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1927 Yakyukai Magazine - Coverage of the 1927 Negro League Tour of Japan
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $1,541
While most collectors are familiar with the two celebrated baseball tours of Japan made by Connie Mack's All American Team in 1931 and 1934, few are aware that Negro League teams had been visiting Japan throughout the 1920s. In fact, many historians now credit those earlier Negro League tours, and not the two more famous 1930s tours, for baseball's great rise in popularity in Japan during that era. Offered here is an extremely rare issue of Yakyukai magazine, published in May 1927, that chronicles the 1927 tour of Japan made by the Philadelphia Royal Giants, a Negro League team based in Los Angeles, California. The Giants, with a roster that included Hall of Famers Biz Mackey and Andy Cooper, as well as Rap Dixon and Frank Duncan, finished the tour with a record of 35-2-1 (including games played in Hawaii and Korea). The cover of the program features a photo of Japanese player/manager Shinji Hamazaki shaking hands with Royal Giants catcher O'Neal Pullen. Numerous other photos, picturing both white and black American ballplayers, plus those of many Japanese players are displayed on the seventy interior pages. This one of only two examples of this rare publication that we have ever seen. The text of the extensive historical information is, of course, in Japanese. The display value of the cover has always made this item especially appealing to Negro League collectors. The substantial soft-cover publication (7.25 x 10 inches) displays moderate wear, including a few creases to the covers, minor tears along the spine, and light foxing. Minor paper loss (we believe this to be insect damage) along the base affects more than half of the pages, mostly in the form of an irregular tear along the base of each, which is of little or no significance but noted for accuracy of the condition report. In Very Good condition overall. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $1,541
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