Topps Series Two was released last week. It includes the first World Baseball Classic set for 2013 - a 15 card insert set. I picked one up on eBay the other day and I just got it in the mail. I was kind of worried about a set that small and my fears were confirmed - no Japanese players in the set. In fact, none of the eight teams that played in the Far East for the first two rounds (Japan, China, Taipei, Cuba, Brazil, Australia, Korea or the Netherlands) are represented in the set. Only seven team made the cut - Canada (Justin Morneau and Joey Votto), Dominican Republic (Robinson Cano, Hanley Ramirez and Jose Reyes), Italy (Anthony Rizzo), Mexico (Adrian Gonzalez), Puerto Rico (Carlos Beltran), USA (Ryan Braun, Joe Mauer, Giancarlo Stanton and David Wright) and Venezuela (Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Gonzalez and Pablo Sandoval). (In case you're wondering, Spain is the only team that played in the first two rounds in the Western Hemisphere that isn't represented in the set.) I guess Topps pretty much decided to go with established major leaguers in the set.
I know the preliminary checklist for Topps' other World Baseball Classic set (Topps Tribute WBC Edition) includes 15 Japanese players. That set will be out this week. It remains to be seen if the base set will be reasonably priced - the inclusion of jersey and autograph cards and all sorts of parallel issues is driving the price of the unopened packs and boxes ridiculously high.
I'm holding out hope that Konami's going to do a set similar to their 2009 set but I haven't seen anything about it yet.
Any word on a Japanese WBC set this year?
Nothing so far
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