Saturday, January 12, 2019

New Cards For The New Year

There's a couple new sets that have been announced in the last couple weeks:

- Epoch is putting out another "Season Achievements" team set, this time for the Eagles.  This is another one of their ultra high end sets with a box containing two packs containing four cards each retailing for 12,200 yen.  Each box is guaranteed to contain an autograph card.  The base set has 36 cards and there's a parallel version of each card.  There's also three different autographed versions for each card as well as jersey and patch cards.  The set was originally scheduled to come out in December but got pushed back to January 26th.

- The Yakult Swallows won their first ever Nippon Series in 1978 and Epoch is issuing yet another ultra high end set to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of it.  This one is called "Yakult Swallows First V - 40th Anniversary". Each box retails for 14,300 yen and it looks to me that it only includes 2 cards!  I'm probably not understanding the Google translation of the set correctly but I don't think there's an actual base set to this set - it's all autographed cards, so both cards in the box are autographed ones.  There's a variety of different ones including I think autographed memorabilia cards (uniforms and balls).  There's also a card that's autographed by both Katsuya Nomura and Atsuya Furuta available.  Now you might ask yourself why a set that's celebrating the 1978 Nippon Series Champion Swallows would have cards of Nomura and Furuta in it since Nomura spent 1978 with the Lotte Orions and Furuta was a 13 year junior high school student but that'd just be a silly question.  Looking at the list of players in the set there's maybe two I see who were on the team (Tsutomu Wakamatsu and manager Tatsuro Hirooka) and a bunch who played for the team later (Atsunori Inaba, Akinori Iwamura, Daisuke Araki, Jack Howell).  In fairness a lot of these players played on the Swallows other Nippon Series winning teams from 1993, 1995, 1997 and 2001.  Nomura managed the first three of those teams and Wakamatsu managed the other.  The set will be released on February 9th.

- The eighth edition of BBM's annual box set dedicated to the retiring players of the previous year will be released in early February (Jambalaya says February 2nd).  As always I'm not sure what the name of this set really is - the translation this year is coming out as something like "Kurosubi Ballpark" but previous years it's been something like "Regret at Parting Baseball Players" - but I always call it "Farewell".  This year's edition will contain 37 cards - a 36 card base set plus an autographed card.  The players in the set include Takahiro Arai, Shuichi Murata, Hitoki Iwase, Kazuo Matsui and Takahiro Araki.

- On the other end of the player career spectrum, BBM's annual draft pick set called "Rookie Edition" will be released in mid-February.  This is a pack based set that features the players taken in last October's NPB draft.  Normally this would be the first cards of these players in their NPB uniforms but Epoch One had cards of the Dragons' draft picks available in December.  The base set contains 117 cards - 104 for the draft picks, 1 card showing all the draft picks, and 12 "Early Days" cards which are pretty much just an excuse to get cards of other players in the set so BBM can have autograph cards of them available.  83 of the draft pick cards (the non-ikusei picks) have facsimile autograph parallels available.  There are two insert sets - a 12 card "Next Generation" set and a 2 card "Rookie Of The Year" - and a wide variety of possible autograph cards.

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