Sunday, November 29, 2009

Card Of The Week November 29

I missed this, but NPB Tracker didn't - Friday of last week (November 20) was the 75th Anniversary of Eiji Sawamura's one hit game against a group of touring All Stars - a game in which he struck out future Hall Of Famers Charlie Gehringer, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Jimmy Foxx in succession, although Gehrig got revenge later in the game by hitting a solo home run for the American's only hit and the winning run. Rob Fitts has the details here at his 1934 All American Asian Tour blog that he's using to promote his upcoming book on the tour.

Due to several stints in the military, Sawamura's professional career only consisted of the 1936, 1937, 1940, 1941 and 1943 seasons before his troop ship was sunk by an American submarine in 1944. The Sawamura award for best pitcher in NPB was first awarded in 1947 and he was among the initial inductees into the Japanese Baseball Hall Of Fame in 1959.

There aren't a whole lot of cards of Sawamura. There are no known cards of him from when he was an active player. The first card I'm aware of is from the 1978 NST set. BBM included cards of him in the "Nostalgic Player" subset from the 1992 set, the 2000 20th Century Best 9 set and the 2006 Nostalgic Baseball set as well as a couple of the Giants teams sets. Here's one of his cards from the 20th Century Best 9 set (#361):

Some of the afore mentioned cards use the same picture, so there's more cards of Sawamura than actual pictures!

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