Saturday, May 16, 2015

1973 Sadaharu Oh Menko card

This eBay pickup fills a need for me. For a very long time I've wanted a stand-alone Sadaharu Oh card issued during his career. I have a few other Oh cards but none of this nature.

With the help of Gary Engel's Japanese card guidebook I was able to ID this as a 1973 Menko from the set cataloged as JCM 15b. It is printed on thick cardboard, probably as thick as 3 vintage Topps cards put together.

In 1973 Oh was about 2/3 of the way through his outstanding career. He hit 51 homers which was his second best total ever. His .355 batting average was his career high and his total bases and slugging percentage were his best to that point in his career.

As is the case with many Japanese Menko sets the backs of the 15b's are interchangeable so they are no help in identifying players. It's sized at 1.75" x 3". For comparison purposes here is the Oh scanned next to my 1974 Frank Robinson.

The top edge of the Oh card is a bit ragged. Engle's book doesn't mention whether or not these cards came as pairs that were separated by collectors but given how Japanese Menko cards were issued it wouldn't surprise me at all.

All in all I'm pretty stoked to have this one. I don't have a huge collection of Japanese cards but I find them fascinating. I pick up singles that catch my eye here and there off eBay for fun. The different styles intrigue me and they are a fun look into another culture.  I'll continue to add to what I guess could be called my 'type' collection.


  1. I love that Oh card -- great pickup!

  2. Beautiful. I'm going to add a Oh (from his playing years) card to my wantlist. Congratulations on the purchase.

  3. Fantastic! As soon as I saw the subject line and thumbnail, I said "Oooooooh!" out loud. This is nicer than most menko I've seen, but the few I've run into had drawings rather than photos.