Posts in category: Japanese Baseball Cards
Recent Box Sets

I mentioned the other day that I had gotten a package from Ryan the other day.  Among the goodies were four recent box sets – well, I say “recent’ but most of them were actually from late 2015 – early 2016.  I thought I’d talk briefly about a…

Card Of The Week September 18

The Shikoku Island League was the first independent minor league in Japan.  It started up in 2005.  While there’s been sets issued for each team over the years (in a similar manner to how US minor league teams issue team sets), BBM has never …

Seung Yeop Lee

Last week Seung Yeop Lee, currently with the Samsung Lions of the KBO and formerly with the Marines, Giants and Buffaloes in NPB, hit his 600th career home run between the two leagues:Lee joined the Samsung Lions in 1995 and became a regular almost imm…

Card Of The Week September 11

The Carp clinched first place in the Central League yesterday.  This is the first time that the Carp will finish the season in first since 1991.  I thought I’d share a couple cards that show the celebration from that year – one is from the 20…

Quick Report From Lancaster

I tweeted something about this earlier but I wanted to put it up here as well – I was at the Lancaster Barnstormers game this afternoon and I got a card autographed by former Baystars and Eagles pitcher Hitoshi Fujie who is on the Barnstormer’s roster….

The Future Will Be In Stock

Once again I have gotten far enough behind in the new set posts that one of the sets has been released.  So let’s get caught up…

– Hitting the stores today is the latest of BBM’s Authentic Edition team box sets.  This one is called “CLIMAX” and features the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters.  Each box contains 31 cards – the 30 card base set plus one “special” card which may be an autograph or memorabilia card – including jersey and patch cards.  There are multi-player jersey cards available.  You can check out the base set at Jambalaya – the Shohei Ohtani card has him both batting and pitching.

– BBM’s putting out another team box set on September 15 – this is the latest Autograph Edition set and it’s for the Carp.  The set is entitled “Katsukoi“.  Each box contains 28 cards – a 27 card base set plus one autographed card.  Multi-player autograph cards are possibilities.

– For the third year in a row BBM is releasing a box set dedicated to a team’s cheerleader/dance squad.  This year it’s for Giants Venus, Yomiuri’s cheerleaders and is called “Original Smile“.  The box contains 44 cards – 42 cards from the base set plus two “special” cards which could be autograph cards (including multi-person autograph cards), facsimile autograph cards and memorabilia cards.  The base has 19 cards of the team members in their costumes, 19 cards of the team members wearing yukata and four cards that are group photos.  The box also contains a “raw photo” that I think is essentially a parallel of one of the 38 cards that show a single team member.  The set will be released on September 15.

– Epoch has three high end team sets coming out in the next month or so.  The Swallows “Shadow Box Edition” will be out on September 24.  It looks like one box (at 11,200 yen) only has five cards in it but it’s not clear to me what the breakdown of those five cards is.  I think there’s three base cards and two “special” cards but I’m not sure.  There are 27 possible cards in the base set and a bewildering variety of autograph and memorabilia cards available.    The Carp “Stars & Rookies” set will be released on October 8.  One box of this (MSRP of 11,200 yen) contains one 12 card pack containing 10 base set cards (of a possible 42) and either a parallel card and a “special” card or two “special” cards.  The “special” cards could be autograph or jersey cards.  The Fighters “Season Achievement” set will be out on October 22.  Each box (MSRP of 11,700 yen) contains one 10 card pack – five base set cards (of a possible 36), one regular parallel card, one holo “Spectra” card, one “Crystal” die cut cards and two “special” cards – possibly autograph or jersey.

– On the more affordable end of the spectrum, Epoch is also releasing a set for the Japan Woman’s Baseball League (JWBL) on October 10th.  This is a more traditional pack based set (each box contains 20 packs of five cards each).  There are 78 cards in the base set and possible autograph and “cheki” cards (not quite sure what those are).  This will be the first major card set for the JWBL since BBM did some sets in conjunction with the GPBL (as the JWBL was known then) back in 2010-11.

(And in case you’re wondering about the title of the post, it’s how Google translated the title of the “upcoming sets” section on Jambalaya’s web page – 今後の入荷予定)

More Memories Of Uniforms – Baystars Edition

One of the new professional teams to join the Central League in its debut season of 1950 was the Taiyo Whales who played in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi.  The team merged with the Shochiku Robins after the 1952 season and were known as the Taiyo Shochik…

Noppin

I had gotten a recommendation a few momths back from Dani to try Noppin, the proxy service that she uses to order merchandise from Japan.  I’ve tried them a couple of times now and I think it is possible to save money using them rather than JAUCE …

Card Of The Week September 4

The battle for the Pacific League Home Run crown has been getting entertaining in the last week or so.  Ernesto Mejia of the Lions and Brandon Laird of the Fighters both hit their 30th home run of the season last week end.  Both of them homer…

Shohei Ohtani Rookie Cards

I’ve been asked a couple times in the past few months what Shohei Ohtani’s “best” rookie card is.  I find this a difficult thing to answer as the question of “best” is pretty subjective, as is what actually constitutes a rookie card.  I’ve de…

Card Of The Week August 28

Thursday’s game between the Eagles and Hawks took a kind of unexpected turn late in the game.  The Hawks were up 5 to 4 going into the top of the ninth which is normally time for Dennis Sarfate to come in and close the door.  Unfortunately fo…

