Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Shohei Ohtani Rookie Cards

I've been asked a couple times in the past few months what Shohei Ohtani's "best" rookie card is.  I find this a difficult thing to answer as the question of "best" is pretty subjective, as is what actually constitutes a rookie card.  I've decided to not really answer the question - instead I'm going to present a variety of Ohtani cards from his rookie year of 2013 and allow readers to make their own judgements.  (For the most part I'm only listing the "regular" player cards although he had several appearances in subsets in some of BBM's sets that year.)

Ohtani's first card ever was actually an insert in Sports Card Magazine #97 which was released in late January 2013.  It was a promo card for the 2013 BBM Rookie Edition set - I lucked into a silver facsimile autograph parallel of it:

SCM #206
He had two cards in BBM's Rookie Edition set that had the same number - one showed him pitching and the other showed him batting:

2013 BBM Rookie Edition #42

2013 BBM Rookie Edition #42
His first BBM "flagship" set cards were in the 2013 1st and 2nd Version sets.  He had two cards in the 2nd Version set - his regular card and a "Cross Wind" cross set subset card:

2013 BBM 1st Version #183

2013 BBM 2nd Version #554

2013 BBM 2nd Version "Cross Wind" #CW058
He had two cards in the Fighters BBM team set that year, one showing him pitching (#F02a) and one showing him batting (#F02b).  I only have the batting one:

2013 BBM Fighters #F02b
He appeared in a handful of other BBM sets that year - Icons - Hope (#14), Classic (#037), Young Fighters (#YF01), Genesis (#055), Rookie Edition Premium (#RP19 & #RP43) and Fighters 10th Season In Hokkaido (#02).  Here's the three I have from that list:

2013 BBM Classic #037

2013 BBM Young Fighters #YF01

2013 BBM Fighers 10th Season In Hokkaido
He had a number of parallel cards in the sets - I'm not entirely sure what all is available in the different sets as BBM's parallels are somewhat bewildering.  I do have a pretty good sense for what's available in terms of autograph and memorabilia cards for him from BBM's 2013 offerings due to this page from SCM #117:

Assuming that this display is comprehensive, he had autograph cards in the Icons - Hope, 1st and 2nd Version, Fighters, Genesis, Young Fighters, Rookie Edition Premium and Fighters 10th Season In Hokkaido sets.  He has memorabilia cards in the 2nd Version, Genesis and Rookie Edition Premium sets.

He didn't have a "regular" player card in any of the 2013 Calbee sets but he appeared in two subsets - the "Exciting Rookie" subset from Series Two and the "All Stars" subset from Series Three:

2013 Calbee #D-07

2013 Calbee #AS-22
According to The Trading Card Database's listings, he also had a card in the second Owners League set from Bandai that year (#072).


Michael Giordano said...


Your Ohtani's first card ever was actually an insert in Sports Card Magazine #97 which was released in late January 2013. It was a promo card for the 2013 BBM Rookie Edition set - I lucked into a silver facsimile autograph parallel ...

Is that a numbered card? If so, how many are there. Thanks

NPB Card Guy said...

No, it's not serially numbered

Michael Giordano said...

You seem like the expert. What card version of the Sports Card Magazine #97 which was released in late January 2013 is the one numbered to 100 ? Thanks

NPB Card Guy said...

As far as I can tell, none of the parallels for ANY SCM insert card (either signature or kira) were numbered. I haven't seen any in the handful I've actually gotten with the magazine (20+ issues) and I don't see anything for sale on Yahoo! Japan Auctions that appears to be a serially numbered version either. I'm not saying they don't exist but I haven't seen any. Ryan might know more since he gets to actually look at real cards in a store (frequently while looking for old SCM cards for me :-)).

There were serially numbered signature parallels for his Rookie Edition cards - one was up to 100, one was up to 50, one was up to 30 and I'm not sure about the other.

Michael Giordano said...

The one up to 100. Holds what type of dollar value?

NPB Card Guy said...

There's an auction going on on YJA right now that has one selling for 10,000 yen or roughly $100.

Michael Giordano said...


You're my go to expert on ohtani.

What in Japanese card world is more of a valuable type of card. A rookie parraell numbered to 100 or a gold signature numbered to 100? Thanks

NPB Card Guy said...

I would guess the Rookie parallel but I don't know for sure.

Michael Giordano said...

Hi again,

The 013 BBM Rookie Edition set - the silver autograph # to 100 is considered a parallel also? Is all his cards from this set (silver,gold) a facsimile autograph? Thanks again

NPB Card Guy said...

Not sure I understand your question - obviously not all the cards have a facsimile autograph since the ones I show here don't have them. I think the only parallel versions are the facsimile autograph ones.

Michael Giordano said...

Is the Silver 2013 rookie edition numbered to 100 and the gold version numbered to 50 both considered facsimile parallel versions also?

NPB Card Guy said...

All the parallels for the 2013 BBM Rookie Edition cards are facsimile signatures. The silver ones are numbered to 100 and the gold ones are numbered to 50. It looks like each of the first round draft pick cards (which would include Ohtani) have yet another facsimile signature parallel but I'm not quite sure of the details - in the ad for the set in SCM #97 they show both blue and red signature versions but all I see in the text is something that makes me think they are numbered to 30. I don't know if there's both a blue and red version for each of those cards or only a blue OR red version.

There's also a facsimile signature parallel for the "Now & Then" subset cards (each card has two players on it so the parallels actually have two signatures on them). Again there's a red and blue version and one of them is numbered to 50 and the other is numbered to 20 but I don't know for sure which one is which.

NPB Card Guy said...

Just saw that someone has a blue signature version of the "Then & Now" subset card up on Ebay. It's numbered to 20 so I guess the red ones were numbered to 50.

Ryan G said...

I'm finally going to chime in here. As NPB Card Guy said, I'm highly doubtful there are any numbered SCM parallels out there. I am pretty sure I've seen a numbered parallel for some other promo cards, but not SCM.

Based on the May 2016 SCM (the last one I have that has BBM prices for 2013), the rookie parallel for a first version card (base 800 yen) is 10-20x, thus valuing it at 8000-16,000 yen. Silver is 2-4x (1600-3200 yen), Gold is 8-12x (6400-9600 yen), Holo is 10-20x (8000-16,000 yen), Red is 30-50x, and the 1/1 is also 30-50x. Though I would gather that Ohtani's RC carries a bit of a premium off those last multipliers. (Therefore, the rookie parallel is more valuable than the gold signature parallel in theory.)

As for the 2013 Rookie Edition, his base are worth 800 yen each again (there are two - one as a batter and one as a pitcher). There are silver /100, gold /50, red /30, and sky blue parallels. Then and Now #90 is a 100 yen card, with a red /50 and sky blue /20 parallel. He has no actual autographs in that set.

And as NPB Card Guy showed, Ohtani has an autograph in the Icons - Hope set. That is (as far as I know) his first actual autographed card chronologically, limited to 10 copies, and is valued at 180,000 yen. His regular Fighters team set autograph is also limited to 10 copies but "books" at only 150,000 yen.