Thursday, October 29, 2020

2020 BBM Giants History 1934-2020

Earlier this year BBM issued an OB team set for the Carp called "Carp History 1950-2020".  It was a very attractive set and apparently was popular enough that BBM issued a similar set for the Yomiuri Giants called "Giants History 1934-2020" in mid-September.  Like the Carp set, this was a pack based set with a 90 card base set split into three groups of cards - "Giants History", OB players and active players.

This is the third set like this that BBM has done covering the entire span of time that the Giants have been around.  The other two were Anniversary sets - a 104 card 70th Anniversary set in 2004 and a 99 card 80th Anniversary set in 2014.  As far as I can tell this set is not celebrating any particular anniversary unless there's something special about the 86th.

There are seven "Giants History" cards, one more than the Carp set had (and yes, the ones in the Carp set were called "Carp History").    Each card covers an 8 to 15 year stretch of the team's history.  The back of the card shows the team's finish in each season (including the spring and fall seasons from 1936-38) along with if they won the Nippon Series and who the manager was.  Card #1 covers 1934-44 (although there was no actual baseball season in 1934 and 1935), Card #2 covers 1946-60 (no baseball season in 1945), Card #3 covers 1961-74 (the Tetsuharu Kawakami managerial years including the V9 Giants), Card #4 covers 1975-88, Card #5 covers 1989-2001, Card #6 covers 2002-09 and Card #7 covers 2010-19.  Here's the 1946-60 card - I'm pretty sure #3 in the foreground is not Shigeo Nagashima - I think it's Shigeru Chiba, who had the number before Nagashima:


The bulk of the set is the cards of the OB players.  There are 71 of these, one more than there had been in the Carp set.  As always this includes both retired players as well as active former Giants (such as Tetsuya Utsmui and Hisayoshi Chono).  The players include a lot of the names you'd expect - Sadaharu Oh, Nagashima, Kawakami, Hideki Matsui, Koji Uehara, Shinnosuke Abe, Yoshinobu Takahashi, Tatsunori Hara, Isa Harimoto, Isao Shibata, Tsuneo Horiuchi, Masumi Kuwata and Suguru Egawa - but there's several notable exceptions.  Masaichi Kaneda is not in the set which really shouldn't be a surprise as he didn't show up in either of the earlier Anniversary sets either.  Hiromitsu Ochiai and Kazuhiro Kiyohara aren't in the set either although again that's not much of a surprise - Ochiai hasn't appeared on a baseball card since the Dragons fired him as manager in 2011 and I think BBM's been avoiding Kiyohara due to his legal issues.  Most of the players (or managers) that I was surprised to see excluded are from the 1940's and 1950's - Hall Of Famers Chiba, Noburo Aota, Hideo Fujimoto, Takehiko Bessho, Victor Starffin, Osamu Mihara, Shosei Go and Haruyasu Nakajima, all of whom were in at least one of the earlier Anniversary sets.  The only players from before 1950 are Eiji Sawamura and Kamakami.  Some of the later players who are missing include Masahiko (Masaaki) Mori and Shigeru Kobayashi.  The player selection (as usual) tends towards more recent players.  There's only one foreign player included - Alex Ramirez - so guys like Wally Yonamine, Tuffy Rhodes and Warren Cromartie were left out as well.

On the plus side - this set apparently includes the first ever BBM card of Katsuya Sugawara who pitched for the team from 1966 to 1973.  It looks like this is his first baseball card since the 1973-74 Calbee set.  Besides the Calbee cards he had a couple oddball cards in the late 60's and early 70's.  Despite having played for the V9 Giants he was not in Epoch's set for that team from 2014.  (I mention this as a curiosity and not as a reason to run out and buy the set.  I just find it interesting that with all the OB sets BBM has done over the past 15 years or so there are still players from the 60's and 70's who haven't had cards.)

