Summer Premier Auction 2019


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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 9/28/2019

In the fall of 1956, the “Father of Professional Baseball in Japan,” Matsutaro Shoriki, invited the Brooklyn Dodgers to tour his country. This 1956 excursion was just one of several MLB tours to Japan staged in the hopes of uniting the two nations through baseball in the aftermath of WWII. This tour was unique in that it would be the only time the Brooklyn Dodgers would tour the island. The team had just lost a tough World Series to the Yankees and must have looked at the Japanese tour as a well-earned vacation. Almost the entire Brooklyn roster participated, including NL MVP Don Newcombe, Roy Campanella, Duke Snider, Don Drysdale, Gil Hodges, Jim Gilliam, Carl Erskine and Jackie Robinson. These Japan games would be the last Robinson would play with Brooklyn as he retired before the 1957 season began. While there was a little time for visiting some tourist sites, it was hardly all pleasure; the Dodgers played a tough 19-game schedule in just under three weeks! The team finished with 14 wins, 4 losses and 1 tie. It is interesting to note that four of the Dodgers who were on the ’56 tour later played in the Japanese league: Don Newcombe, Bob Aspromonte, Jim Gentile and Don Zimmer.

To commemorate their tour, only Dodger players, team personnel and select Japanese dignitaries were presented with these lavishly designed photo albums. Produced and issued by the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper, one of the oldest and most respected in Japan. the album measures 10-1/2” by 14” and contains 30 pages of 7-1/2” by 9” black and white photos matted to thick, off-white paper and is beautifully bound within two gold fabric covers lavishly designed with an avian motif in red and white accents. The front is embossed in gold with “BROOKLYN DODGERS GOODWILL TOUR OF JAPAN 1956 YOMIURI SHIMBUN TOKYO, JAPAN”.

Among the photos inside are several action shots of Dodger players including Jackie, Campy, Duke and co. along with the overflowing crowds that flocked to each game. Besides the game shots there are group photos of the team in civilian clothes touring various sites around the island including the expected “everyone hold a decorative umbrella” novelty poses. There are team photos of the Dodgers and the various Japanese All-Star teams they faced including the famous Tokyo Giants. Photos of the players’ wives and team executives round out this unique memento of the Brooklyn Dodgers only Japanese tour.

Included with the album is a special 9-1/2” by 13” wood-backed plaque with a heartfelt, "In Memoriam" message to honor the team's visit to Hiroshima, underlining the peace offerings behind the exhibition tour. The album cover shows light wear from handling and age, but the Japanese traditional silk remains bright. The photos inside are well-preserved and display nicely, while the Hiroshima plaque shows wear and toning from age. The album comes encased in an elegant wooden box making it a wonderful set for prominent display and safe storage in one’s collection.

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $250
Final prices include buyers premium.: $1,694
Number Bids: 12
Auction closed on Saturday, September 28, 2019.
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