Sunday, June 29, 2008

Card Of The Week June 29

Interleague play wrapped up last week in Japan and the Hawks were interleague Champs. They had the same interleague record as the Tigers but since the Pacific League had the better interleague record last year, the Hawks are this year's champions (despite going 1-3 head to head against the Tigers).

Anyway, NPB also names an MVP for interleague play and this year it is Hawks shortstop Munenori Kawasaki. Here's his 2008 BBM 1st Version card (#314):

Friday, June 27, 2008

Lions and Fighters

BBM's website announced today the release of the 2008 Fighters and Lions sets. The Fighters cards will be out on July 19 and the Lions cards will be out on July 26. So now the only team set left to be released this year is the Dragons set.

A few weeks ago, there was a discussion on regarding Bikkuriman chocolate NPB seals. I had never heard of these before. They are apparently stickers with caricatures of Japanese players on them. The discussion has more details including a checklist and a link to the official website.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Card Of The Week June 22

On Tuesday, Hall Of Famer Kaname "Wally" Yonamine turns 83. Yonamine, a former San Francisco 49er and Seal, was one of the first Nisei (American born Japanese) players to play in Japan after the war and the first American born super-star. He also managed the Dragons for a number of years in the mid-1970's. He was the first American born manager in Japan and the first to lead a team to the Japan Series, falling in 6 six games to Lotte in 1974.

Rob Fitts has a biography of Yonamine coming out later this year. There's information on the book as well as lots of details about the man (as well as pictures and scans of cards) here.

This is Yonamine's 1975 Pepsi menko card:

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Card Of The Week June 15

For Father's Day, I thought it'd be appropriate to post this 1993 BBM card (#475)featuring Kazushige Nagashima and his father Shigeo. Kazushige was drafted in the first round by the Swallows in 1987 solely because of who his father was. He wore uniform number 3 (his father's number) while he was a Swallow. When Shigeo Nagashima returned as Giants manager in 1993, Kazushige joined the Giants and played for his father.

A Couple Things Of Interest

A couple quick items:

- Prestige Collectibles has their latest auction going on on-line here. Lots of cool stuff in addition to cards. I really like the foldout postcard of Jingu Stadium, home of the Swallows. I wonder what year the picture was taken.

- Prestige Collectibles is also releasing the latest (7th) edition of "The Japanese Baseball Card Checklist and Price Guide" in August. You can save a couple bucks by pre-ordering now.

- Upper Deck has put out a box set for the collegiate Team USA (not the Olympic team). In it, there are possible autograph and memorabilia cards for the Japanese collegiate All Stars. Kind of an odd thing to do and a bit pricey to try to collect, but if you're interested, they're out there (there's been a boatload of them showing up on Ebay).

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Card Of The Week June 8

Here's another card from that Ebay lot of 1940's color bromide cards I mentioned last week. I think that this is a card of pitcher Shigeaki Kuroo of the Tokyu Flyers from around 1947 or 1948, but I'm not sure of really anything about this card. The seller on Ebay had identified it as Kuroo (and I think the Kanji on the bottom right says that too), but that uniform doesn't quite match the Flyers uniforms from that time. I suppose that it's possible it's from 1949, but the coloring was done incorrectly. (I think these were hand-colored.)

Anyway, it's still a cool card.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

New Giants and Carp sets

BBM's website has added information for the 2008 Giants and Carp team sets which should be out shortly. That brings the total 2008 BBM team set count to nine, leaving just the Dragons, Fighters and Lions left.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

2008 BBM Marines set

BBM's website now lists the 2008 Marines team set. The web page for the set shows a three card "consecutive series" for Tsuyoshi Nishioka which looks pretty cool.

And in case there's anyone out there who actually reads my blog but not Deanna Rubin's, she's got the latest installment on her series of posts on baseball card shopping in Japan here. Once again, I'm insanely jealous that she can just walk into a store and find this stuff so cheap. Or even just that she can walk into a store and find this stuff, regardless of the price.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Card Of The Week June 1

Here's an example of some detective work that guys like Gary Engel have had to do to figure out details about a card. I won a couple old bromide cards on eBay a few months ago. One of them was this card of Hall Of Famer Kaoru Betto. It's not in Engel's "Japanese Baseball Card Checklist and Price Guide" (or at least not the edition I have), so I don't know the manufacturer. Can I figure out at least what year this card is from?

I picked up a book last year that BBM published a few years ago called "The History Of Uniform" which shows every uniform worn in Japanese professional baseball from the 1934 to 2005. So checking the book, I see that the uniform in the picture was worn by the Tigers from 1945 to 1948. Betto only played for the Tigers in 1948 and 1949, so it looks like the picture at least is from 1948.