in a photo taken during the 1956 Dodgers barnstorming tour. It is fascinating to note that both the front and reverse of the card actually misidentifies Robinson (in Japanese) as Chico Barbon, the only black player playing in Japan at the time the set was issued. It is also possible that this card was actually intended to feature Barbon, and that Robinson's picture was accidentally mistaken for Barbon. The fact that Robinson's race is related to the circumstances of his great historical significance, and that his misidentification on the back of this card is apparently related to his race, gives this extraordinary rarity an all-the-greater fascinating additional dimension of interest. The card is very harshly graded by SGC, in part because of the small purple "3" ink stamp on the reverse which is as issued (cards issued with number stamps entitled youngsters to a special prize). The card has light corner wear and a minor surface crease in the upper right corner. We grade this card Vg-Ex. Bright and clean. This is a fascinating and extremely striking card, and undoubtedly also Jackie Robinson's rarest card issue. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $928.00
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