I have not been a fan of Epoch's sets with the Japan Baseball Promotion/OB Club/All Japan Baseball Foundation sets from the past few years. Generally I've found their card designs unattractive and their player selection repetitive. So I wasn't real interested when I saw a few months back that they were doing a set dedicated to Shigeo Nagashima. Beyond my feeling towards their past sets, Nagashima's career has been mined a couple of times by BBM in 1999 (the Mr Giants set) and 2001 (a Memorial box set). But after taking a look at the cards on Jamabalaya, I thought it was a pretty nice looking set and asked Ryan to include it in the trade we were doing. (Ryan, by the way, not only did a post a few weeks back on the set just showing off a card but did another post today that shows all the cards.)
The set is a 31 card box set that includes 30 base cards and a potential memorabilia card. Ryan's first post goes into some detail about the possible memorabilia cards so I won't say much about them other than that I got an opened set (as usual) so I didn't get any of them.
The 30 base cards cover Nagashima's career from his debut in 1958 until his retirement as Giants manager in 2001. There's a separate card for each year of his playing career from 1958 to 1974 and eight cards that capture his managerial career (including ones for each Nippon Series and Central League pennant won). There's also cards for his retirement ceremony, his batting stance and number of home runs, the People's Honor Award ceremony last year and an ad for some sort of table top baseball game made by Epoch that he endorsed. The cards are really attractive. The design features an orange number "3" in the middle of the lower edge of the photo which really stands out when the photo is a black and white shot. Here's a couple examples - you can see all of them either at Ryan's post or Jamabalaya:
Even the packaging was pretty attractive. The picture at the top of the post was the outer sleeve around the box containing the cards. The inner box looked like this:
I hope this means that Epoch will be doing more attractive sets in the future.