The OB player cards use a very similar design to the Carp cards.  They are very attractive although not quite as attractive as the Carp cards had been (I will admit to liking the Carp much more than the Giants so that might be part of it).  These cards feature a white border while the Carp cards did not.  They also include the player's name in English on the front while the Carp cards did not.  The photos are a mixed bag.  There's a couple black and white but most are in color.  BBM used a horizontal format for a couple of the cards and it worked pretty well.  Here's some examples:








The backs of the cards include a feature that BBM had included on the Carp cards as well.  There's a series of dots that represent every season between 1934 and 2019.  The seasons that the player played for the Giants are colored orange while all the other seasons are colored black.  There's a separate dot below the line of dots for any year that the player managed the team - this allows for player-managers although there aren't any in this set.  Here's the back of Shigeo Nagashima's card as an example:

You can see the orange dots representing 1958 to 1974 and then the dots below the line representing his two stints as Giants manager - 1975-80 and 1993-2001.

The active player subset only includes 12 cards, two fewer than the Carp set.  It pretty much includes who you'd expect - Hayato Sakamoto, Tomoyuki Sugano, Kazuma Okamoto, Yoshihiro Maru and Yoshiyuki Kamei for example.  There's one foreign player - Gerardo Parra - along with a player who was active with the Giants when the set went to press at the end of July but is now an OB player - Hirokazu Sawamura, who was traded to the Marines in early September, right around the time this set was released.  Here's a couple examples:



As you've probably guessed, I like the set (although I am a sucker for the OB team sets).  You can check out all the cards over at Jambalaya as usual.

Monday, October 26, 2020

2020 NPB Draft

The NPB draft was held today and as usual Deanna live blogged it.  With cards for the Japanese Collegiate All Star teams from 2018 and 2019 being included as an insert in both the 2019 and 2020 editions of Panini's USA Baseball Stars & Stripes set respectively there are already cards available for ten of the players drafted.  These cards are all serially numbered autograph/memorabilia cards (plus some non-memorabilia cards from 2019).  I only have cards of three of the guys drafted today (and only one of those is an autograph/memorabilia card) but I swiped images from COMC and Ebay of the other seven players.

Yudai Furukawa, Jobu University, Fighters #3

Takahisa Hayakawa, Waseda University, Eagles #1

Hiromi Itoh, Komazawa University Tomakomai, Fighters #1

Shugo Maki, Chuo University, Baystars #2

Hiyu Motoyama, Tohoku Fukushi University, Swallows #4

Shoki Murakami, Toyo University, Tigers #5

Ryusei Ogawa, Kokugakuin University, Marines #3

Teruaki Sato, Kinki University, Tigers #1

Takuma Uchima, Asia University, Eagles #4

Iori Yamasaki, Tokai University, Giants #2

Satoh's cards are from the 2019 set while Itoh is in both the 2019 and the 2020 sets.  All of the other players are from the 2020 set.  15 of the 24 players on the 2019 cards have now been drafted while 16 of the 2020 cards have been drafted (four of the five players who appear in both sets have now been drafted as well).

The three cards that are mine are the Itoh, Ogawa and Satoh cards.

One other draftee of note - Daiki Ishii of the Shikoku Island League's Kochi Fighting Dogs was the eighth pick of the Tigers.  I think he was the last player taken in the "regular" (non-ikusei) part of the draft.  Ishii was a member of the Shikoku Island League All Star team that played in the Can-Am League last year.  He's the third member of the All Star team to get drafted following Junichiro Kishi (Lions #8) and Hayato Hirama (Giants ikusei #1) last year.

One last note - somewhat surprisingly former MLB pitcher Junichi Tazawa was not drafted by anyone.  He is 34 years old and hasn't pitched particularly well in a number of years but still it was a bit of a shock no one took him.  I don't know if this now means he's free to sign with any team or not.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

2020 BBM 30th Anniversary Set

 Thursday was Christmas morning for me.  In addition to getting the Yamakatsu Tabuchi card in the mail from Larry, I received a package containing several sets from Noppin.  I had picked up four sets over the last two months that were released several weeks apart from each other and it made sense to wait until I had all four for Noppin to ship them rather than have them ship each set to me separately.  It was amazing how fast I got the sets.  The final set I bought was the Calbee Series Three set which I got on Friday, October 16th.  Noppin had it at their warehouse by Monday, October 19th and I requested shipping that day.  Noppin gave me the shipping quote the next day and I paid it (4000 yen or roughly $40 - expensive but cheaper than a flight to Japan).  They shipped my package out via DHL on Wednesday the 21st and I received it on Thursday the 22nd.

