This week, after years of speculation about when and if he was going to come to the US, we finally have an answer. Yu Darvish will be pitching for the Texas Rangers in 2012 (and 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17). I'd actually done a post on Darvish cards a few years back, but that was almost 4 years ago, so there's a lot more to talk about now. (There's a wide variety of Darvish cards showing up on eBay. I'm kind of surprised that I'm only seeing one out-and-out bogus card - although it seems like I'm seeing it every other auction. Guess the guy printed up a boatload of them.)
Darvish's first card is in the 2005 BBM Rookie Edition set (#12). His BBM Rookie card is #116 in the 2005 1st Version set. He doesn't really have a card in the 2005 2nd Version set but there's a card showing him pitching in an interleague game against the Carp (#760) that SportsCardForum is treating as a Darvish card. He's been in every 1st and 2nd Version BBM set starting with the 2006 editions. He also been in the BBM All Star sets from 2007-11 and the Nippon Series sets in 2006, 2007 and 2009. He was on the Japanese Olympic team in 2008 and appears in the BBM set for the team.
His first Calbee card was #037 in the 2006 set. He pitched for Japan in the 2009 World Baseball Classic and appears in many of the card sets Topps put out in conjunction with the event. (He had seven different "base" WBC cards with Topps - more than any other Japanese player and I think more than any other player - Derek Jeter and Ichiro both only had six.)
As always, this is just some of the highlights. Check SportsCardForum for a more complete list.
Here's a selection of cards (I don't have the 2005 Rookie Edition, so I can't show it):
|2005 BBM 1st Version #116|
|2005 BBM 2nd Version #760|
|2005 Konami Baseball Heroes New Black Edition #C05B051|
|2006 BBM Fighters # F85|
|2009 Topps WBC Redemption #7|
|2009 BBM Nippon Series #S30|
|2009 BBM All Stars # A04|
|2011 Calbee #096|