The latest issue of Sports Card Magazine is out and, as usual, features some morsels of useful information that can be deciphered by non-Japanese readers like myself.
I have to say that this time I'm not completely sure what the main article in the color section of the magazine is about. It appears to be a list of the top 37 BBM cards over the past 25 years. Number one is the 1997 Diamond Heroes Hideki Matsui jersey card, followed by Ichiro Suzuki's Game Used Bat card from the 2000 set and his (Ichiro's) 1993 rookie card. The remaining cards on the list include various autographed and memorabilia cards, including ones from sports other than baseball. I think it was some sort of poll as there are ties for some of the spots on the list (the reason for such an odd number for a "top" list is that there were 10 items tied for 28th on the list). But what's odd is that some of the spots list a card but don't show it - they just say "Wanted!" instead. There's also a list of what I think is the top 11 unopened boxes (four items tied for number 8 which is again why there's an odd number) and a group of cards that I think are some sort of honorable mention. I'd be interested in knowing what the deal is with this section - I really need to learn Japanese one of these days...
Their list of "Best Cards" for the issue is:
Best Card Of This Month: 2015 BBM Carp Hiroki Kuroda autograph card
Best Item Of This Month: 2015 BBM Classic
Hot Card Lists
1. 2015 BBM 1st Version Kazuma Okamoto (#186)
2. 2013 BBM 1st Version Shohei Ohtani (#183)
3. 2015 BBM 1st Version Hayato Takagi (#188)
4. 2015 BBM 1st Version Shun Lin Haru (#111)
5. 2015 BBM 1st Version Takayoshi Noma (#237)
6. 2015 BBM 1st Version Kona Takahashi (#131)
7. 2015 BBM 1st Version Tomohiro Anaraku (#156)
8. 2015 BBM 1st Version Yasuaki Yamasaki (#291)
9. 2015 BBM 1st Version Daiki Osama (#075)
10. 1993 BBM Ichiro Suzuki (#239)
Autograph & Memorabilia:
1. 2015 BBM Carp Hiroki Kuroda autograph card
2. 2015 BBM Fighters Shohei Ohtani autograph card
3. 2015 BBM 1st Version Shohei Ohtani autograph card
4. 2015 Epoch Tigers Nippon Champions 1985 Randy Bass, Masayuki Kakefu & Akinobu Okada autograph card
5. 2000 BBM 20th Century Best 9 Katsuya Nomura autograph card (2015 BBM Classic buyback)
6. 1993 BBM Kazuhiro Sasaki autograph card (2015 BBM Classic buyback)
7. 2015 BBM Hawks Daisuke Matsuzaka autograph card
8. 2015 BBM Dragons Michihiro Ogasawara autograph card
9. 2015 BBM Dancing Heroine - Hana Luna autograph card
10. 2015 BBM Dancing Heroine - Hana Rina Fujii autograph card
The color section also includes the usual several pages of ads of new releases. The big one is the two page spread for 2nd Version which comes out in about a week. There is also a two page spread for the new J-League set. There are single page ads for the new Lions and Giants sets that came out a few weeks back as well as the Dancing Heroine - Mai set that came out last week. There are half page ads for the four team based boxed sets that are coming soon from BBM - Hawks & Dragons "Autographed Editions" and Carp and Tigers "Authentic Editions".
The "newsprint" section of the magazine features an article that looks like it's highlighting the insert sets in all 12 of BBM's team sets from this year. There's also what looks like a comparison of breaks of boxes of Classic by four different collectors - looks like each of them pulled an autographed card (although only one was a "buyback") and two insert cards.
The "New Card List" section lists all the sets that were featured in the ads in the color section. The old card checklist and price guide lists non-BBM baseball issues including Calbee (all the way back to 1973 except for 1977-79), Lotte, Tomy, and Upper Deck.
I really liked the insert cards with this issue of the magazine - they are all "bonus" cards for the 12 BBM team sets. Some of them are "regular" cards of players who were not included with the original set either because they were late signing foreign players (Wily Mo Pena of the Eagles, Nate Schierholtz of the Carp, Nelson Perez of the Tigers), players promoted from ikusei (Yoshiki Sunada of the Baystars) or even the rare mid-season traded player (Kenji Yano of the Fighters). There were other cards that were just additional cards for subsets (Shota Takeda for the "Super Hawks" subset, Masahiro Nishino for the "Horn Attack" subset in the Buffaloes set, Motonobu Tanishige for the "Record Holder" subset in the Dragons set, Ikuhiro Kiyota for the "Prime Time" subset for the Marines set and a combination card for Tomoya Mori, Hideto Asamura and Takeya Nakamura in the Lions set. Then there's the Mitch Dening card for the Swallows set that combines both a new subset card (Gold Version Shining Swallows) with a late signing foreign player. The final card features Miles Mikolas of the Giants with his wife Lauren who apparently has been attracting a lot of attention in the Japanese press. Each card is numbered as card #82 in whichever team set it is a bonus card for along with its SCM number.