I'll be doing separate posts on all four sets and I'm going to start off with the BBM 30th Anniversary set that came out back in August.  This set celebrates 2020 being the 30th years that BBM has been publishing baseball cards.  It's a 252 card that was split into four subsets - OB players (108 cards), active players (108 cards), "Great Records & Highlights" (24 cards) and something that I think translates to "History of Masters" that features various managers (12 cards).  

The set is...ok.  I was kind of disappointed in it.  This is the third Anniversary set BBM has issued to celebrate themselves following the 20th Anniversary set in 2010 and the 25th Anniversary set in 2015.  It's much more like the 20th Anniversary set - same size, same four subsets - than the 25th Anniversary set though.  I'll mention my disappointments as I go through the subset.

The OB player subset features players who are either retired or are playing in MLB.  There are a number of players whose career started before BBM stared making cards in 1991 but still played the majority of their career afterwards like Norihiro Komada, Koji Akiyama, Masahiro Yamamoto, Masumi Kuwata and Kimiyasu Kudoh.  Other players who played their entire career since 1991 include Atsuya Furuta (ok, his rookie year was 1990), Nobuhiko Matsunaka, Hideki Matsui, Kazuo Matsui, Takuro Ishii, Tomoaki Kanemoto and Kazuhiro Sasaki.  Seven of the nine Japanese players who played in MLB in 2020 are in the set - Yu Darvish, Masahiro Tanaka, Kenta Maeda, Yoshihisa Hirano, Shohei Ohtani, Shogo Akiyama and Yoshitomo Tsutsugoh (Yusei Kikuchi and Shun Yamaguchi are the two who aren't in the set).  Unlike the 20th Anniversary set, the 108 OB player cards are not split evenly among the 12 NPB teams (well, 13 if you include Kintetsu).  There are 14 Marines, 12 Baystars, 11 Hawks (both Daiei and Softbank), 10 each from Dragons, Carp and Giants, 9 from the Fighters, seven each from Tigers, Lions and Swallows, five from Orix (both BlueWave and Buffaloes), four from Kintetsu and only two from the Eagles.

One of my disappointments with the set is (as usual) who's not in the set.  As expected, Ichiro, Hideo Nomo, Hiromitsu Ochiai and Kazuhiro Kiyohara are not included.  I was surprised though that some other players who had been in the previous sets were not in this one, including Tsutomu Itoh, Norihiro Nakamura and Tsuyoshi Shinjyo.  The big group of players missing from this subset were the foreign players.  Tuffy Rhodes appeared in both of the previous sets and Bobby Rose and Ralph Bryant (among others) were in the 20th Anniversary set.  But the only gaijin appearing in the OB subset for this set was Alex Ramirez.  It may be that the travel restrictions caused by the pandemic caused BBM to omit the foreign players other than Ramirez because they weren't able to get materials to them to autograph (although it that were the case then why didn't they get Alonzo Powell who's been in Japan as a coach for the Dragons?).

The quality of the photos used in this subset is pretty good, an improvement over the somewhat grainy photos used on some of the cards in the 25th Anniversary set.  They're pretty heavy on "pitchers pitching, batters batting" poses on the photos though.  Here's a couple sample cards, two of which have more interesting photos than most:




The 108 cards for active players are split up evenly between the 12 current NPB teams.  The nine players for each team aren't intended as a Best 9 for the team though.  The set includes several players who are fan favorites rather than players who are really contributing right now so Daisuke Matsuzaka, Seiichi Uchikawa and Kyuji Fujikawa are included.  Which is fine, really, since all three of those players had great seasons during BBM's 30 years.  Pretty much all the current superstars are in this subset including Yuki Yanagita, Seiya Suzuki, Tetsuya Yamada, Tomoyuki Sugano, Hayato Sakamoto, and Tomoya Mori.  There are a handful of foreign players, most of whom have been playing in NPB for a while like Brandon Laird, Jose Lopez, Dayan Viciedo, Wladimir Balentien, Neftali Soto and Kris Johnson although Adam Jones was also included.  As usual there are way too many "pitchers pitching, batters batting" photos although again there are a couple exceptions that I include in these samples:




