I recently stumbled upon this brilliant book about the "art of the Japanese baseball card". My baseball obsession has taken me internationally ever since reading the excellent Japanese primer "You Gotta Have Wa" by Robert Whiting last year, but finding English publications about Japan's professional league are somewhat scarce, so I was floored to find that Chronicle had published this dandy eight years ago. It is nearly 200 pages worth of eye candy and history of the early Japanese game, and, subsequently, their baseball cards and other weird promotional items such as player masks. You'll even get great stuff like a table chart of common baseball terminology translated into Japanese. Highly recc'd!
... and as a bonus, check out this amazing tempera piece of a jazz band made by Jim Henson in the 1950s (sorry for the poor photo quality, I didn't have my scanner handy). The LP cover art of various jazz records by the likes of Jim Flora, Gene Deitch and Alexander Stitt also fuse my love of cartooning and jazz music rather well.
After posting UPA's "Rooty Toot Toot" earlier, I felt the urge to post another one of my favorite old rare animated shorts. This one is from George Dunning, best known for directing 1968's Yellow Submarine film.