Friday, November 17, 2017

2017 Topps Now WBC Japan Team Set

With the year almost over it's pretty obvious now that Topps is not going to do anything more in the way of a World Baseball Classic set than what they issued back in March via Topps Now.  They ultimately issued 64 Topps Now WBC cards.  In addition, they issued four ten card team sets, one for each one of the teams that made the finals - Japan, USA, Puerto Rico and the Kingdom Of The Netherlands.  Each of these team sets cost $35 and were basically only available during the week of the semifinals and finals.

I had made the mistake of not ordering the Japan team set at the time because I mistakenly thought that Topps would issue a half way decent WBC set later in the season.  This has turned out not to be the case and so I've been trying to get one of these sets for the last few months. 

It has not been easy - there were only 143 sets issued.  I've only seen two complete sets up on Ebay - one is listed at $150 and the other is listed at $200.  I had picked up half the cards in the set from a seller in China but I way overpaid for them and I haven't seen the other five cards anywhere.  I had kind of resigned myself to not ever completing the set when I happened to search for WBC card on Yahoo! Japan Auctions and discovered someone selling the set for 6000 yen or roughly $55.  I was all set to grab the set via Noppin when I realized that the seller was an outfit called Good Eye Sports who is located in the New York City area.  It seemed kind of crazy to me to pay to ship the set from New York to Japan and then back from Japan to Maryland so I'd kind of decided not try to get the set when it occurred to me that the solution was to get Ryan to buy it and have them ship it directly to me.  Luckily for me Ryan was willing to do it and Good Eye Sports not only was willing to ship it directly to me but they didn't charge for the shipping!

The players in the set are essentially the main lineup for the team plus pitcher Shintaro Fujinami.  Fujinami is an odd selection since he only pitched two innings in the WBC but I'm sure Topps was selecting who they thought the most likely future MLB player was on the pitching staff.  The position players were all the players who got the most at bats during the tournament with the exception of Seiya Suzuki - Shogo Akiyama was included instead.

The set itself is beautiful.  Here's all ten cards:










My only gripe about the cards is that the backs are almost all identical.  There's no biographical information for the player.  All there is is pretty much the same text on each card: "[Player Name] helped Team Japan to a 6-0 record and a semifinal berth as [description of position].  Team Japan was defeated by Team USA in the semifinals, ending its quest to capture its third World Baseball Classic tournament title since its inception in 2006". 

So once again I need to thank Ryan for helping me out!  Thanks!


Fuji said...

I thought $35 was too much at the time. No way I'm paying the current prices. Although these are cool, my Japanese PC will have to live on without these.

Unknown said...

Huge thanks for you hard work and posts! I read every one of them and know you spend a lot of time and effort.

Scott Kaneko

SumoMenkoMan said...

Nice snag for sure! It’s crazy the price on these sets and glad you picked one up for a lot cheaper!

NPB Card Guy said...

Thanks for the comments guys! I'm sorry that they didn't post until today - for whatever reason I didn't get the notifications that you had left comments and I was away for the weekend so I didn't see them.