One of my other disappointments with the sets involves the backs of the cards.  The backs of the cards in the two previous sets featured a reproduction of the player's BBM rookie card (or first BBM card for the players whose career started prior to 1991).  Unfortunately BBM did not repeat that for this set.  Another oddity about the set involves the 2020 stats on the back of the active player cards.  Typically BBM's press date for a set is roughly two months before the set gets published.  As I mentioned, this set was published in late August which means it "went to bed" at the end of June so the stats on the back of the cards are only through June 30th.  In a normal year this wouldn't be an issue but since this year the season didn't start until June 19th the 2020 stats only cover about 10 games!  Here's the back of Yudai Ohno's card showing his two starts in June:


Another of my disappointments with the set involves the "Great Records & Highlights" subset.  This subset features record setting events and highlights since 2010.  Why only since 2010 you ask?  Because it's a continuation of the 27 card "Great Records & Highlights" subset in the 2010 20th Anniversary set which covered the years from 1991 to 2010 (well from Hiromi Makihara's perfect game in 1994 - apparently nothing significant happened the previous three years).

I don't have a problem per se with BBM doing this - it's just that they had a nine card "great Records & Highlights" subset in the 2015 25 Anniversary set that also continued the 20th Anniversary set's subset for events from 2010 to 2015.   Not only are six of the nine events from the 2015 set included in this set but a couple of the photos appear to be either identical or practically identical.  Here are the cards from both sets celebrating Wladimir Balentien breaking Sadaharu Oh's single season home run record in 2013:

2015 BBM 25th Anniversary #185 (left) & 2020 BBM 30th Anniversary #224 (right) 

Looks like it's just a recrop of the same photo.  Here are the cards celebrating Motonobu Tanishige breaking Katsuya Nomura's record for most NPB games appeared in:

2015 BBM 25th Anniversary #188 (left) & 2020 BBM 30th Anniversary #229 (right)

It's not quite the same photo although it took me a minute to notice that Doala's not visible on the new card.

The other four events that are duplicated between the two sets are the Marines winning the 2010 Nippon Series, Alex Ramirez getting his 2000th hit in 2013, Hideki Matsui and Shigeo Nagashima getting the People's Honor Award in 2013 and Masahiro Tanaka going 24-0 in 2013.

On the plus side, the 18 events that the new set features include Masato Akamatsu's and Soichiro Amaya's fantastic catches a few weeks apart in Hiroshima, Motohiro Shima addressing the crowd at the Eagles first game after the earthquake in 2011, the Eagles winning the Nippon Series in 2013 (there's a lot of 2013 actually), pennant winners for the Hawks in 2014 and the Carp in 2016, Shogo Akiyama setting a new record for hits in a season in 2015, Seiya Suzuki hitting sayonara home runs on consecutive days against Orix in 2016, Shohei Ohtani hitting 165 kph with a pitch in 2016, Dennis Sarfate setting the single season saves record with 50 in 2017 and Tomoyuki Sugano no-hitting the Swallows in the 2018 Climax Series.  These are the only cards of Akamatsu, Amaya, Sarfate, Shima and Nagashima in the set.  My favorite card from the subset celebrates Yuki Yanagita and Tetsuto Yamada both getting the "triple three" in 2015 (that's 30 home runs, 30 stolen bases and a .300 average):


