Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2014 In Review - Calbee

Calbee once again released their cards in three Series this year.  Each Series contained 100 cards in the base set.  84 of these cards were player cards (7 per team), 4 of them were checklist cards and the remaining 12 cards were one or more subsets (or non-premium insert sets).  Each Series was also accompanied by a 24 card insert set entitled "Star" (and there were gold signature parallel versions of these cards available as well).  Each Series also some items that were only available if you pulled some sort of redemption card from a pack - a box set and a pair of "lucky cards" (that used lenticular or 3-D technology).

Series One was released in late March.  It contained four subsets besides the checklist cards, all dealing with events from the end of the 2013 season.  There was a three card "Legend" subset that commemorated the retirements of Shinjiro Hiyama, Tomonori Maeda and Shinya Miyamoto.  There were two cards for the 2013 league champions (the Eagles and the Giants), four cards for the Climax Series (one for each Stage in each league) and three cards for the 2013 Nippon Series.  The box set was a 19 card "Title Holders" set that commemorated league leaders and award winners from the 2013 season (including Masahiro Tanaka).  The pair of "lucky cards" were for the two 2013 Rookies Of The Year - Takahiro Norimoto and Yasuhiro Ogawa.

Series Two came out in mid-June.  It had one subset (other than the checklist cards) - a 12 card (one for each team) "Opening Game Starting Pitcher" subset.  The redemption box set was "AVG Leaders" featuring a top batter from each of the 12 teams and the "lucky cards" were for Sho Nakata and Shinnosuke Abe.

The last series, Series Three, was released in September.  It also had only one subset other than the checklist cards - 12 "Clutch Hitters" showing a hitter from each team.  The redemption box set was called something like "Guardian" and included the closer from each team.  The "lucky cards" were Yuki Nishi and Tomoyuki Sugano.

The theme of the checklist cards this year was back to being highlights.  Series One had highlights from late 2013 while the other two had highlights from the 2014 season.

There were 252 player cards in the full set (encompassing all three Series) but the number of individual players is much less than that as several players have "regular" cards in more than one Series - including five players (Hayato Sakamoto, Sho Aranami, Yoshio Itoi, Kenta Maeda and Takeshi Toritani) who appear in all three.  Several players only appear in a subset and not on a regular card - oddly enough Hisayoshi Chono has done this for two consecutive years now.

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