Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Card Shops In Japan: Match Up

Please check my "Card Shops in Japan" page before planning a trip to this store to verify that it's still where it was when I visited.

My original plan in Nagoya was to visit all three card shops there on the fourth day of my trip.  However due to my back and hip issues (and my generally being out of shape) I was pretty much done for the day after Sean and I had visited Sports Card BITS and Mint Ponyland.  And while I spent the entire next day in Nagoya, all three card shops were closed that day (as they are all closed on Wednesdays).  So it wasn't until the following Monday when I stopped in Nagoya again on my way back to Tokyo from Fukuoka that I finally got around to getting to the third Nagoya store - Match Up.

Match Up is located in the Naka Ward of Nagoya, on Wakamiya-odori right across the street from Wakamiya-odori Park.  It's on the second floor of a building called Aoki Building West.   There's a parking garage (or at least the entrance to a parking garage) on the first floor and it's not entirely clear when looking at the front of the building that there are shops in the building - especially if like me you aren't looking up and noticing the big obvious sign for Match Up.  You have to walk into the garage to get to the staircase to go upstairs to the store - I think that's the door to the staircase visible on the right in this photo (just below "20:00"):

Here's the door to the store on the second floor.  The store is a little nicer inside than you'd think from how the door looks.

You can see the store is nicer than the door in these two photos:

I'm going to be honest here - I didn't really give this store a chance.  I had misinterpreted something Ryan had told me when talking about the Nagoya shops - "Match Up will be least useful for you, but that doesn’t mean it should be skipped, just a lower priority" - as basically saying that they wouldn't have anything I was interested in and as a result I didn't set aside much time for it.  (Although in my defense I was fitting it into my already pretty busy schedule.)  The owner was very friendly and I should have taken more opportunity to see what I could find there.  Instead I just asked about the 2004 BBM 1st Version Japan National Team inserts as opposed to some cards that might have been more likely for him to have carried.

What I did see at the store was a lot of assorted singles but I can't tell you how far back they go.  He had a lot of opened box sets and Idol cards.  I ended up not buying anything here - only the second store in the thirteen I had visited at this point in the trip that I didn't spend any money at.

The store was written up in Sports Card Magazine #119 in September of 2016.

I believe that there's a sign by the cash register in the last picture that indicates that they take credit cards.

Oh, and let's take a more detailed look at something else in that last picture:

That's a Staten Island Yankees cup!  Huh.  I wonder how that ended up here.  I asked the shop owner where he got the cup.  He said it was a gift from a customer.  Hmm, do I know any Staten Island Yankee fans who are known to frequent card shops in Nagoya...

Seriously though - I know that both Zippy Zappy and Ryan like this store so I feel bad I didn't take more time here.  Next time I'm in Nagoya I'll correct that oversight.

Here's a map of the store's location:

Nagoya's Mandarake store is located roughly a half mile to the southwest of Match Up so it's an easy walk if you want to hit both stores.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

2008 Upper Deck USA Baseball 2007 Japanese Collegiate All Stars Set - Where Are They Now?

When I did the retirement post for Sho Aranami the other day I got thinking that I should do a "Where Are They Now?" post for the 2007 Japanese Collegiate All Star cards included in the 2008 Upper Deck USA Baseball set (that included Aranami).  Then when Fuji left a comment on the post asking about the guys in the set, I figured I'd go ahead and do the post.

In 2008 Upper Deck issued a box set called "USA Baseball".  The 60 card base set featured the collegiate and "junior" USA National teams for 2007.  Each box contained a number of autograph and/or memorabilia cards organized in various sets.  The Japanese Collegiate All Star team that had played the collegiate Team USA in the annual US-Japan University Baseball Championship in 2007 (well, annual up until that year anyway - it's mostly moved to an "every other year" schedule since then) was featured on six of these sets.  The most common of these were jersey cards for all 22 members of the team.  These were not serially numbered.  There were also 22 autograph cards (serially numbered to 50), 22 jersey patch cards (numbered to 20), 22 jersey letter cards (numbered to 15) and 21 flag patch cards (1 of 1) (for some reason there is no flag patch card for Shota Ohno).  There are also cards (numbered to 5) featuring autographs of the MVP of both the USA and Japanese teams - Pedro Alvarez and Shinya Muramatsu.

Of the 22 Japanese players in the set, 18 of them have gone on to play in NPB.  Seven of them were still active in NPB in 2019 although one of those (Takahiro Iwamoto) apparently retired at the end of the season.  10 of the players on the team were also on the 2008 Japanese Collegiate All Star team and were included in BBM's set for that team.  Eight of the players in the set were first round draft picks.  Three players played in the industrial leagues after graduating and before being drafted into NPB (actually if you include the four who didn't play in NPB there were seven players who played in the industrial leagues after graduation). 

Three of the players (Takashi Ogino, Shota Ohno and Yuki Saitoh) made an All Star team at least once (although Saitoh's was purely due to his popularity, not his pitching).  One of the players (Ryo Sakakibara) was the Pacific League Rookie Of The Year in 2010. 

