Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Panini USA Baseball Japanese All Stars

I had mentioned a few weeks ago that Panini had included a set of memorabilia cards for the Japanese Collegiate National Team in their new USA Baseball box set that came out in November.  I still haven't found out a lot about the cards - Panini doesn't appear to have a working checklist yet on their website for the set and Sports Card Forum doesn't have anything for it yet either.  I've started trying to build a checklist from what's been up on Ebay - so far I've tracked down 14 cards:

1 - Ryo Miki
3 - Kanji Kawai
4 - Koji Ohshiro
8 - Gen Mizumoto
9? - Shohri Ookido
13 - Daichi Osera
20 - Hiroki Minei
21 - Taiga Egoshi
24 - Ryohei Ishikawa

Cards I've seen but I don't know their numbers - Ryota Sekiya, Ryutero Umeno, Hiromi Oka, Shogo Nakamura and Masataka Yoshida.

Assuming that the team being represented is last summer's Collegiate National Team, there should be 24 cards in all.  Some of the players were drafted last October - once I get a complete list, I'll do a post on who from the team has been drafted.

The cards are autograph cards that are serial numbered to 25 so they're a tad on the rare side.  I don't think there's any other version of the cards - I haven't seen any on Ebay but I can't be sure without useful information from Panini.

I was able to grab one of the Hiroki Minei cards off of Ebay.  Minei attended Asia University in the Tohto League and was drafted in the third round by DeNA.  Here's the front and back of his card:

Deanna included information and pictures of him in her pre-draft post this fall.

I think Panini went to a little more effort than Upper Deck did when they did their Japanese Collegiate National Team cards back in 2008.  Upper Deck didn't bother with any write up or biographical information.  But trying to put a set of these together would be tough and expensive.

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