Sunday, July 19, 2009

Latest World Baseball Classic Cards

Some updates on what Topps has produced in the way of World Baseball Classic cards in the last month or so.

- The World Baseball Classic Redemption cards are finally being shipped. I got the Daisuke Matsuzaka card shown above (#10) in the mail the other day. The cards look like the regular 2009 Topps sets, but are all "chromed". Matsuzaka and Yu Darvish are the only Japanese players in the 10 card set.

- Topps has issued a 13 card "eTopps" World Baseball Classic set. The set includes four Japanese players - Yu Darvish, Ichiro, Norichika Aoki and Hisashi Iwakuma plus a "patch" card showing the team celebrating winning the final. If you're not familiar with eTopps (and I really wasn't until I was looking for this stuff), it's kind of a weird thing were people buy and trade cards that Topps holds onto for them. So you own cards that you don't physically possess. You can get Topps to actually send you the cards, but it looks like they end up locked up in plastic so even when you have them, you can't actually touch them. Personally, I think I'll pass.

- Topps' Allen & Ginter set features a set of "box topper" cards (i.e. cards that are not in packs but are included in the unopened boxes of cards) that show highlights of the WBC. There are five cards in the set - Netherlands upsets Dominican Republic, Cuba sets HR Mark in WBC, USA beats Puerto Rico in last at-bat, Japan advances to the final, and Japan wins the WBC. Each card is roughly 6 inches by 9 inches and features a large picture in the center flanked by two player "cards". All the images on the card are drawings rather than photographs. The Japanese players featured are Norichika Aoki and Daisuke Matsuzaka on the "advances to the final" card and Ichiro and Hisashi Iwakuma on the "wins the WBC" card. (I know - it's stunning that they didn't include Yu Darvish given the constant and ridiculous speculation about his future.)

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