Saturday, November 10, 2018

2018 Epoch JWBL set

Epoch released a set for the Japan Women's Baseball League (JWBL) about a month ago.  This is the second set Epoch has released for the league - the first was two years ago.  The set has a base set of 86 cards, 8 cards more than the 2016 edition.  There were "checki" cards available in boxes as well as randomly inserted autograph and memorabilia cards in packs.

There are four teams in the league and players from all four teams appear in the set.  Unlike the NPB sets, the cards are not evenly distributed between the teams.  There are 23 cards for Aichi Dione (including the mascot, the manager and two coaches), 23 for Kyoto Flora (also including the mascot, the manager and two coaches), 15 for Reia (including the mascot, the manager and only one coach) and 24 cards for Saitama Astraia (including again the mascot, the manager and two coaches) plus a card for Ami Inamura, the "Queen Of First Pitch".  A number of the players are rookies and have the same "Rookie" designation on their card that Epoch has used in some of their NPB sets.  One thing that was a little odd was that Dione and Flora both had three rookies each while Astraia had none but all the players with Reia were rookies!  I did a little research and it looks like the league uses Reia as kind of a development team.

50 of the players who were in the 2016 set are in this one also.  I will confess to still not knowing a whole lot about this league so I can't tell you if anyone significant was left out.  Actually according to the list of players for the league at their website there isn't anyone left out of the set - there's actually one player in the set (Natsumi Nakano of Astraia) who's no longer on the team's roster (she retired).  There are six players in the set from the Samurai Japan team that won the 2018 Women's Baseball World Cup back in August  - Yuki Kawabata, Iori Miura, Tomomi Nakata, Ayami Sato, Rina Taniyama and Asaka Tsuru.  Everyone but Tsuru were in the 2016 set as well (I had missed Nakata when I did my post on the team back in August).  Ayaka Deguchi from the team was in the 2016 set but not in this one as she retired following the 2016 season.  In addition there are three Taiwanese players in the league (all rookies) who played for the Taiwanese team in the tournament - Yu-Ying Hsieh, Chia-Wen Shen and Chi Tseng.  Several of the coaches and managers are male and NPB veterans - Hiroki Fukutome, Tomoya Kawaguchi, Toyoji Matsumura, Shogo Mori, Heishu Ohhara and Takanobu Tsujiuchi.

Here's some sample cards:











I believe that the Chihiro Satoh card shows the commemoration of her 200th career hit.

I really like this set.  I think Epoch did a great job with the photo selection - they and BBM should use this set as a template for photo selection for their NPB sets.  You can see all the cards over at Jambalaya - both the base set and some of the cheki and autograph cards.


SumoMenkoMan said...

Awesome set. Do pitchers pitch in shorts?

NPB Card Guy said...

No, that's actress/model/reporter Ami Inamura on her billionth (estimated) "First Pitch Ceremony" card