The final subset is called something like "History Of Masters" and features 12 managers - Koji Akiyama, Tatsunori Hara, Senichi Hoshino, Kimiyasu Kudoh, Hideki Kuriyama, Mitsuru Manaka, Masataka Nashida, Norifumi Nishimura, Koichi Ogata, Sadaharu Oh, Hatsuhiko Tsuji and Hisanobu Watanabe.  (Ogata actually has three cards in the set as he has an OB player card and appears on the "Great Records & Highlights" card for the Carp's 2016 Central League pennant.)  All of these guys led their team(s) to at least one pennant and/or Nippon Series championship but it's kind of an odd collection of managers.  Most of these guys have managed in the past ten years - only Oh and Hoshino managed in the 90's.  Four of these managers (Hara, Hoshino, Nashida and Oh) also appeared in the "Great Field Managers" subset in the 20th Anniversary set.  It just seems a kind of random bunch of recent managers.  I guess I would have preferred them having more managers from the entire 30 range like Shigeo Nagashima (who was in the subset in the 20th Anniversary set), Hiromitsu Ochiai (same), Katuya Nomura or Bobby Valentine.  Here's Nashida's card:


I guess I'm not sorry I bought the set but I do wish it had been a little better.  You can see all the cards over at Jambalaya as usual.  I will say that some of the more premium features of the set are kind of cool.  There are "secret" versions of 12 active player cards - instead of being a photo variant these are a "design" variant - the cards have the same photo but use the 1991 BBM set's design instead.  There are two insert sets that use the same design as previous BBM insert sets - one uses the 1998 "Dream Team" design while the other uses the 2002 "All Stars" design from the Touch The Game set.

Card Of The Week October 25

Lightning struck twice last week in Tokorozawa.  On Tuesday night, the Lions and Marines were tied at one with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.  Kakeru Yamanobe was batting for the Lions against Naoya Masuda of the Marines with Shota Tonosaki on second.  Yamanobe hit a flair into shallow right field that both second baseman Kenji Nishimaki and right fielder Leonys Martin both went for and the two fielders got tangled up together with the ball bouncing off Martin's glove which allowed Tonosaki to score the winning run.  The Lions walked off to a 2-1 win.

The following night it was deja vu all over again.  The Lions and Marines were again tied at one with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.  Masuda was again on the mound with Tonosaki on second and Yamanobe at the plate - the one difference was that Fumikazu Kimura was on first.  Yamanobe grounded a single past second baseman Shogo Nakamura into right field which allowed Tonosaki to again score the winning run.  Tonosaki got his hand on the plate just before catcher Tatsuhiro Tamura slapped the tag on him.  The Marines asked for a video review but the umpires upheld the safe call and the Lions walked off again to a 2-1 victory.

Not only did Naoya Masuda take the loss two nights in a row but Lions reliever Tatsushi Masuda (no relation) got the win both nights.

Here are cards of Tonosaki and Yamanobe from Epoch's "Lions Rookies & Stars" sets from 2018 (#47) and 2020 (#22) respectively.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Another White Whale Speared

A few weeks back I saw an auction on Yahoo! Japan Auctions for a lot of about 150 Hanshin Tigers cards, mostly from BBM but there was a handful of cards from other companies.  The only card I was interested in was a 1978 Yamakatsu JY 6 card of Koichi Tabuchi, the final card I needed to complete that set.  I was on the fence if I wanted to spend the $35 or so the auction would have cost just to get the one card.  But suddenly I realized that I knew the seller of the auction!  It was Larry Fuhrmann, who with Marty Kuehnert helped start the modern Japanese Baseball Card Hobby.  I sent Larry an email asking about the card and he ended up selling me one for $10 including shipping.  The card showed up in the mail today and it's a beautiful thing:

 I've been down to needing just one card for this set for several years so it's nice to finally have it finished.  Frankly I should have asked Larry about it years ago.  It felt really good sliding it into the empty spot in the sheet that had been waiting for it for a while:

 Thanks Larry!

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Last 2020 Sets?

 BBM has recently announced what I expect will be there final three sets of the year - or at least the final three sets that will say "2020" on them.  All three are sets that BBM publishes every year (or at least have for the last couple years).

