Saturday, February 3, 2018

2017 Calbee Samurai Japan

For the second year in a row Calbee issued a 36 card Samurai Japan set late in the year.  This year's set has cards for 35 players plus a checklist card and covers almost all the players who played for the professional version of the Japanese National Team in the four friendlies against Mexico and The Netherlands in November of 2016 as well as the World Baseball Classic last March.  I believe that the only two players not included were Norichika Aoki (who I assume was not included due to licensing since he played in MLB last year) and Ginjiro Sumitani (who was a late addition to the WBC roster replacing the injured Motohiro Shima).  I'm actually kind of curious why Calbee decided to include the checklist card rather than add a card for Sumitani.

In case you don't remember off hand who was on the roster of the late 2016 to early 2017 version of Samurai Japan, the set includes most of the top names in NPB including Shohei Ohtani, Tomoyuki Sugano, Hayato Sakamoto, Tetsuto Yamada, Takahiro Norimoto, Yoshitomo Tsutsugoh, Seiya Suzuki, Shogo Akiyama and Sho Nakata.  All three of the MLB imports from Japan this winter - Ohtani, Kazuhisa Makita and Yoshihisa Hirano - are in the set as well.  The checklist card shows a post-game victory lineup.

Like last year's set the cards resemble Calbee's high end "Star" insert cards but unlike last year's set the cards are much more attractive this year.  I think the sepia colored backgrounds look better than the dark blue ones from last year and the kira finish this year doesn't make it look like the player's engulfed in a snow storm.






As usual you can see all the cards (including the parallel version) over at Jambalaya and as usual Ryan has already blogged about the set.

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