Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Topps Now Samurai Japan Cards - 2024 Global Baseball Games

One of the items I received from Ryan when I met up with him in Tokyo was the latest set of Samurai Japan Topps Now cards.  This iteration of the set was for the two game "Global Baseball Games" that the National Team played against Team Europe back in March.  Samurai Japan won both games rather handily, winning the first game 5-0 and the second one 2-0.  That second score was deceptively close though, as six Japanese pitchers combined to throw a perfect game against the Europeans.

There are eight Topps Now cards, seven of which feature a single player.  The other card features all six pitchers who combined for the perfect game although they are not named.  I thought at first this was because two of the pitchers were college players (Yumeto Kanemaru from Kansai University and Yuto Nakamura from the Aichi Institute of Technology) but both Kanemaru and Nakamura have cards in the Topps Now Samurai Japan team set that I think just got released.  (The other four pitchers were Shinya Matsuyama, Shota Watanabe, Chihiro Sumida and Atsuki Taneichi.)  Each game is represented by four cards.  Here's all eight cards:









I bash Topps' Japanese baseball products a lot (and for good reason) but I do really like these cards.  It helps that I'm a sucker for Samurai Japan cards.  The one thing I wish Topps would do is put just the slightest amount of effort into the backs of the cards  As has been standard for all their Samurai Japan Topps Now cards, all the backs have is information on where and when the game was played - they don't even show the score.  Here's the back of Munetaka Murakami's card:

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