Sunday, February 26, 2017

2016 BBM Carp Autographed Edition

For the second time in less than a year, I've had a seller on Yahoo! Japan Auctions include a bonus card set with the set I purchased from them.  Last summer a seller included the base set for the 2016 BBM Fighters Autographed Edition set with the Classic set and just this month a seller (not sure if it was the same one or not) included the base set for the 2016 BBM Carp Autographed Edition set with my Rookie Edition set.

Like the Fighters set, the Carp set contains 27 cards, all with a gold facsimile autograph.  The players included are pretty much everyone you'd expect from the Carp - Hiroki Kuroda, Seiya Suzuki, Takahiro Aria, Kris Johnson, Ryosuke Kikuchi, Yusuke Nomura, etc.  I was a little surprised Daichi Ohsera wasn't included but there's not anyone else I really felt was missing.

The cards are fairly attractive although I prefer full bleed photos.  I'll voice my usual complaint that the photo selection is pretty uninspired - all batters batting and pitchers pitching.  Here's some examples:




You can see all the cards here.

I pretty much feel the same way towards this set that I felt towards the Fighters set last summer - it's a nice little set (especially when it doesn't cost me anything) but I'm still not compelled to pick up the smaller team box sets instead of the larger pack-based team sets.  But I will try to remember to use that seller again...

Card Of The Week February 26

It's a bit of old news now but the Brisbane Bandits swept the Melbourne Aces two games to none to win the Australian Baseball League championship for the 2016-17 season.  The Bandits won their second consecutive Claxton Shield under the leadership of former Milwaukee Brewer Dave Nilsson.  Nilsson spent one season in Japan, playing for the Chunichi Dragons in 2000.  It's kind of interesting why Nilsson ended in Japan that season - the 2000 Olympics were being held in Sydney, Australia and Nilsson wanted to be able to play for his nation's team when they were hosting the event.  While MLB teams were not willing him to let him leave the team during the season to do so, the Dragons were.  He had some injury issues and generally had a poor season with the Dragons, hitting only .180 in 18 games with the ichi-gun Dragons but he ended up leading all batters with a .565 average in the Olympics themselves.

Here's a 2000 Calbee card of Nilsson (whose registered name in NPB was "Dingo") from the "New Face" subset (#N-10):

I used Nilsson's page on SABR's Biography Project for some of the information in this post.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

2017 BBM Rookie Edition

BBM's annual Rookie Edition set, which features the players taken by the NPB teams in the previous fall's draft, hit the stores about 10 days ago.  Through the magic of Yahoo! Japan Auctions, Noppin and EMS, my set arrived at my door this afternoon.

The set contains 126 cards.  114 of these cards picture last October's draft class with the exception of Fighters sixth round draft pick Yujiro Yamaguchi, who did not sign with the team.  This includes hte players taken in both the regular draft and the ikusei draft.  Those taken in the regular draft will have cards in the upcoming 1st Version set and the appropriate team set.  Those taken in the ikusei draft may never appear on another baseball card.  The other 12 cards are a subset called "Early Days" and feature OB players (one for each team) when they either were drafted or in their rookie season.  The players don't appear to have been chosen for any reason other than they could sign autographs to be available as chase cards with the set.

I don't know much about any of the draftees other than three of them were with the Shikoku Island League All Star team that played in the Can-Am League last summer - Yusuke Kinoshita (Dragons, ikusei round 1), Shungo Fukunaga (Tigers, round 6) and Yusuke Matsuzawa (Giants, ikusei round 8).  Jen_Lei Liao (Giants, 7th round) spent two seasons in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.

I have long ago run out of anything particularly interesting to say about BBM's Rookie Edition sets.  They pretty much are what they are.  I will make my annual comment that it would be a much more interesting set if the players were depicted in their high school/college/industrial league/indy minor league team uniforms rather than a posed shot wearing their drafting team's jersey.

Here's some sample cards:





Ryan did a write up on this set the other day which goes into some details on the parallel, inserts and memorabilia cards available for it.  All the cards can be seen at Jambalaya.

Other NPB Players On WBC Rosters

I thought I'd do a quick post rounding up the current and former NPB players on the rosters of the other (non-Japan) teams for this year's World Baseball Classic.  According to the list on YakyuDB there are 11 current NPB players playing on various WBC teams.  I found another 13 former NPB players on the rosters although it would not surprise me to discover that I missed some.


