Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Talking Baseball Cards, Japanese Style

I don't usually do posts about stuff I just won on Ebay but every so often there's something I'm so excited to get I can't resist bragging. 

What I picked up were two cards from the "JBR 64: 1962 Showa Memory Sheet Phonograph Record Voice Bromides" set.  These are postcard-ish sized (4 3/16" by 5 5/8") cards that have a phonograph record etched into the front of the card.  So these are combination baseball cards and 45 RPM records!  You can put these on your record player (if you still have one) and listen to the player on the card speak.  OK, I'm assuming you can hear the player talk - I haven't actually played them to find out.  They might instead have someone narrating the player's life story or include radio highlights of their careers.

There are 27 known cards from this set featuring a lot of the big NPB stars at the time.  Sadaharu Oh and Shigeo Nagashima each have three cards and other players featured include Shinichi Eto, Isao Harimoto, Kazuhisa Inao, Masaichi Kaneda and Katsuya Nomura.  The two cards I got are the most common cards - one each of the Oh and Nagashima cards.  Here's scans of the fronts and backs of each of them:

Shigeo Nagashima

Shigeo Nagashima

Sadaharu Oh

Sadaharu Oh
I had been on the lookout for these cards for a while (and was green with envy when Fuji got the same cards from SumoMenkoMan a few months ago) and I was happy to see them offered on Ebay for $33 plus $8 shipping from Japan.  One of the reasons that the seller was selling the cards at a low price is that the Oh card had a sticker on the back of it.  I was able to remove the sticker safely (the card is coated in plastic so I didn't have to worry about the card ripping) although you can still see the remnants of it on the card.  I'm hoping I can clean that up a little still.

I am curious what these sound like - I'll have to dig up a turntable and take a listen.  Maybe I can record them and run them through Google Translate.


Sean said...

Oh wow, nice finds! I've seen those come up for auction here sometimes but haven't gotten any myself. That is a really good deal for Oh and Nagashima, even with the sticker residue.

I'm curious about what they sound like too but haven't owned a record player in over 30 years....

NPB Card Guy said...

Have you seen any besides these two? I hadn't realized until I was researching the cards for this post that there were more than just these Nagashima and Oh cards. I've never seen any of the others. Engel lists these as being "R1" and all the other cards as "R4".

Sean said...

I've only seen the Oh and Nagashima ones, and only a few times (I don't think any are available on Yahoo Auctions right now, so they are hard to find. They seem to pop up on Ebay more often for some reason).

Fuji said...

These are so awesome! I've pulled them out at least five time since I received them in early August just to stare at them. Glad you were able to add them to your collection too.

Jon said...

If you do ever get around to playing them, I would love to hear an audio recording, and yes, a translation would be neat too.