Monday, May 29, 2017

Gail Hopkins

Last weekend's episode of NPR's show "Only A Game" featured a segment on Gail Hopkins, who spent three years in NPB in the mid 1970's.  I thought I'd do a quick summary of what Japanese cards exist for Hopkins.

Hopkins spent his first two Japanese seasons with the Carp in 1975 & 76.  He has a ton of cards in the 1974-75 and 1975-76 Calbee sets - five in the 1974-75 set and 27(!) in the 1975-76 set.  He also had a card in the one of the Broder sets (JA5) from 1975.  He moved to the Nankai Hawks for his final season in 1977 - as far as I can tell he only had one card in 1977 in the Calbee "Osaka Series" set.  From the name of the set I assume that it shows him as a Hawk (since the Hawks played in Osaka at the time).

I only have two of the 33 Calbee cards that were issued for him, both from the 1975-76 set:

1975/76 Calbee #286

1975/76 Calbee #320
I'm not positive but I believe that both of these cards feature photos taken during the 1975 Nippon Series as the catcher in both shots looks like he's wearing a Hankyu Braves uniform.  The orange grandstand in the background looks like Hanyku Nishinomiya Stadium, home of the Braves.

Since his retirement as a player Hopkins has only appeared in a couple of BBM's OB sets.  He was in two of the Carp specific sets - the 2009 Carp 60th Anniversary set and the 2015 Carp Legend set - and last winter's Time Travel 1975 set:

2009 BBM 60th Anniverary #36

2015 BBM Carp Legends #44

2017 BBM Time Travel 1975 #51

H/T to NPB on Reddit's tweet.

1 comment:

Commishbob said...

Some sweet cards here, some af these sets are new to me. I remember Hopkins most from his 1970 Topps card with the huge glove dominating the photo.