Friday, March 1, 2013

2009 Konami World Baseball Classic

With this year's World Baseball Classic kicking off in a couple hours, I wanted to finally wrap up my discussion of the cards for the 2009 Classic.  I finally completed my 2009 Konami WBC set in the last month or so.  This was a 253 card set featuring 253 individual players for all 16 teams, including all the players on the rosters for the semi-finals and finals for the four teams that made it that far - Japan, Korea, the United States and Venezuela.  Each of the twelve teams that didn't make it to the final round had 12 cards in the set with the exception of Panama, which had only eight.  Japan had 29 players (including all eight players who did not appear in any of Topps' sets) and the other three of the final four had 28 cards each.

I was kind of surprised to discover that despite having many more players represented in their set than Topps did in all of theirs, Topps actually had cards of guys who didn't make it into the Konami set.  Some of that was because Konami apparently made a decision to only show cards of people who actually played in the Classic, so for example, Alex Rodriguez doesn't appear in the set while he had at least three cards in the Topps sets.  (In fairness to Topps, a couple of their sets were released prior to the Classic starting so it was unclear who was actually going to make the teams.)  Another guy who doesn't show up in Konami's set was Dustin Pedroia, who got injured during the Classic and was replaced by Brian Roberts (who is in the set).  But there's a bunch of guys like Yadier Molina, Carlos Lee and Pedro Martinez that for whatever reason don't appear in Konami's set.

Here's some example cards.  The pictures are pretty much all action shots taken during the Classic:









In addition to the regular cards, Konami also did two 12 card insert sets.  One is an All Tournament Team that includes Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hisashi Iwakuma and Norichika Aoki.  The other is simply called "Special Cards" and features Ichiro, Yu Darvish and Shuichi Murata.  I have not picked them up as the regular set was pricey enough.

Konami is a sponsor for the 2013 World Baseball Classic, so I suspect that they will be doing another card set this year.


Ryan G said...

I've thought about this set because they have singles at the Ikebukuro Mint location, but given the size of the set I don't think I'll be able to put it together - time and money just won't be on my side with this one unless I started with a large portion of the set. It's pretty cool though and I can't help eyeing the small box of them every time I go in the store.

NPB Card Guy said...

it took me a long time to decide I really wanted to invest the money in completing this. It helped that the guy I buy cards from had them for sale by team so I could piece it together that way rather than by individual card.

Unknown said...


NPB Card Guy said...

They should all be in the Inventory Manager over at You'll need to register and log into your account before you can search their database. Jason Presley has done an amazing job adding Japanese and other foreign sets to their database.

Marty said...

Hi, I am looking for the team Canada players from this set. Cards 13 through 24.
Does someone know where I could find them?

Thanks, Marty

NPB Card Guy said...

If you can't find them on Ebay, you might try using a proxy service like kuboTEN to bid on them on Yahoo Japan Auctions (assuming you can find them there).

Ryan G said...

I've seen team sets on Yahoo Auctions for some teams, but I don't remember seeing Canada. A full set will set you back about $200; these cards are incredibly difficult to find now. I keep hoping a huge lot pops up in an auction.