- BBM will release the "Rookie Edition Premium" set in late November.  This will be a box set containing 38 cards - a 36 card base set plus two premium cards.  The 36 cards in the base set break down to three "rookies" per team (where "rookie" in this case means 2019 draftees).  The two premium cards can be autograph or memorabilia cards.  I don't know if the sets are guaranteed to include autographed cards or not although BBM does advertise "hot boxes" that feature two autograph cards.  There's only 3200 boxes being made and they retail for 15,000 yen (around $142).

- BBM's "Infinity" set will be out in early December.  This is a pack based set including athletes from a variety of sports although the bulk of them are baseball players.  There's 27 baseball players listed on the website - all of whom are retired except for Daisuke Matsuzaka.  There are also athletes listed from boxing, soccer, softball, swimming, judo, badminton, gymnastics, volleyball, table tennis, weightlifting, taekwondo, sailing, shooting and "athletics" (which I'm taking to be "track and field").  BBM was apparently still working on the roster of athletes for the set so I can't tell you how large the set is.  There will be some sort of insert cards available and possible autograph cards.

- BBM's last set for 2020 will be the "Fusion" set.  This is essentially their 2020 season in review set.  It has four parts.  The first part is a 24 card "1st Version Update" featuring players who for whatever reason didn't appear in either the "1st Version" set or the "1st Version Update" subset of the "2nd Version" set (for example I'd expect Wei-Yen Chen to appear in this subset).  In the past this subset has not been evenly split between the 12 teams but the fact that it's 24 cards makes me suspicious (24 cards is the largest this subset has ever been).  The second part is the "Ceremonial First Pitch" cards.  In the past this has been an extension of the equivalent subset in the "2nd Version" set.  I'm not sure if that's the case this year since the "Ceremonial First Pitch" cards in this year's "2nd Version" set featured first pitches from previous years while I think the ones from "Fusion" will be from this season.  BBM has not announced how many cards will be in this subset.  The third part is the bulk of the set - the 99 card "Record Hall Of Fame" subset that has a very misleading name.  These are essentially the "regular" player cards for the set and are a combination of active and OB players.  The active player cards all highlight some event or record that the player did while the OB player cards have some angle on those events or records (and after five years of BBM doing this set I still can't really explain it).  12 of these cards will have "secret" versions which are short printed photo variants.  The final part of the set is the 24 card "Title Holders" subset.  This subset celebrates the statistical leaders from the 2020 season.  There is one card for each of 12 statistical categories for each league - if two players tie for a particular category then the card shows both of them.  The subset will not include the award winners like MVP or Rookie Of Year since those awards are announced after the set goes to press.  There are four insert sets.  Two of these are the standard Fusion insert sets - a 24 card "Great Record" set which shows two active players from each team celebrating a milestone and a 12 card "Legendary Player" set which features an OB player from each team.  The other two are the premium inserts of "Phantom" and "Esperanza".  The 12 "Phantom" cards are serially numbered and feature one OB player from each team.  I also assume the the 24 "Esperanza" cards are also serially numbered and feature two active players from each team.  There will also be autographed cards randomly inserted into packs.  The set will be out in mid-December.

- Epoch had announced a ridiculously high end set for Ichiro last spring that ended up getting delayed due to the pandemic.  They recently announced that the "#51 Ichiro Suzuki - ORIX BlueWave Super Luxury Baseball Card Collection" will finally be released on October 31.  I still don't know much in the way of details but I think there's only 250 boxes being produced.  Really all I know is that it won't be cheap.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Card Of The Week October 18

 I did a post a couple weeks ago talking about which current MLB players on playoff teams had been on a Nippon Series winning NPB team and therefore could be the latest player to win both a World Series and a Nippon Series championship.  Since then the Yankees have been eliminated (Yay!) which knocked out Masahiro Tanaka as a possibility but the Braves are still in it so Chris Martin's candidacy is still viable.  At least for another couple of hours.

What I didn't bring up in the post was that there was a player on a likely NPB postseason team that had previously won a World Series.  That player is Gerardo Parra of the Yomiuri Giants who was a member of last year's Washington Nationals World Series winning team.  Were the Giants to win the Nippon Series with Parra on the active roster he would be only the second player in history to win the championships in consecutive years (with Hideki Okajima being the first in 2006 with the Fighters and 2007 with the Red Sox).  Parra (or Martin) would be the first Westerner to get both Championships since Dan Gladden in 1994.  (Should the Braves win the World Series Martin would become the first Westerner to first win a Nippon Series before the World Series.)

