Tuesday, February 7, 2017

More Memories Of Uniform - Japan National Team Edition

This will be a bit different from all the other uniform posts.  There have been a variety of "Japan National Teams" over the years made up of professionals or amateurs (and in some cases both).  The coverage of these teams on baseball cards has been pretty sporadic at least up until the past 20 years or so.  What I'm going to do is simply show what I've got and not worry about what I know about but don't have cards from (like the 1934 All Nippon team).

The History Of Uniform and the Professional Baseball Uniforms Encyclopedia 1936-2013 both have some coverage of this topic.

There was some sort of team or teams in 1949.  I think the teams were split up between East and West as there's a patch on the left sleeve with an "E" or a "W" on it.  This maybe the uniform worn in the games against the San Francisco Seals during their tour that fall.

~1950 Uncataloged Bromide
The following uniform was apparently worn in 1951, 1953 and 1956.  I assume it was to play against visiting MLB teams but that's just a guess on my part.  HOU indicates that the letters "CBL" appeared on the left sleeve in the 1953 version of the uniform so I guess that means this photo is not from 1953.  I see the numbers "51" and "55" on the back of the card so maybe the photo is from 1951.  That's Masaichi Kaneda standing - not sure who the kneeling player is.

2009 BBM Masaichi Kaneda Ultimate Southpaw #19
Skipping ahead a few years...

The nest Japan National Team I have any cards for is the 2000 Olympic team.  This was the first Olympics to use professionals for baseball and both Upper Deck and Calbee had cards for the team.  There doesn't appear to be a home and away version of the uniform but that may be do to the photo selection.

2001 Calbee Japan National Team #J-05
The 2001 Baseball World Cup uniforms looked a little different and there's definitely a home and away version:

2001 BBM Japan National Team #44

2001 BBM Japan National Team #2
The 2003 Asia Baseball Championship was held in November that year and was a qualifier for the 2004 Olympics.  The uniform design had some slight changes from the 2001 BBWC design.

2003 BBM Japan National Team #07

2003 BBM Japan National Team #21
 This was the same uniform worn in the 2004 Olympics although there were no cards made for that team (at least none that I'm aware of).

The 2006 World Baseball Classic team rolled out a completely different look:

2006 Upper Deck WBC Box Set #33

2006 Upper Deck SP Authentic Future Watch #WBC-60
The 2007 Collegiate All-Star team wore a different uniform as well:

2008 Upper Deck USA National Teams Box Set #JN-17
For the 2008 Olympics, the National team went back to the same (or very similar) uniforms as were worn in the 2004 Olympics:

2008 BBM Japan National Team #JPN18

2008 BBM Japan National Team #JPN25
The Collegiate National Team wore similar uniforms that season:

2008 BBM Japan Collegiate National Team #CN02

2008 BBM Japan Collegiate National Team #CN20
The 2009 World Baseball Classic team unveiled yet another new look:

2009 Bowman Draft Picks WBC #BDPW34

2009 Konami Baseball Heroes WBC #W09S001
And then another new look for the 2013 WBC:

2013 Topps Tribute WBC #19

2013 Topps Tribute WBC #82
The 2013 Collegiate National Team wore similar uniforms to those of the WBC team:

2013 Panini USA Baseball Box Set Japanese All-Stars #17
In November 2013 the national team was dubbed "Samurai Japan" and new uniforms were rolled out for all levels of the team both professional and amateur.  This has been the uniform worn for all international events the past few years including friendlies against MLB, Europe, China, the Netherlands and Mexico as well as the Premier 12:

2016 Calbee Samurai Japan #SJ-23

2016 Calbee Samurai Japan #SJ-02
The 2017 World Baseball Classic team will wear uniforms that are very similar to the Samurai Japan uniforms from the past few years.

1 comment:

Fuji said...

I like the look of the 2017 WBC jerseys. If I can ever find them on sale, I'll probably buy one to wear.