Sunday, September 18, 2016

Card Of The Week September 18

The Shikoku Island League was the first independent minor league in Japan.  It started up in 2005.  While there's been sets issued for each team over the years (in a similar manner to how US minor league teams issue team sets), BBM has never issued much in the way of cards for the league.  From what I've been able to tell, BBM has only issued three cards for the league - all of which were inserts in Sports Card Magazine.  I just got a package from Ryan yesterday and among the goodies in it were two of these three cards (and I had gotten the other one in a trade last years).

The first two cards were issued in SCM #53 which was published in September of 2005.  The cards are of Masatochi Kakuno of the Tokushima Indigo Socks and Masaki Hiyashi of the Ehime Mandarin Pirates:

SCM #56

SCM #57
I don't know anything about Kakuno but Hayashi led the league in batting that season with a .322 average.  Neither player appears to have ever played in NPB (there was another Masaki Hayashi who played for the Carp from 2001 to 2011).

It's possible that these two cards are promos for a BBM Shikoku Island league set but I've never seen or heard of one.  One the other hand, I had never seen or heard of BBM's cards for the GPBL until Ryan found them last year so maybe there is one.

The other card is from 2009 and features Hideki Irabu.  Irabu has last played professionally with the Hanshin Tigers in 2004.  He appeared in 10 games in 2009 with the Long Beach Armada of the Golden Baseball League before returning to Japan and signing with the Kochi Fighting Dogs and appearing in two games late in the season (I'm not sure when exactly he was with Kochi - Baseball Reference says his last appearance with Long Beach was August 5 and I think Japanese Wikipedia says he pitched with Kochi in September).  This was his final professional appearance.  The card was issued in SCM #77 which I believe was published in late September of 2009 (which is why I'm not convinced that he only pitched for Kochi in September).  The card is in the style of the 2009 BBM 2nd Version set (well, the 1st Version Update subset so it's really the style of the 1st Version set) and has a number of 810 which makes it what I call a "bonus" card for the 2009 BBM sets:

SCM #130


Jason Presley said...

Maybe there is still some hope for BC League cards of Julio Franco and Tuffy Rhodes!

NPB Card Guy said...

Have there been any baseball cards for the BC League? I've never seen any.

Jason Presley said...

No, aside from some oversize cards the Thunderbirds sold for Tuffy Rhodes (which were out of my price range due to all the shipping and whatnot), I've not seen any.