Deanna Rubin has had a couple of posts about baseball cards lately - one on some Fukubukuro (lucky bags) she bought at a store recently and one on three card subsets from BBM team sets that make a picture when you line them up. The last post also talked about a Draft Story card she got for a Whales pitcher from 1989 named Tadanori Ishii. Turns out we know him better as Baystars infielder Takuro Ishii. Now, according the Japan Baseball Daily's bio of him and Baseball Reference, Tadanori is his real first name and he converted to be an infielder in 1992. Curiously, he signed outside of the draft in 1988, which makes one wonder why he appeared in the Draft Story set. Anyway, here's the earliest card I have of him - his 1993 BBM card (#362):
This is BBM's first card of him. It looks like he has earlier cards in the 1992 Calbee set and the 1990 Takara Whales set. I don't know if the 1992 card shows him pitching and I don't know if either card lists him as Tadanori. I do know that this was the only year he wore uniform number 0. He was 66 prior to this and 5 afterwards.
Since I haven't gotten to mentioning it yet and I keep forgetting to answer email, I went to a Yokohama card store on Monday and asked them very specifically about it. I first said "I'm looking for a card from when Takuro was named Tadanori", and they showed me the Draft Monogatari card, so I said "Nono, I have this one already, I wanted to find one from 15 years ago for real," and they said "Err..." and looked in some books and sure enough, the earliest listed card for him was 1993 BBM and there was no listing for the name Tadanori Ishii.
I'll have to do some more research on it about the other sets. The particular store only had 1991 BBM and I.D. and only 1992 BBM, so. They DID have some Takara game cards but only a scattered few. I'll have to go back to the other stores and look around I guess.
And yeah, I too was wondering -- why the hell is he in the Draft set if he wasn't drafted? But I'm glad he is because this is an interesting story. I better go get some Ryuuji Miyade cards from when he was a pitcher before they erase him from existence too :)
How often do the Japanese companies recycle American card designs (like this 1990 ProSet knockoff)?
The only other cases that come to mind off hand are the 1967 Kabaya-Leaf set (similar to the 1959 Topps design) and a subset in the 1975/76 Calbee set that kinda-sorta looked like the 1975 Topps set. Of course, I hadn't noticed how much the 1993 BBM design looked like the 1990 ProSet design until you pointed it out, so I might not be the best judge...
I suppose you could argue that NST, Yamakazu and many of the Calbee issues were using the 1953 Bowman design, but that's not really a design...
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