Thursday, November 8, 2012

Japanese Baseball Cards

One of the earlier bloggers who jumped into the Great 2012 Summer Clearance Trade was Ryan at the "This Card Is Cool" site. Ryan was on his way to Japan and said it would be awhile before I got anything from him. A package from Japan arrived the other day full of Japanese baseball cards. Cool. Here's a sample.

About half the cards are published by a Japanese magazine called Baseball Magazine.

2008 BBM #609 Alex Ochoa
A pretty nice looking card. Glossy front with full bleed printing, lots of Japanese on the back. Ochoa last played in the US in 2002. He played in Japan until 2008 and is now working for the Red Sox front office. Don't you love the Carp logo?

2008 BBM Foil #610 Soichiro Amaya
This looks like a parallel card printed on foil board. You'd swear this guy was wearing a Cincinnati Reds uni.

2009 BBM Foil #270 Takashi Toritani
The 2009 base cards don't look too much different from the base cards but the foil edition is different. Also the back is quite different with complete career stats. I like the Did You Know? feature. It's funny to me that the back is a mixture of English and Japanese characters.  Toritani has quite a Wikipedia entry and appears to be a big star in Japan.

2010 BBM #129 Takahiro Arai
Ryan sent me the base and foil version of this card. Notice the 20th Year Anniversary logo.

2009 Baseball Heroes #54 D. J. Houlton
He sent a bunch of these cards from 2008 and 2009. The cards are slightly smaller than regular size cards with rounded corners. They are glossy with silver foil on the front. It appears to be a game card. It's produced by Konami, a huge Japanese entertainment company that produces digital games, trading cards, anime. This is one of three cards with American players. Houlton pitched for the Dodgers from 2005 to 2007 where he compiled a 6-11 record. He's been pitching in Japan since 2008, mainly as a starter where he is 54-35 in 103 starts. He was 12-8 with a 2.45 ERA for the Yomiuri Giants in 2012.

2009 BBM History of the Kintetsu Buffaloes
This card really got my attention. A Japanese team wearing Phillies uniforms?  The answer is less exciting. Apparently from 1950 to 1950, the team was called the Kintesu Pearls. I wonder what colors the uniforms were. I couldn't find a color picture of the logo but I did find a b/w photo which said the logo was a deep blue.

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