Here's a summary of the players who went to NPB:

Player College Year Drafted Notes
Sho Aranami Tokai 4 2010 Baystars 3rd Played for Toyota after graduation.  Baystars 2011-18.  Golden Glove Award 2012-13. Played for Monterrey Sultans in 2019
Takeshi Hosoyamada Waseda 3 2008 Baystars 4th Played for Baystars 2009-13, Hawks 2014-15.  Was released by DeNA after 2013 and joined Hawks as ikusei player.  Made the Hawks' 70 man roster at the beginning of the 2015 season.  Played for Toyota after leaving Hawks
Takahiro Iwamoto Asia 3 2008 Carp 1st Played for Carp 2009-2019
Tomoyuki Kaida Komazawa 2 2011 Buffaloes 4th Played for Nippon Life after graduation.  Buffaloes 2012-present
Mikinori Katoh Keio 4 2007 Swallows 1st Played for Swallows 2008-12
Tetsuya Kokubo Aoyama Gakuin 4 2007 Carp 3rd Played for Carp 2008-present
Keijiro Matsumoto Waseda 3 2008 Baystars 1st Played for Baystars 2009-17.  Joined Nippon Steel Sumikin Kazusa Magic in 2018
Ryoji Nakata Asia 2 2009 Dragons 3rd Played for Dragons 2010-14.  Also played for JR Tokai after Chunichi released him
Hiroki Nakazawa Kokusai Budo 4 2008 Giants 4th Played for Giants 2009-12.  Traded to Eagles for Suguru Ino in 2012-13 offseason.  Played for Eagles 2013-14.  Made only ichi-gun appearances in 2013
Tomohisa Nemoto Yokohama Shoka 4 2007 Marines 3rd Played for Marines 2008-10.  Traded to Fighters for Takayuki Takaguchi and Kazunori Yamamoto in 2010-11 offseason.  Played for Fighters 2011-14
Takashi Ogino Kansai Gakuin 4 2009 Marines 1st Played for Toyota after graduation.  Marines 2010-present. All Star 2019
Shota Ohba Toyo 4 2007 Hawks 1st Played for Hawks 2008-15.  Sold to Dragons after 2015 season.  Played for Dragons 2016
Shota Ohno Toyo 3 2008 Fighters 1st Played for Fighters 2009-17.  Joined Dragons as free agent after 2017.  Dragons 2018-present.  Member of Samurai Japan for the 2017 WBC. All Star in 2014
Yuki Saitoh Waseda 1 2010 Fighters 1st Played for Fighters 2011-present.  All Star in 2011-12
Ryo Sakakibara Kansai Kokuin 3 2008 Fighters 2nd Played for Mitsubishi Motors Okazaki in the industrial leagues between high school and college.  Played for Fighters 2009-13.  Pacific League Rookie Of The Year in 2010.  Released by the Fighters and signed with Orix as an ikusei player for 2014.  Made the 70 man roster mid-2014.  Released after 2015.  Played for Omori Oil after leaving Orix
Shingo Tatsumi Kinki 3 2008 Hawks 1st Played for Hawks 2009-16.  Pitching coach for the Tochigi Golden Braves of the indy Baseball Challenge League in 2019
Hiroki Uemoto Waseda 3 2008 Tigers 3rd Played for Tigers 2009-present
Noriharu Yamazaki Yokohama Shoka 3 2008 Baystars 3rd Played for Baystars 2009-17.  Tigers 2018-present

Here's the jersey card for each of these players along with a card from their time in NPB.  I've tried to use the latest card I have of each player although I've picked a different card for some players because I've already used their latest card in other Where Are They Now? posts.  I've also sometimes picked a different card just to not show multiple cards from the same set.