Last week, however, the Giants announced that Parra would be returning to the United States to get treatment on his right knee which has been injured for about two months.  It is apparently unlikely that he will return in time for the Nippon Series in mid-November (H/T NPB Reddit).  So unless the Braves win tonight it doesn't look like we'll get the 1312th member of the Dual Champions club this year.  (UPDATE - the Braves didn't win.)

Here's Parra's card from this year's BBM 1st Version set (#183):

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Other Stuff

 From time to time I have been asked if I have any other Japanese baseball memorabilia other than cards.  The answer is yes.  I decided to do a post showing some of them.

My sister and her husband spent a couple months living in Japan back in 1989 when my brother-in-law had a internship with Ricoh just after he got his doctorate and they brought me back a couple Japanese baseball trinkets.  They got me a Giants hat, the 1989 edition of Wayne Graczyk's annual Japanese Baseball guide and this item, which I think was intended to hang in a window. 

I picked these odd little stuffed toys up on Ebay years ago.  I think they were prizes in those arcade claw games but I don't know that for sure.  From top to bottom that's manager Katsuya Nomura, Atsuya Furuta and Katsumi Hirosawa.

According to the tag on the toys there were five in all.  I think that the two I don't have are Takehiro Ikeyama and the Swallows mascot Tsubakuro.

I think I picked up this Shigeo Nagashima figurine off of Ebay also.  I'm figuring it was issued in the 1990's as his uniform number is 33 which is the number he wore as Giants manager between 1993 and 1999.  I don't know any more details about it.

This Ichiro figurine was issued by Bandai around 2000.  There were several different versions - home or away uniform, different batting poses - and you didn't know which you were getting in the box.  I picked this up from the late, lamented Yakyu Shop probably at some point in 2001.

I figure this bobble head of Senichi Hoshino must have been issued during the two seasons he managed the Tigers (2002-03).  I got it off Ebay but I don't remember when.  It was probably sometime during the 00's.  I wish I had thought of getting it autographed when I got Hoshino's autograph on a card in 2010.

Ryan had sent me a bunch of these Shigeo Nagashima figurines that Epoch put out in 2007 or so.  Like the Bandai Ichiro figurines there were several different versions and you didn't know which one you were getting until you opened the box.  According to Ryan's post about them, there were eight different versions but really only three different poses.  The three poses are "kneeling", "helmet coming off while swinging" and "retirement speech".  All the ones I have show him in his home uniform but apparently there are versions of two of the poses wearing away uniforms (I suspect those are only the "kneeling" and "helmet coming off while swinging" poses).  There are also "secret" versions of each pose with a bright orange base.  I don't have any of those.

I feel kind of silly because Ryan sent me these a few years back and I didn't notice until tonight that the box had a little photo of the Korakuen Stadium scoreboard from Nagashima's retirement that you could cut out and attach on the back of the figurine to recreate the iconic image from that day.

Jingu Stadium celebrated its 90th Anniversary in 2016 and the Swallows had a giveaway of a little stadium replica.  I picked this up off Yahoo! Japan Auctions through Noppin.

Deanna Rubin gave me this bobblehead of T-Okada when we met up at the World Baseball Classic finals in Los Angeles back in 2017.

I have a couple of laminated sheets that are roughly 7 inches wide and 10 inches tall.  I'm not sure if these are considered shikishi or not.  One of them is for the 1999 Yokohama Baystars.  The front side shows a bunch of the stars for the team including Kazuhiro Sasaki, Daisuke Miura, Motonobu Tanishige, Takuro Ishii and Norihiro Komada.  The back shows head shots of the entire roster of the team.  I bought this on Ebay.

Hiro, the guy I used to buy most of my baseball card sets from, picked this up from the Sadaharu Oh museum in Fukuoka a few years back and sent it to me as a gift.  The back is blank except for the museum's logo.