Travis Blackley (Eagles, 2014)

2014 BBM 1st Version #003
Mitch Dening (Swallows, 2015)

2015 BBM 2nd Version #372
Chris Oxspring (Tigers, 2006)

2006 BBM 1st Version #229


Scott Mathieson (Giants, 2012- )

2016 BBM 1st Version #193

Chinses Taipei (Taiwan)

Kuan-Yu Chen (Baystars 2014 Marines 2015-)

2016 BBM 1st Version #063
Shun-Lin Kaku (aka Chun-Lin Kuo) (Lions 2015-)

2016 BBM 2nd Version #428


Frederich Cepeda (Giants 2014-15)

2014 BBM 2nd Version #428
Alfredo Despaigne (Marines 2014-16, Hawks 2017-)

2016 BBM 1st Version #073


Alessandro (Alex) Maestri (Buffaloes 2012-15)

2014 BBM 1st Version #116
Guillermo Moscoso (Baystars 2014-16)

2016 BBM 2nd Version #581


Tae-Kyun Kim (Marines 2010-11)

2010 BBM 1st Version #388
Dae-Ho Lee (Buffaloes 2012-13, Hawks 2014-15)

2012 BBM 1st Version #094
Chong-Yong Lim (Swallows 2008-2012)

2008 BBM 1st Version #182
Seung-Hwan Oh (Tigers 2014-15)

2014 BBM 1st Version #195
Dae-Eun Rhee (Marines 2015-16)

2015 BBM 1st Version #090


Japhet Amador (Eagles 2016-)

2016 BBM 1st Version #152
Luis Cruz (Marines 2014-15, Giants 2016-)

2016 BBM 1st Version #203
Brandon Laird (Fighters 2015-)

2016 BBM 1st Version #041
Luis Mendoza (Fighters 2014-)

2016 BBM 1st Version #030

The Netherlands

Wladimir Balentien (Swallows 2011-)

2016 BBM 1st Version #181
Rick Van Den Hurk (Hawks 2015-)

2016 BBM 1st Version #007
Loek Van Mil (Eagles 2014)

2014 BBM 2nd Version #410

Puerto Rico

Orlando Roman (Swallows 2012-15)

2012 BBM 1st Version #201


Robert Suarez (Hawks 2016-)

2016 BBM 1st Version #012

Friday, February 24, 2017

Prestige Collectibles Auction #51

The latest auction from Prestige Collectibles started this past Wednesday.  There's a lot of interesting vintage items up for sale, including bromides depicting touring US stars from the 1930's and college stars from the 1920's along with a number of examples of die-cut menkos from the 1940's including masks and kites.  Items are a bit pricy but a lot of this stuff you won't see anywhere else.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

2017 Flagship Set Announcements

Information on the first of the 2017 "flagship" sets from BBM and Calbee were released in the last week or so.

- Calbee's Series One will be released in late March (the official release date is March 27 but I would expect to see it available a few days earlier).  The base set has 72 player cards (six per team), 23 "Title Holder" cards and four checklist cards so it'll have 99 cards total.  There's also two insert sets - a six card "Legend" set featuring players who retired at the end of last season and the ubiquitous 24 card (2 per team) "Star" set.  There's also a 12 card boxed set called "Clutch Hitters" that is available through some sort of redemption I think.  The set's checklist is available on-line.

- BBM's 1st Version set will be out in early April.  The main details of the set are pretty much the same as they've been the past couple years - there's 372 cards in the base set - 324 cards for the players and managers (27 per team), the 12 team checklist cards (no word on the theme yet but I'd be happily surprised if it wasn't mascots) and a 36 card "cross set subset" - this year's version is called "CROSS SQUALL" and features a rainbow.  One twist this year is that BBM says that each team will have one card that has a photo variant - I don't know how rare these will be or any other details.  There are three insert sets - a 12 card "HyperNOVA" set featuring a rookie or second year player for each team, a 12 card "Rookie Reprint" featuring the reprint of a BBM rookie card for a player on each team and a 12 card "3D CROSS SQUALL" set.  There's also the usual overwhelming collection of parallels and the usual cornucopia of autograph and memorabilia cards.  The base card design looks VERY much like last year's Stadium Club cards from Topps.

