Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 In Review - Calbee

Continuing the review of the 2015 Japanese card releases...

As has been standard since 2002, Calbee released their cards in three Series this year.  There were 103 cards in Series One, 100 cards in Series Two and 88 cards in Series Three for a total of 291 cards.  As always, 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 had a box set that was available if you pulled a "lucky" card from a pack and Series One and Two had a "lenticular" card available via the same means.

Series One was released in March.  There were 84 player cards (7 per team) in the Series plus 19 cards in three subsets/non-premium insert sets.  There was a 12 card "Exciting Scene" subset that highlighted a significant event for each team in 2014, a three card "Legend" subset that commemorated the retirements of Tomoya Satozaki, Atsunori Inaba and Makoto Kaneko and four checklist cards that showed scenes from the late season and post season from 2014.  The redemption box set was "Title Holders" which showcased 24 players who lead their respective league in some category or won an award in 2014.  Note that despite the set having a multiple of 12 cards, each team does not necessarily have the same number of cards in the set.  The lenticular card available for redeeming the "lucky" card was for Tomoyuki Sugano, 2014 CL MVP.

Calbee released Series Two three months later in June.  Like Series One, there were 84 player cards in the Series.  There were only 16 subset or non-premium insert cards in the Series however - the managers for each team were the subjects of the 12 card "Manager" subset (which I suppose is somewhat obvious) and the four ubiquitous checklist cards showed scenes from early in the 2015 season.  The associated 12 card box set was called "Wins Leader" and showcased a starting pitcher for each team (possible each team's wins leader from 2014 put I don't know that for certain).  The "lucky" redemption card was for the other 2014 MVP winner Chihiro Kaneko.

Series Three came out in September.  This set only had 72 player cards (six per team) along with 12 additional "Exciting Scene" subset cards the highlighted a significant event for each team THIS year as well as the four checklist cards (that again commemorated events from the 2015 season).  The associated 12 card box set was "Career Hits Leaders" which included the player with the most career hits for each of the NPB teams, regardless of whether or not all those hits were accumulated with his current team.  There does not appear to have been a lenticular card available with this Series.

There were a total of 240 player cards throughout the three Series.  While there was no overlap of players between the first two Series, 40 players in Series Three had had cards in one of the previous Series.  So the total number of unique players on the player cards is 200.  There are also 10 players who appear in one of the "Exciting Scene" subsets but don't have a player card - Ikuhiro Kiyota, Masahiro Yamamoto, Hiroki Kuroda, Rainel Rosario, Masahiro Nishino, Tomoya Mori, Tony Barnette, Yasuaki Yamasaki, Takahiro Suzuki and Hayato Takagi.

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