Thursday, May 24, 2012

2012 Calbee Series One

I have been noticing lately that I don't have a lot of post-2003 Calbee and I've resolved to do something about that.  I traded with Deanna for some 2010 cards last year and I also bought an unopened box of chips.  A couple of months ago, I picked up a several lots of 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010 cards off of kuboTen.  So I figured it would be a good idea to pick up the complete set for this year if I could get it, starting (obviously) with Series One.

Series One contains 112 cards - 73 "regular" player cards, 22 Title Holder cards, 13 "Memorial" cards and four checklist cards.  (There are also 24 "Star" cards which are considered premium insert cards and were not included in the set I got).

The 73 "regular" player cards are really 72 "regular" player cards plus a card of Swallows manager Junji Ogawa which I will discuss more in a minute.  The 72 player cards break down to 6 players per team.  It's hard to complain about player selection in the set since there will be two later Series that will include other players (I actually considered waiting until all three Series were out before reviewing the set).  So it's silly to complain that Matt Murton (for example) isn't in this set when he'll probably be in one of the other Series.  I did find it interesting the difference between the way the two teams that significantly changed their uniforms (the Dragons and Baystars) were treated in the set.  For the Dragons, all the cards show the player's in last year's uniform except the card of Takeshi Yamasaki, who was an Eagle last year.  For the Baystars, however, everyone is shown in the new uniform.  I suspect this is because the Baystars changed ownership and name as well as uniform.

The photography is, as always, outstanding.  Here's a couple examples:




Calbee is celebrating their 40th Anniversary this year with a "Memorial" card subset.  This subset features reproductions of cards through out their history.  Unlike 2002, when they did something similar to celebrate their 30th Anniversary, they've blown up and recropped the image if the original card being reproduced was smaller in size than the current cards.  For Series One, the cards being reproduced are for Shigeo Nagashima, Sadaharu Oh and all the current team managers EXCEPT Junji Ogawa of the Swallows.  I don't know why Ogawa was not included in the Memorial subset - I guess it's possible that there was never a Calbee card for him as a player.  His "regular" player card actually shows a picture of him from his playing days.  Here's the Nagashima card from the Memorial subset (#M-01) - this is a reproduction of card #1 from the 1973 set - the first card from the first Calbee set ever:

The "Title Holder" subset is essentially Calbee's version of BBM's "Leader" subset.  Instead of issuing a card per statistical category like BBM does, Calbee issues a card per player who leads in at least one category.  For example, in this year's BBM 1st Version set, Seiichi Uchikawa has two Leader cards - one for the PL MVP award and one for the PL batting crown.  He only has one card in the Calbee subset (#T-01):

In case you're wondering, the only guys who have cards in BBM's Leader subset who are not in Calbee's Title Holder subset are Koji Akiyama (Shoriki Award) and Takahiro Shiomi (Rookie Special Award).  BBM's Leader subset card for DJ Houlton shows him as member of the Hawks (his 2011 team) while Calbee's Title Holder subset card has him as a Giant (his 2012 team).

The four checklist cards for Series One show scenes from either the 2011 post season or late in the 2011 season - the Hawks celebrating their Nippon Series championship, the Dragons celebrating winning the Central League and the Swallows celebrating advancing in the playoffs and something (not sure what) with the Fighters and Atsunori Inaba from mid-September.  Here's the Dragons' celebration card (card #C-2):

You can see all the cards here (along with the "Star" cards here).

UPDATE - did a little research on YakyuBaka - the Fighters game from the checklist was last September 13 against Lotte.  Inaba hit two home runs in the game, leading Nippon Ham to a 4-0 victory.


Jason Presley said...

Series 1 & 2 (and inserts) have been added to the SCF Inventory Manager.

NPB Card Guy said...

Thanks for keeping that up to date - I was just using it to look up Takuro Ishii