Saturday, October 23, 2021

Epoch One Cards

Among the cards Ryan sent me last week were the latest batch of Epoch One cards that I'd asked him to pick up for me - the final ones from last year along with a bunch from this year.  Epoch One is the Japanese equivalent of Topps Now - the cards are made available online for three days (as opposed to 24 hours for Topps Now) for 500 yen apiece (as opposed to $10 for Topps Now).  Unlike Topps Now, not all the teams participate.  Last year it was nine teams - the Baystars, Dragons, Fighters, Giants, Hawks, Lions, Marines, Swallows and Tigers and this year just eight as the Baystars dropped out.

I'm going to share all the Epoch One cards he sent me.  I asked him to get two of the 2020 cards because of the events they commemorate.  On November 5th of 2020, Munetaka Murakami of the Swallows stole three bases in one inning against the Hanshin Tigers:


On November 8th, Hayato Sakamoto of the Giants got his 2000th career hit.  This card had a print run of 556 which is the most I've seen for any 2020 Epoch One card (although admittedly I have only seen the print runs for 40-ish of the 676 cards):


For the third year in a row there were Epoch One cards available for the Dragons draft picks:







I had a variety of reasons for the 2021 Epoch One cards I asked Ryan to get for me.  One was again that they commemorated an event that I thought was significant for some reason.  This card is for the sayonara home run Yoshiyuki Kamei hit for the Giants on Opening Day:


This one was for Masahiro Tanaka's first start in Japan since 2013:


I'm honestly not completely sure why I asked Ryan to pick up this card of Seiya Matsubara.  Matsubara homered to lead off this game and I think knocked in the tying run in the ninth in a game between the Giants and Buffaloes that ended in a 3-3 tie:


Shohei Katoh was sent from the Marines to the Dragons in a mid-season trade.  He homered in his first at bat with his new team.  He had homered in his first at bat with the Marines back in 2013 as well so he became the first player ever to hit a home run in his first at bat with two different teams.


There were a couple cards I got for the debuts of 2021 rookies - I had joked with Ryan that I had caught "rookie fever".  The Satoh card commemorates his first home run while the Hayakawa and Itoh cards are for their first starts.




When I said "2021 rookies" for the above cards what I meant was that they were 2020 draft picks.  I also got cards for the ichi-gun debuts of a couple other players who are also rookies but were drafted before 2020 - and while it's true that they were all drafted before 2020, one of them wasn't in the NPB draft:




The Sasaki card had a print run of 709 which is the most of any of the 2021 cards.  

Several of the cards I had Ryan get for me were because they featured players in alternate uniforms - just in case I ever update my uniform posts:






The last card is for the latest transformation of Nazo Na Sakana, the Mysterious Fish:



Brady DiCarlo said...

What's the context for the last card?

NPB Card Guy said...

Nozo Na Sakana has "transformed" (i.e. they've changed his costume) a couple of times since he was introduced in 2017. This I think this is his fifth costume. You can see a couple of the earlier ones in this post.