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1949 San Francisco Seals "Tour of Japan" Ribbon Badge
Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $1,200
Rare ribbon badge issued for the San Francisco Seals' Goodwill Tour of Japan in 1949. The brooch portion of the badge features an enameled baseball that is lettered "Seals," below which are representations of two seals and a bar that reads "San Francisco Seals/Goodwill Tour of/Japan, 1949." Hanging from the bar is a red ribbon lettered in Japanese. This ribbon badge was issued to Seals pitcher Cliff Melton and was later purchased directly from Melton's daughter by our consignor. While not as celebrated as some of the earlier tours of Japan made by major league clubs, the Seals' 1949 tour was historically important because it was the first such tour following World War II. General Douglas MacArthur personally requested of Seals manager Lefty O'Doul that the team make the tour because he felt that it would help alleviate the tension that existed between the two countries following the global conflict (Japan was still occupied by U.S. troops at the time). In that regard, the tour was a rousing success. Japanese fans flocked to the games and the players were warmly greeted in each city they visited. Following the tour, the American players were personally invited to Emperor Hirohito's Imperial Palace, where he thanked them for all they had done in helping to foster a new friendship between the two nations. Afterwards, MacArthur declared the tour to be "the greatest piece of diplomacy ever.” The tip of the ribbon displays what appears to be a tiny smattering of white paint; otherwise the piece (1.5 x 7 inches) remains in Excellent to Mint condition overall.
Reserve $200. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,200
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