Wednesday, October 27, 2021

2021 Epoch Japan Retired Foreign Player Association Set

Epoch did a box set earlier this year in association with the Japan Retired Foreign Players Association (JRFPA).  Each box had 43 cards - a 41 card base set, a "foil signature" parallel card and an autographed card.  Ryan picked me up a base set and included it in the box he sent me a few weeks ago.

It's an interesting collection of players in the set.  Obviously all the players are foreigners but more specifically they're all Westerners.  Unlike the foreign player sets BBM did back in 2013 ("Legendary Foreigners" and "Deep Impact") there aren't any Korean players included.  The set features some players who had long careers in Japan like Boomer Wells, Tuffy Rhodes, Leon Lee, Randy Messenger and Ralph Bryant along with a number with somewhat shorter careers.  Most of the players spent at least two seasons in Japan - the only exceptions are Jesse Barfield and Jason Rogers.  As far as I can tell, this is the first Japanese card of Rogers, who played just 40 games with Hanshin in 2017.  Adrian Garrett, who passed away about a month after this set was published, had the earliest debut in Japan of the players in the set, having made his first appearance with the Carp in 1977.  Other players of note are Randy Bass, Andruw Jones, George Arias, Colby Lewis and Jose Ortiz.  I assume that everyone in the set is a member of the JRFPA.  

The one odd thing about the base set is that it does not include Warren Cromartie BUT Cromartie has autographed cards available.  I don't think there's any other players like that.

The cards are beautiful.  I'm a sucker for cards with full bleed photos and a minimum of text and decoration and these definitely fall into that category.  The photos are also fairly sharp - frequently the older photos in a set like this look kind of grainy but these all look pretty good.  My only complaint is my usual one - the poses are all the generic "batters batting, pitchers pitching" ones.  Here's some example cards:







I think this is the first card I've seen showing Fernando Seguignol with the Orix Buffaloes - he only played 11 games with them in 2010.

I'm curious if Epoch and the JRFPA will team up for another set this winter - the set seems to have been very popular.

You can see all the cards over at Jambalaya.


Jason Presley said...

No new cards of Hensley Meulens or Bernardo Brito? Boo!

NPB Card Guy said...

Tell them to join the JRFPA!

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