Friday, July 22, 2016

2016 Calbee Series Two

The latest Calbee release (and the second Series for the season) was released a couple weeks ago and I got my copy in the mail the other day.  I'd mentioned in my write-up for Series One that it was the smallest Calbee Series set in recent memory - at 88 cards the new Series is actually six cards smaller.

Like Series One, Series Two features 72 "regular" player cards (split evenly among the 12 teams so there's six cards per team).  Unlike Series One, which had a checklist largely bereft of the top players from NPB, this set is chock full of stars.  Shohei Ohtani, Yuki Yanagita, Tetsuto Yamada, Shogo Akiyama, Hayato Sakamoto, Shintaro Fujinami and Yasuaki Yamasaki are all in the set.  The set also features a number of rookies including Eigoro Mogi of the Eagles and Juri Hara of the Swallows.  It doesn't look like there's any duplication in the player cards with the ones in Series One.

Following this year's format established in Series One, there's no English on the cards - the player's names are only in kanji.  Following the tradition of Calbee cards, the photography is outstanding:

#073 Nobuhiro Matsuda

#082 Shohei Ohtani

#086 Takashi Ogino

#103 Yuki Matsui

#109 Tetsuto Yamada

#128 Yoshihiro Maru

#141 Yasutaka Tobashira
The remaining cards in the set are in two subsets (or non-premium insert sets).  The first one is a 12 card subset entitled "First Win" that celebrates the first win for each team this year.  Most (nine of them) feature the starting pitcher for the winning team - Shota Takeda, Kohei Arihara, Hideaki Wakui, Brandon Dickson, Takahiro Norimoto, Yoshihisa Naruse, Hiroki Kuroda, Yudai Ohno and Shoichi Inoh.  The exceptions are the Lions card which has Ernesto Mejia who had the game winning hit and the cards for the Giants and Tigers which feature their managers (Yoshinobu Takahashi and Tomoaki Kanemoto) who were getting their first wins.  These cards also do not have any English on them:

#FW-09 Tomoaki Kanemoto
The other subset is the standard four card Checklist subset (numbered C-5 to C-8).  These cards feature events from the first week of the season - Seiya "Aja" Inoue of the Marines on 3/25, Shun Takayama of the Tigers on 3/26, Ernesto Mejia of the Lions on 3/25 and Hiroki Yokoyama of the Carp on 3/30.  All but the last one are scenes from the respective team's card from the "First Win" subset and obviously Mejia is featured in both subsets (these don't have any English on them either but that's not unusual):

All the cards can be seen at Jambalaya (as usual).

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