Tuesday, April 9, 2024

MLB Autographs

I frequently say that I don't collect MLB cards but that actually not completely true.  I've put together a small collection of certified autographed MLB cards of Japanese players.  Now, as I've also frequently mentioned, I'm cheap so I'm not going after Shohei Ohtani, Ichiro, Hideki Matsui or even Daisuke Matsuzaka.  Instead I've been concentrating on guys who had stellar NPB careers both before and after their perhaps less-than-stellar MLB stints.  It's probably just easier to show you what I mean:

2004 Bowman Chrome Shingo Takatsu

2005 Skybox Autographics Akinori Otsuka /100

2012 Topps Chrome Tsuyoshi Wada /499

2013 Topps Chrome Kyuji Fujikawa

2020 Topps Chrome Shun Yamaguchi

2021 Topps Kohei Arihara

2021 Topps Heritage Kenta Maeda

2021 Topps Stadium Club Shogo Akiyama

2022 Topps Baseball Japan Edition Hirokazu Sawamura

A couple comments:

  • I paid less than $10 for most of these cards.  I think the Maeda might have been $20
  • I had avoided Sawamura's cards because I thought his autograph was pretty weak.  I must not have been alone in that thought as someone threw this card in for free with some cards I bought on Ebay
  • Don't remember what I paid for the Takatsu but it was pretty cheap considering he's in the Japanese Baseball Hall Of Fame
  • I had picked up the Otsuka back in 2012 with the thought of taking it with me to Japan to trade at a store.  I may still do that.
This collection is not limited to NPB players.  I also have autographed cards of a couple of KBO legends:

2016 Topps Chrome Park Byung-ho

2016 Topps Chrome Lee Dae-ho


Zippy Zappy said...

Mmm, now I'm tempted to bring out my MLB-NPB autographs out for a blogpost.

Nick Vossbrink said...

I've always wondered how the kanji vs roman signature thing plays out and why there are so few kanji signatures on American cards.

NPB Card Guy said...

Yeah, it's odd. I've had players sign cards in person in both kanji and roman but I don't think I've seen that on an "authentic" autographed card.

One odd thing is the autographed Japanese collegiate national team cards that Panini has included in a couple of their Team USA sets. The 2013 cards were all signed in roman while the 2019 & 2020 cards were all signed in kanji.

Shlabotnik Report said...

The Wada card is fun (to me) because he spent 2 years in the Orioles organization but never pitched a regular season game in the Majors.