Sunday, December 21, 2014

Card Of The Week December 21

2001 was Ichiro Suzuki's first season in the major leagues and Calbee decided to commemorate it by printing up a reprint of one of their first cards of him and including it with their second (of two) series that year.

Ichiro's BBM rookie card was in the 1993 set but Calbee did not include a card of him in either of their regular sets in 1993 and 1994.  It wasn't until late in the 1994 season (which was Ichiro's breakout season) that they hastily added him to a small regional set they did that was only released for a short time in Hokkaido.  The set was originally 36 cards but Calbee added three cards of Ichiro to raise it to a total of 39.  This gets into one of those hair-splitting technical debates about what counts as Ichiro's Calbee rookie card - is it in the 1994 Hokkaido regional set or the 1995 regular set?  The market apparently has already decided which is the more valuable card - SCM #106 (the latest issue to include Calbee prices) lists the three 1994 cards at 7000 yen apiece with his 1995 cards (there are four in the set) at either 3000 yen (for the first series cards) or 5000 yen (for the second series cards).

Here's the front and back of the 2001 Reprint:

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