Monday, April 20, 2015

2015 Orix Players Card Set

I got another lot of team issued cards from Ebay in the mail today.  This batch is from the brand new 2015 Orix Players Card set - or at least that's what I'm calling the set anyway.

Here's the front and back of Ryoichi Adachi's card:



The QR codes on the back of the card link to the Buffaloes website, their Facebook page and their Twitter page.

I did a little looking around on the Buffaloes website and I actually found some information about this set - it was a 75 card set containing all the players plus the mascots (and I assume the manager) that was sold in a binder for 3500 yen.  It looks like production was limited to only 250 sets and the team has sold out of them.

The fourteen cards I have are (using uniform numbers as there are no card numbers):
3 Ryoichi Adachi
6 Yuma Mune
12 Koudai Sano
18 Mamoru Kishida
23 Torai Fushimi
36 Ban Takagi
37 Kenya Wakatsuki
47 Tomoyuki Kaida
50 Yuya Oda
54 Yuki Tsutsumi
56 Kengo Takeda
60 Yuji Maeda
66 Kazunao Yamamoto
69 Kento Shibata

Apparently, the Buffaloes have issued a 70+ card set like this for each of at least the past five years - I found information on their site for the 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 sets.  The 2013 set matches one of the other Orix sets that I have but the 2011 was does not.  Based on what Jason's found as well as that 2011 set I have cards from, there are obviously other Orix sets other than the ones on their website.

I did find it interesting as I went through their "goods" related headlines in their new sections to see that they had announcements for Orix card sets from both BBM and Front Runner Trading Cards, including sets that aren't exclusively Orix like BBM's 1st and 2nd Version sets.  Unopened boxes for BBM's sets can be found in the team's online store.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Card Of The Week April 19

Masahiro Tanaka pitched an outstanding game for the Yankees yesterday, throwing 7 shutout innings against the Rays while only giving up two hits and striking out eight.  He also didn't walk anyone.  As fan of Japanese baseball, I'm glad to see him doing well but as a fan of the Boston Red Sox, I wish he was doing it for someone else....

I thought I'd take this opportunity to follow up on something I said in my post on this year's Rookie Edition set - for the past three years, BBM has included a "Then & Now" subset in the Rookie Edition set that pairs the top draft pick for each team with a veteran player.  For each of these three sets, the Eagles top draft pick (Yudai Mori, Yuki Matsui and Tomohiro Anraku) has been paired with Tanaka:

2013 BBM Rookie Edition #93

2014 BBM Rookie Edition #091

2015 BBM Rookie Edition #111

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Hawks Team Issued Sets

Here are some cards from some Hawks sets I've picked up recently.  Jason has the list of all the cards I have (and their numbers if applicable) at his mongo Japanese team issued cards post.

2002 "Official Fan Club" card set:



2003 "Official Fan Club" set:



2007 "Club Hawks":



The QR code appears to be a dead link.

2008 "Club Hawks":



There appear to be at least two different versions of the 2014 "Hawks Players Card" sets.  One has action photos and the other has posed photos of the players pointing at the camera.  The backs are identical.  And by that I don't mean they use the same design - I mean that the backs of all the cards in the two sets are exactly the same.

2014 "Hawks Players Card" action photo set:



2014 "Hawks Players Card" posed photo set:



One interesting Hawks set that Jason lists is the 2015 "Spring Camp" set.  17 of these cards were available on Ebay recently although they were a bit more expensive than I was willing to pay.  According to the seller, they were available only to fans visiting the Hawks spring training in Miyazaki and are fairly rare in Japan.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Card Of The Week April 12

For some reason runs were very hard to come by in Sendai this past week.  On Tuesday, the Hawks and Eagles played to a scoreless tie in 12 innings, the first tie of the season.  On Wednesday, the two teams went another 9 and a half scoreless innings until the Eagles finally pushed a run across in the bottom of the 10th.  The run was scored on a leadoff walk to Toshihoto Abe, a sacrifice bunt by Akihisa Makida, intentional walks to Kazuo Matsui and Kazuya Fujita and a sacrifice fly by Takero Okajima.  I imagine that Okajima looked something like this when he saw the run score:

2013 BBM Eagles #E96

Thursday, April 9, 2015

2015 Calbee Series One

The first of three expected sets from Calbee this year was released a couple weeks back.  The base set contains 103 cards, split up between 84 "regular" player cards, 12 "Exciting Scene" cards, 3 "Legend" cards and four checklist cards.

The design of the front of the "regular" player cards for Calbee has been essentially unchanged since around 1997 it's actually big news this year that there's a bit of change this year.  Instead of the players name being in white text, this year it's in black text with a white outline.  Other than that, this year's cards pretty much look like every other Calbee set, including the great photography:

#065

#014

#033

#045

#004
The 84 "regular" player cards are split up evenly between the 12 NPB teams with each team having seven cards.  Many of the photos are from last year but Calbee did manage to include several players who changed teams over the winter, either returning from MLB (Daisuke Matsuzaka, Kensuke Tanaka and Hiroyuki Nakajima) or changing NPB teams (Eiichi Koyano, Keiji Ohbiki and Yoshihisa Naruse) as well as a couple rookies (Tomohiro Anraku and Kohei Arihara).  Another notable player included is Alfredo Despaigne - this is his first Japanese card other than an SCM insert card last year.  (And there are players included in the set other than Yamazaki and Higa.)

The "Exciting Scene" subset (or non-premium insert set) commemorates 12 "exciting" events from last year, one for each team.  As usual I'm not entirely sure what the events are but the players in the subset include Shohei Ohtani, Masahiro Yamamoto, Shintaro Fujinami, Tetsuto Yamada, Rainel Rosario and Daisuke Miura:

#ES-11
The three card "Legend" subset is for three players who retired at the end of the 2014 season - Atsunori Inaba, Makoto Kaneko and Tomoya Satozaki.  Calbee had a similar subset in Series One last year.

#L-3
The four checklist cards feature team celebrations from either late last season or the post season - the Hawks winning the Nippon Series, the Giants clinching the Central League title in September, the Buffaloes winning Game 2 of Stage One of the Pacific League Climax Series (kind of odd since they didn't win the First Stage, the Fighters did) and the Tigers beating the Giants in the Final Stage of the Central League Climax Series:

#C-4
All the cards can be seen at Jambalaya (including the Star inserts and some of the mail-in premium sets and cards).

RIP Jose Capellan

Former major league pitcher Jose Capellan passed away earlier this week.  In addition to playing for the Braves, Brewers, Tigers and Rockies, he also spent a season with the Hanwha Eagles of the KBO.  That season was 2010 which happen to be a year that someone did a Korean baseball card set that included foreign players.  Here's the front back of his card from that set (#AH-007):



Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Gurriel

I don't have a whole lot to add to the discussions that have been going on regarding DeNA's decision to void Yulieski Gurriel's contract and place Lourdes Gurriel on the restricted list.  I think it's a shame that the elder Gurriel will not be in the Baystars lineup this year and I can't help feeling that the possibility of Gurriel being able to move to MLB in the near future is a factor in all of this somehow. But what do I know?

Actually what I do know is that despite the voiding of his contract, there will most likely be cards of Yulieski Gurriel in Japan this year.  The BBM 1st Version checklist that appears in SCM 110 lists two cards for him - his "regular" card (#286) and a Cross Plasma card (#CP32).  (The Cross Plasma card appears on the webpage for the set at BBM's web site).  I suspect that it's unlikely that BBM will remove the card from the set as it's probably too late to do so - the set will be released in less than two weeks.