Sunday, April 22, 2012

Card Of The Week April 22

I hate showing the same player two weeks in a row, but I wanted to mention two things about Darvish.  The first is that he had a very good outing against the Tigers on Thursday, lowering his ERA by over a run.  I'd still like to see his strikeout to walk ratio improve, but it looks like he is adjusting pretty well.

The second is something I noticed while looking through the 2012 BBM 1st Version cards that are posted online at Jambalaya (I'm still waiting on my set to get here from Japan).  While looking through the Leader subset, I noticed that there was no card commemorating Darvish leading the Pacific League in strikeouts last season.  I'm not positive, but I think this may be a first.  Prevously, anytime someone who had led the league in something or gotten an award had gone to the US the following season, BBM still had a card of them in the appropriate subset or insert set the following season.  For instance, the 2001 BBM set featured Leader subset cards and both Best 9 and Golden Glove cards for Ichiro, despite the fact he spent 2001 with Seattle.  Similarly, there was a 2002 Golden Glove card for So Taguchi, several 2003 Leader subset cards for Hideki Matsui, a 2004 Best 9 for Kazuo Matsui, 2006 Best 9 and Golden Glove cards for Kenji Johjima, etc, etc, etc...up to a Best 9 and a couple leader cards for Tsuyoshi Nishioka last year.  So it is completely unprecedented for BBM to not have a Darvish leader card.  I have no idea what the reason is for the omission - I don't know if there's some sort of licensing deal that Darvish decided not to participate in or if it was a decision by BBM not to include him.

2011 was the third time Darvish had led the league in strikeouts.  Here's the 2008 BBM 1st Version card (#454) commemorating the first time he led the league (2007):

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