Saturday, July 28, 2012

2012 Calbee Series Two

Got the 2012 Calbee Series Two set in the mail the other day.  This set is (obviously) a continuation of the Series One set.  There are 72 "regular" player cards in the set (six per team) that are numbered 74-145, following cards 1-73 in Series One.  I don't have a lot to say about the player cards - they're the same design that Calbee's been using for the last 12 years or so and the photography is the usual high quality.  I was a little amused to discover that there are nine players (one eighth of the set) that did not appear in BBM's 1st Version set but do appear in this set - I'd be willing to bet that Calbee deliberately included players that BBM left out.  The players appearing in this set but not BBM's are Masa Yamamoto (Dragons), Shinji Takahashi (Buffaloes), Ming-Chieh Hsu (Buffaloes), Shigenobu Shima (Lions), Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi (Eagles), Takayuki Kaitani (Baystars), Yuki Kuniyoshi (Baystars), Toshiki Kurobane (Baystars) and Ryosuke Miyaguni (Giants).  Here's a couple sample cards:




Calbee continued their 40th Anniversary "Memorial Card" subset in Series Two.  There are 12 cards in this subset that are reprints of cards from Calbee's past.  I'm not positive, but I think the players shown are all coaches with the current 12 teams (and each team is represented with one card).  The cards are again numbered in continuation of the subset from Series One.

Unlike the Series One "Memorial Cards", I have the originals of a couple of the cards reproduced here, so we can see what Calbee did to adjust the card size to match the size of today's cards.

M-18 (Koichi Tabuchi)

1975/76 Calbee #329

#M-19 (Yoshihiko Takahashi)

1980 Calbee #73
The appearances of the cards here are a little misleading - the 2012 cards are larger than either of the original cards.  For the Tabuchi card, it looks like they simply expanded the image a little and extended the top border to make it fit.  For the Takahashi card, it loks like they cropped it and blew it up a little.

Series Two does feature one subset that is all its own - a 12 card one featuring all of this season's Opening Day starting pitchers.

Finally, the Series Two set also includes four checklist cards (numbered C-5 to C-8 to continue the numbering from Series One).  These cards feature candid shots from the season so far - Lions pitcher Takayuki Kishi in action (on the day he got his first win of the year), Toshiya Sugiuchi celebrating his first victory as a Giant with the Giabbit, Buffaloes pitcher Hiroshi Kisanuki (who BTW is also not in BBM's 1st Version set) celebrating his four hit shutout of the Eagles, and Kyuji Fujikawa being congratulated by Tigers manager Yutaka Wada after saving the Tiger's first win of the season (and Wada's first ever win as manager).  Here's that last one:

All the cards can be seen here.

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