Monday, June 25, 2012

Phone Cards

A comment by Jason on my post on Q Cards a couple weeks back made me think some more about phone cards.  Phone cards are (or were) cards that allowed the holder to pay for phone calls.  Their heyday as collectibles was probably in the early 90's - companies would put pictures of players on the cards to increase their marketability.  I think there were some issued in the US but I don't really know how big of a deal they were.  I've seen a bunch from Japan - not sure of when they came out but I'm guess late 1980's to mid 1990's.  They do not appear in Gary Engel's Checklist and Price Guide.

I only have a couple, these two of Koji Akiyama and Shinji Sasaoka:

Again, I'm not sure when these came out.  Sasaoka set the 17 consecutive save record in his rookie season of 1990 and Akiyama had left the Lions following the 1993 season, so the Sasaoka card must be post 1990 and the Akiyama might be pre-1994.

I have one other phone card that celebrates the Giants Central League pennant in 1996.  It came in a cool little folder that unfortunately didn't scan very well.  Here's the front of the folder:

(The silver lettering and vertical edges look more black in the scan than silver, making the text next to impossible to read)

And the inside of the folder, including the phone card in it's holder:

The cards I have were all manufactured by Teleca.  I don't know if this is the same Teleca that made cards for the Korean league in 1999-2000.  I also don't know if anyone else made the cards.

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