2008 Upper Deck USA Baseball National Teams Box Set #JN-1
2018 BBM Baystars #DB60

2008 Upper Deck USA Baseball National Teams Box Set #JN-2

2010 BBM 1st Version #196

2008 Upper Deck USA Baseball National Teams Box Set #JN-3

2019 BBM Carp #C61

2008 Upper Deck USA Baseball National Teams Box Set #JN-4

2019 BBM Buffaloes #B22

2008 Upper Deck USA Baseball National Teams Box Set #JN-5

2008 Calbee #141

2008 Upper Deck USA Baseball National Teams Box Set #JN-6

2019 BBM 2nd Version #490

2008 Upper Deck USA Baseball National Teams Box Set #JN-7

2015 BBM Baystars #DB64

2008 Upper Deck USA Baseball National Teams Box Set #JN-10

2011 Bandai Owners League OL01 #110

2008 Upper Deck USA Baseball National Teams Box Set #JN-11

2009 BBM Rookie Edition #056

2008 Upper Deck USA Baseball National Teams Box Set #JN-12

2013 BBM Fighters #F17

2008 Upper Deck USA Baseball National Teams Box Set #JN-14

2019 BBM 1st Version #126

2008 Upper Deck USA Baseball National Teams Box Set #JN-13

2016 BBM Dragons #D31

2008 Upper Deck USA Baseball National Teams Box Set #JN-15

2017 Calbee Samurai Japan #SJ-21

2008 Upper Deck USA Baseball National Teams Box Set #JN-16

2019 Epoch NPB #074

2008 Upper Deck USA Baseball National Teams Box Set #JN-17

2016 BBM Farewell #35

2008 Upper Deck USA Baseball National Teams Box Set #JN-19

2016 BBM Hawks #H11

2008 Upper Deck USA Baseball National Teams Box Set #JN-20

2018 BBM Tigers #T44

2008 Upper Deck USA Baseball National Teams Box Set #JN-22

2019 BBM Tigers #T51
Of the remaining four players in the set, only one of them - Shota Waizumi - had any other baseball cards.  He appeared in four of BBM's Tokyo Big Six sets in 2008 and 2009.

In his comment the other day, Fuji had basically asked the question of who the best players in the set were (ok, actually he asked if anyone in the set was "having a hall of fame career" or at least of "hall of very good career").  I don't think anyone from this group is going to the Hall Of Fame, at least not as a player.  The player with the best career is probably Takashi Ogino followed by Shota Ohno and Hiroki Uemoto but I'd be interested in hearing what people who know more about Japanese baseball than me think.

Card Of The Week October 27

Last Wednesday the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks completed their sweep of the Yomiuri Giants in this year's Nippon Series.  It was the Hawks' third consecutive championship, their fifth in the past six years and their sixth in the past nine years.  As I've done the past few years I'm going to highlight the Series award winners.  The winners of these awards used to have extra cards in BBM's annual Nippon Series set that was published from 1991 to 2012.

Series MVP Yurisebel Gracial (2019 Epoch NPB #059)

"Fighting Spirit" Yoshiyuki Kamei (2010 Giants Pride #9)

"Outstanding Player" Alfredo Despaigne (2017 Epoch Hawks #27)

"Outstanding Player" Nobuhiro Matsuda (2019 BBM Hawks #H48)

"Outstanding Player" Rei Takahashi (2019 BBM 2nd Version #340)
It took me a little while to find a "regular" card of Despaigne that doesn't show him in his standard pose.

In addition, the Korean Series ended yesterday.  It was a four game sweep as well with the Doosan Bears defeating the Kiwoom Heroes to win their third championship in the past five years (it's also the fifth straight year the Bears have played in the Series).  Jae-il Oh was named MVP of the Series.

2017 SCC #SCC-01-DS18

Friday, October 25, 2019

Shohei Tateyama

Shohei Tateyama of the Swallows announced his retirement back in mid-September.  Tateyama was a star pitcher for Yakult for about five seasons in the late 00's and early teens but suffered from an inability to stay healthy.

He was a third round pick of Yakult out of Nihon University in 2002.  He got into 10 games with the top team in 2003, starting nine of them but an elbow injury and subsequent Tommy John surgery kept him from playing at all in 2004.  He returned to the top team in 2005, making 25 starts and going 10-6 but he needed another elbow surgery after the season ended.  The Swallows used him out of the bullpen for much of the next two seasons but he moved back into the rotation to stay 2008 and blossomed in the role.  He went 12-3 with a 2.99 ERA in 2008; 16-6 with a 3.39 ERA in 2009; 12-7 with a 2.93 ERA in 2010; 11-5, 2.04 in 2011 and 12-8, 2.25 in 2012.  But he hurt his elbow again after two starts in 2013 and had another Tommy John surgery which cost him the rest of the season.  He suffered yet another elbow injury during training camp in 2014 which required yet another Tommy John surgery (his third). 

He returned to the Swallows rotation in mid-2015, going 6-3 with 2.89 ERA down the stretch as the Swallows made a somewhat surprising (and ultimately successful) run for the Central League pennant.  He ended up starting and losing Game Four of the Nippon Series against the Hawks that year.  He's been limited to only 19 starts with the top team over the past four seasons (including his retirement game this season) and I'm not sure if it's been injury or ineffectiveness (or both) that's responsible for that.  He'll be the farm team pitching coach for the Eagles starting next season.

He made the All Star team four times (2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012) and led the Central League in victories in 2009.  He won the Comeback Player Of The Year Award in 2015.

Tateyama is another of the rare Japanese players who had a pre-rookie card.  He was on the 2001 Baseball World Cup team while he was still in college and was featured in the 2002 BBM Japan National Team set.  His first BBM cards were in the Rookie Edition and 1st Version sets in 2003.  His first Calbee card wasn't until #203 in 2005.

As always here's a bunch of cards from his career:

2002 BBM Japan National Team #10

2003 BBM Rookie Edition #9

2003 BBM 1st Version #54

2005 BBM Swallows #S31

2008 BBM All Stars #A14

2010 BBM 1st Version #452

2011 BBM Tohto 80th Memorial #69

2012 Swallows Team Set #YsK05

2015 Epoch Swallows Victory Memorial #07

2017 Calbee #135

2019 BBM Swallows #S13