- One other set was announced recently.  I had previously mentioned that an outfit called Hits was doing some sort of team based sets of "Trading mini colored paper" for the Hawks and Baystars.  They have just announced a similar set for the Swallows and features eight players, just like the other two did.  I'll repeat what Ryan said about the other two sets since I believe this set follows the same pattern:  "It...seems that the full regular 8-card set will be in each box, along with two gold foil signatures, or one gold foil and one real signature."  The set will be out on April 22.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Samurai Japan World Baseball Classic Roster

I'm a bit late on this but ten days ago the final roster for Samurai Japan's World Baseball Classic team was announced.  After seeing George's post showing off the Korean team and a post on Not Another Baseball Card Blog for the Canadian team, I thought I should do one for the Japanese team.

First up, the "active" pitching staff:

#10 Yuki Matsui, Eagles

2016 Calbee Samurai Japan #SJ-02
 #11 Tomoyuki Sugano, Giants

2016 Calbee Samurai Japan #SJ-03
 #12 Ryo Akiyoshi, Swallows

2016 Calbee Samurai Japan #SJ-04
 #14 Takahiro Norimoto, Eagles

2016 Calbee Samurai Japan #SJ-05
 #15 Naoki Miyanishi, Fighters

2016 BBM Fighters #F12

#17 Shintaro Fujinami, Tigers

2016 BBM 1st Version #221
 #19 Hirotoshi Masui, Fighters

2016 Calbee Samurai Japan #SJ-08
 #20 Ayumu Ishikawa, Marines

2016 BBM 1st Version #057
 #30 Shota Takeda, Hawks

2016 Calbee Samurai Japan #SJ-14
 #34 Toshiya Okada, Dragons

2016 BBM Dragons #D11
 #35 Kazuhisa Makita, Lions

2016 Calbee Samurai Japan #SJ-15
#41 Kodai Senga, Hawks

2016 BBM 2nd Version #337
 #66 Yoshihisa Hirano, Buffaloes

2016 BBM 1st Version #111

Next up the "designated" pitchers pool (no uniform numbers):

Kenta Ishida, Baystars

2016 BBM 1st Version #300
 Yuta Iwasada, Tigers

2016 BBM 2nd Version #361
 Tatsushi Masuda, Lions

2016 BBM 1st Version #084
 Masahiko Morifuku, Giants

2016 BBM 2nd Version #374
 Yusuke Nomura, Carp

2016 BBM 1st Version #248
 Daichi Ohsera, Carp

2016 BBM 1st Version #246
 Hirokazu Sawamura, Giants

2016 Calbee Samurai Japan #SJ-06
Yasuaki Yamasaki, Baystars

2016 Calbee Samurai Japan #SJ-11
The catchers:

#22 Seiji Kobayashi, Giants

2016 BBM 1st Version #200
 #27 Shota Ohno, Fighters

2016 BBM 1st Version #038
 #37 Motohiro Shima, Eagles

2016 Calbee Samurai Japan #SJ-19
The infielders:

#3 Nobuhiro Matsuda, Hawks

2016 Calbee Samurai Japan #SJ-22
#4 Ryosuke Kikuchi, Carp

2016 Calbee Samurai Japan #SJ-23
 #6 Hayato Sakamoto, Giants

2016 Calbee Samurai Japan #SJ-25
 #13 Sho Nakata, Fighters

2016 Calbee Samurai Japan #SJ-27
 #23 Tetsuto Yamada, Swallows

2016 Calbee Samurai Japan #SJ-28
The outfielders:

#1 Seiichi Uchikawa, Hawks

2009 Konami WBC Heroes #W09R110
 #7 Norichika Aoki, Astros

2009 Konami WBC Heroes #109
 #8 Ryosuke Hirata, Dragons

2016 Calbee Samurai Japan #SJ-33
 #25 Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, Baystars

2016 Calbee Samurai Japan #SJ-35
#51 Seiya Suzuki, Carp

2016 BBM 1st Version #263
 #55 Shogo Akiyama, Lions

2016 Calbee Samurai Japan #SJ-36
I wanted to show the players in their Samurai Japan uniforms if possible.  Just over half the players (18 of 35) appeared in the 2016 Calbee Samurai Japan set so that worked out well.  Only two of the other players had ever played for Team Japan so I used a 2016 card for the rest of them.

The Giants have the most players on the team with 5.  The Carp, Fighters and Hawks each have 4 while the Baystars, Eagles and Lions each have 3 and the Dragons, Swallows and Tigers each have 2.  The Marines and Buffaloes each have only one player on the team and there is only one MLB player on the roster.