I got a package in the mail today from Justin, aka Charm City Autographs, that contained some assorted goodies. Before I go into most of what he sent me though, I need to explain an odd situation I discovered a few months back.
Back in 2017 Epoch issued smallish (27 to 26 cards) team sets for the Dragons, Hawks, Tigers, Carp, Lions, Swallows, Baystars and Giants. The "gimmick" that Epoch rolled out for these team sets was that each card would have one to five(!) possible short printed "photo variant" parallels. I've always wondered if this was in response to BBM introducing "secret versions" - short printed "photo variant" parallels - in that year's 1st Version set. Unlike BBM's version, it was easy to tell if you had an Epoch photo variant because there was one or more stars on the back of the variants. Ryan had picked me up a "master" set for the Tigers and base sets with no variants for the other seven teams back in 2017. Or so I thought.
Fast forward to a few months ago. Justin opened a box of the Lions set and asked me if there was anything from it I was interested in. I told him that I'd be interested in a photo variant of Takeya Nakamura if he had one - Nakamura's probably my favorite player right now and if I were to decide to do a PC for someone it would be him (although I'm really not serious considering doing a PC for anyone). Justin checked and discovered he had a "one star" variant of Nakamura and put it in the mail to me. I was excited to get it and pulled out my binder full of 2017 Epoch cards to put the card with the rest of the set when I made a surprising discovery.
I already had it.
What I had assumed (but obviously never actually checked) was that my Lions set was all the regular, non-short printed base cards. This was not the case. Of the 27 cards I had, only seven were the regular cards. Three were "two star" variants and the remaining 17(!) were "one star" variants.
While this is an interesting development, not having a base set bugs the heck out of my OCD, so after checking that the other sets weren't a similar Frankenstein mix of base and variant cards (they weren't) I set out to see what I could do about this.
What I concluded was...not much. I checked Yahoo! Japan Auctions thinking that a complete base set might be out there pretty cheap but there were none to be found. I asked Ryan what he thought about looking for a set or singles and he said he could look but he wasn't real optimistic. In the meantime he suggested I ask Justin if he could help.
Justin could and did - sending me five of the base set singles I was missing. This was the bulk of the package I received today.
Here are the cards he sent me along with the short printed variant that I already had. The base set card is the one of the left. All of the variants are "1 star" except for Ernesto Mejia which is a "2 star" variant. Obviously for these particular cards it looks like Epoch just re-cropped the photo for the variant.
Here's the back of the Akiyama cards so you can see what I mean by a "1 star" variant:
So five down, 15 to go!
The other item Justin sent me was really cool. Justin discovered recently that former Orix BlueWave and Hanshin Tiger George Arias runs a batting cage in Tucson, Arizona where Justin lives and he arranged to get some cards autographed. He was nice enough to send me one:
|2000 Power League #149
So thanks for the cards, Justin!