1999 Calbee Series Four Gold Signature ParallelI picked this up at G-Freak as part of the trade I made with the store owner. In 1999 and 2000, Calbee produced a gold signature parallel version. The complete parallel version of each Calbee series was available in a box that could be obtained through some sort of mail order premium (I think there was some sort of "winner" card randomly inserted in the packs). The box I got was for the fourth series of the 1999 Calbee set (#217 to #270), which included the All Star subset (#252 to #270). I actually didn't end up with a complete series - the box I got was missing four cards - all members of the Chiba Lotte Marines. Given that the set included cards of Ichiro and Hideki Matsui, I didn't think it was that big of deal that it was missing Tomohiro Kuroki. Here's the box and some sample cards:
2005 BBM Tigers 70th Anniversary
I picked this set up at Mint Kanda for 1000 yen. I had opened a couple packs of it back when it had come out but I decided that I'd buy the complete set if I could find it at a reasonable price. 1000 yen was extremely reasonable.
The set was the first to really establish the "standard pattern" for BBM's team anniversary sets. It''s the now standard 99 cards (the 2004 Giants 70th Anniversary set was 104 cards). The first seven cards in the set are "team history" cards featuring some significant events in team history. There are 65 cards of OB players and 24 cards of "current" (2005) Tigers players (including then manager Akinobu Okada). There are also three "Memorial Shot" cards that each feature two of the following players - Yutaka Enatsu, Minoru Murayama and Koichi Tabuchi. The OB players include who you'd expect - Enatsu, Murayama, Tabuchi, Randy Bass, Yoshio Yoshida, Masayuki Kakefu, etc. I haven't noticed anyone obviously missing. As is kind of standard for BBM's OB sets, the player selection is heavy on guys from the 1960's and later.
Here's a couple example cards:
2011 Epoch All Japan Baseball Foundation 1987 parallel set
I was not a fan of the set Epoch put out for the All Japan Baseball Foundation in 2011 that featured the year 1987. I thought the player selection was kind of poor and I just wasn't terribly impressed with the set (it was one of the things that made me stop buying the AJBF sets). I was intrigued, however, when Ryan mentioned last fall that there was a parallel issue to the set that looked like Calbee cards from 1987. I decided that if I saw some of them, I'd pick them up.
Well, at Quad Sports, the very first card shop I went to in Japan, I saw that they had the entire parallel set available for 2500 yen. I was pretty excited to finally be in a store where I could find Japanese baseball cards so I kind of got caught up in the moment and bought it. In retrospect, I think I overpaid for it. Don't get me wrong - it's a cool little set. I just think I paid too much for it.
The regular set contains 59 cards, of which 48 are player cards. The parallel set features 50 cards - one for each of the 48 player cards plus parallel versions of the "1987 Highlight" cards of the pennant winning managers Sadaharu Oh and Masaaki Mori. The pictures on the parallel cards are identical to the ones on the original cards (which is obvious I guess - otherwise they wouldn't be a parallel then, would they?). The backs are completely different and vaguely Calbee-ish. There are two different versions - blue backs and brown backs. I have the blue backs. Ryan says that he thinks the blue backs are more rare but I don't know if that's really the case.
Ryan also shows that there were similar parallel issues for Epoch's 1977 set as well. I didn't see any of those while I was in Japan.
You can see many of the 1987 parallels here. Here's an example showing Hideo Furuya's regular and parallel cards as well as an actual 1987 Calbee card of him:
Since the scans get resized when they get displayed, it's not immediately obvious that the parallel is exactly the same size as the Calbee card and both are somewhat smaller than the regular card.