Random: A signed copy of Shigeru Miyamoto’s 1989 business card has disappeared and the owner wants it back

Shigeru Miyamoto
Image: Nintendo

Shigeru Miyamoto is perhaps famous for anyone who knows theirs Mario from their Sonic, but it’s easy to forget that this was not always the case – and even today there are people who may not be aware of the great man’s legacy. So when non-gamer Tony LeCroix had a chance encounter with the legendary game designer in the late ’80s, it might not have been massive surprising that he did not know who he was.

“I was in the music business, and in 1989 I worked for a country band,” says LeCroix. “We were playing at a festival in Japan. The promoter owned a country bar called Good Time Charlies; his name was Charlie Nagatani. After the concert, he invited us to his bar. When he arrived, he introduced me to his friend who could only speak badly. English, but enough to communicate. ” No prizes for guessing who this ‘friend’ was – but suffice it to say that LeCroix and Miyamoto hit it off thanks to their shared love of music.

“We were standing at the bar talking about music,” LeCroix says. “He was very interested in the string instruments that I took care of, such as guitars and mandolins and so on. We just talked about music while sharing some beers together. Late at night when it was time to leave, he asked me for my autograph; jokingly I told him I would give him mine if he would give me his. When I pulled out my business card and signed it, he did the same. I noticed that after he had signed his name, he quickly drew a little character on it. I’m not a gamer and had no idea who the little guy he was drawing was. Some time later in life I saw someone play a game and recognized the character – it was Mario ! “

This amazing coincidence led to LeCroix owning something that might not have been blessed with massive commercial value, has lots of sentimental value. However, it was only very recently that he actually caught up with Miyamoto’s performance.

The only record Tony has of his meeting with Miyamoto in 1989 is this picture he took of the card before posting it
The only record Tony has of his meeting with Miyamoto in 1989 is this picture he took of the card before posting it (Photo: Tony LeCroix)

“I kept this card for 32 years,” he continues. “Earlier this year, I retired, and with time on my hands, I looked up the internet ‘Shigeru Miyamoto’ and realized what he had accomplished in his lifetime and how important he was to the gaming community.” Unfortunately, it is at this stage that the story takes a turn for the worse.

“I was curious to see what this card might be worth, and started trying to find an appraiser,” adds LeCroix. “I came across an ad for an auction house that specializes in games and contacted them – at the moment I would rather not disclose their name – and I was convinced to send the card to them for an upcoming auction. They claimed that this would be ‘selected’ item. I sent them the card and now they call me and say the card is missing. “

Of course, items disappear in the mail all the time, but LeCroix is ​​convinced that there is something wrong with this game. “I really think my card has been stolen from me and it will probably reappear in the future,” he says. “I honestly doubt I’ll ever get my card back, but I really want to tell the gaming community about the true story of this card’s history, and how it came about, and how it was taken away from the original owner.”

Although it is likely that Miyamoto has signed many other maps from this period, the illustration and signature make it quite unique and easy to identify. If the card is shown for sale, there is one little the chance is that it will be reunited with its rightful owner – the man who shared a common passion for music with Miyamoto in a Japanese bar 32 years ago.

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