Variants In BBM’s Flagship Sets

One of the things I’ve noticed when I’ve been leafing through Sports Card Magazine’s Price Guide listing for BBM’s baseball issues is that there are a number of variants listed among the flagship sets.  I noticed a number of times in the Price Gui…

Card Of The Week August 21

I went to the Cardinals – Phillies game last Friday night up in Philadelphia.  I was hoping to get a chance to see former Samsung Lion and Hanshin Tiger reliever Seung-Hwan Oh pitch for the Cardinals – especially since Oh has been the Cardinals cl…

More New Stuff

Several new sets have been announced recently:- The last time I did a “new cards post” I mentioned that Sports Graphic Number was releasing a set in September featuring Hiroki Kuroda and Takahiro Arai of the Carp to celebrate the two of them reaching t…

RIP Yasumitsu Toyoda

Hall Of Famer Yasumitsu Toyoda passed away yesterday at age 81.  Toyoda was signed by the Nishitetsu Lions out of high school (in Ibaraki) in 1953 and was the Pacific League Rookie Of The Year that season.  He spent 10 years with the Lions, m…

1994 Calbee Hokkaido

Sean did a post a few weeks back talking about a 1994 Calbee Hideki Matsui card he had recently picked up.  He mentioned in the post that Calbee actually did two separate sets in 1994 – the “regular” set (which appears to have been issued in four …

Card Of The Week August 14

The Chunichi Dragons have been having a very poor season so far this year and last week their manager, Motonobu Tanishige, resigned after being asked to step down.  He is being replaced on an interim basis by head coach Shigekazu Mori.  Rumor…

Card Of The Week August 7

The National High School Baseball Championship tournament (better known as Summer Koshien) kicked off today in Nishinomiya.  This tournament is hugely popular and many NPB players made a name for themselves here before they became professiona…

Ichiro 3000

In honor of Ichiro getting his 3000th hit in the majors, here’s all eight of his BBM “flagship” set cards:1993 BBM #2391994 BBM #4031995 BBM #3381996 BBM #3821997 BBM #2831998 BBM #4221999 BBM #4522000 BBM #326

Card Of The Week July 31

I ordered a book off of Amazon Japan a while back called something like “Nostalgic Stadiums Of Kansai”.  It’s a mostly picture book showing vintage photos of the various former (and one current) ballparks in the Kansai area – Koshien Stadium, Hank…

New Stuff

There’s several new sets coming out in the next month or so that I haven’t had a chance to write about yet so let’s get caught up:- The final BBM pack based team set for the year will be out on Wednesday of this week (the 27th).  It’s for the Chun…

2016 BBM Fighters Autographed Edition "Opening" set

BBM has been issuing a number of “Autographed Edition” box sets over the past few years.  Each of these is dedicated to a single team and typically feature 27 players from the team – usually including the manager.  Each of the cards in the se…

Card Of The Week July 24

Yoshitomo Tsutsugoh had a pretty good week last week.  On Tuesday he hit two solo home runs against the Swallows, the second one accounting for the winning run in the top of the ninth in the Baystars 9-8 win.  On Wednesday he again hit t…

Hiroki Kuroda

Hiroki Kuroda joined the Meikyukai today by getting his 200th career victory (121 in NPB and 79 in MLB) by defeating the Tigers 7-0 today.  Kuroda was originally drafted by the Carp in the second round of the fall 1996 draft.  He remained wit…

2016 Calbee Series Two

The latest Calbee release (and the second Series for the season) was released a couple weeks ago and I got my copy in the mail the other day.  I’d mentioned in my write-up for Series One that it was the smallest Calbee Series set in recent memory …

White Whale Finally Defeated

Well, it took almost 16 years but I was able to finally defeat my white whale – the 2000 BBM 20th Century Best 9 set.  While I had finished the base set almost two years ago, there was one final insert card that had eluded me until recently. &nbsp…

Hideki Okajima

Hideki Okajima announced his retirement today.  He was originally drafted out of high school by the Yomiuri Giants in the third round of the fall 1993 draft  and debuted with them in 1995.  He was a starter for his first couple seasons b…

Card Of The Week July 17

The All Star games were played this weekend in Japan,  The Central League beat the Pacific League 5-4 in Game One on Friday and the two leagues tied 5-5 in Game Two yesterday,  Among the highlights was Takumi Kuriyama of the Lions hitting a t…

Yulieski Gurriel Of The Houston Astros

The Houston Astros signed former Cuban star Yulieski Gurriel to a five year contract today.  Gurriel, who defected from Cuba last winter, was one of four Cuban players who were allowed by the Cuban government to play in Japan in 2014.  Gurrie…

Card Of The Week July 10

I had written a post a while back about the Yomiuri Giants training in Vero Beach, Florida in March of 1975 and how a number of cards from the 1974/75 Calbee set featured photos from this.  I’ve discovered recently that Calbee was not the only car…

More Memories Of Uniforms – Swallows Edition

The team now known as the Tokyo Yakult Swallows entered professional baseball as one of the new teams joining the Central League in 1950.  The team was originally known as the Kokutetsu Swallows until halfway through the 1965 season when Kokutetsu…