Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

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Thursday, March 14, 2019


Long time no see - nearly a month. Once again I've found myself to be quite busy. I'm living on the road during the week, and while I have a comfortable apartment, it makes handling my cards, scans, and posts challenging.

I actually haven't been that busy at work, but I can't just bring my laptop into the office and whip up a post or two. And it's not that easy to transport a laptop back and forth every weekend just to write a few posts... if I have time.

In a couple of my discussion classes this week, we talked about ghosting. And it seems that I have a horrible habit of ghosting - on this blog and via emails and other communication. It's not that I want to break off our relationship, it's just that I have too many things going on sometimes!

So today I'm forcing out a post... not because I have to, but because I want to. I just wish I had a few more extra hours in the day...

Today's card is appropriate, as I waited for quite some time for this one.
This black autograph of Molly McGrath from 2018 Allen & Ginter took forever to get here. I'm not sure what Molly was doing, and I'm sure as a sportscaster she's busy traveling to sporting events.

I got a good deal on the redemption card, and I just had to wait for Topps to finally get the cards back and forward this one on to me. The one good thing about redemption cards is that Topps will ship them to Japan for free!

I've never seen McGrath on TV... or anywhere other than A&G, since she doesn't do baseball. But maybe some day she'll do some meaningful broadcasting? She's from San Francisco, though - my home town!

Until next time...

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Unknown Bromides

A couple weeks ago, I took an overnight trip to Nagoya. I got a late start, putting me in town around 1 p.m. But that was fine, since I was spending that whole day just going from card shop to card shop. My first stop was CAPS, a former Mint shop that will be closing down in the next few months. They're slowly clearing out a lot of their singles, though apparently they plan to keep some sort of online business going.

I picked up a lot of good cards there, but most importantly and confusing were these bromides. I can't identify them. I can't tell you much about them, but if you know anything to add to them, let me know!

Note: the measurements are being made with my iPhone app, so they might not be very accurate.
 This card is about 9 cm wide and 13 cm long. There are no markings or borders at all, and the back is white. I have no clue about the player, though it is obviously a Yomiuri Giants player.
 This is Michio Nishizawa, who is pictured with the Dragons. He played with them his entire career, though I'm guessing this card was issued sometime from 1947-1958 (his final season). Nishizawa started as a pitcher, even throwing a no-hitter, but eventually left the mound and developed into a pretty good hitter. He went on to manage the team for a few years, compiling an over-.500 winning percentage. He's in the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame and his number, 15, has been retired by Chunichi. This card has a white or off-white back. You can see the border and the horizontal, white text on the front. It measures about 8 cm by 10 cm.
 Makoto Kozuru is another Dragons player who is now in the Hall of Fame. He played with the Dragons from 1942-1943, and 1946-1947. Like Nishizawa, this card has a white back. The image is colorized, with a green background, red shoes, and yellow socks. I believe it's about 7 cm by 11 or 12 cm.
Finally, this colorized card has a yellow border, though it doesn't show up well in my scan. The text at the bottom looks more like type, where the other cards have text that looks handwritten. It has a tan back, and is printed on thinner stock than the others. It measures about 9 cm by 14 cm. The player featured is Michinori Tsubouchi, another Dragons player. He was with the team from 1949-1951 as a player, though also managed the team through 1954, and again from 1965-1967. He, too, is in the Hall of Fame.

I wasn't able to identify the cards looking through Engel's guide, but I might have missed something. Regardless, they're neat cards, and given their sizes, are probably prize cards from various sets. And at least three of the four are hall of famers!

And I got one more big bromide, but it's so big I couldn't scan it. That one has Shigeru Chiba, who is also in the Hall of Fame, so I'm at least four for five.

Until next time...

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

2019 BBM Time Travel 1979

BBM's first 2019 set was released in late 2018. American card collectors might understand this concept, since manufacturers rushed to release the first sets with the prior year's stats as quickly as possible. I remember finding cards with prior-year statistics before Christmas in the 1990s. Of course, a lot of that changed around 2006 or so, when the MLB started setting some rules on card releases.

These days, the year's first release is a flagship - 2019 Topps came out recently, and 2019 Donruss will be out soon. Some manufacturers (Leaf, mainly) seem to issue some sets into the next year; there are still some "release-pending" 2018 issues six months into 2019.

But in Japan, BBM issues its first 2019 sets long before its flagship. Both this set and Glory came out before New Years, the annual retirement set came out this month, and Rookie Edition is either out now or will be out very soon. In fact, a couple of BBM's team sets might be released before the flagship First Version.

Time Travel focuses on a particular year in the past; if you haven't guessed from the title, the 2019 set goes back 40 years to 1979. This is BBM's only "throwback" set.

I really look forward to this set every year, mainly because of the throwback design and the inclusion of some pop culture references. It's a nice replacement for the Historic Collection sets BBM used to do. And it must be pretty popular, as it is always a bit difficult finding a full set at a reasonable price.
 Base cards use a brown card stock with very little gloss. Backs use just one color, similar to menko cards of the era. The regular cards are #1-72.
 Six players who retired in 1979 are featured in the first subset (#73-78).
 The next eight cards are titled 1979 Retrospective (#79-86).
 I'm sure you can guess the topic of "Born in 1979", card #87-92.
 The final four cards look at society in 1979. While pop culture is featured, this NEC computer got its own card as well.

Moving on to inserts, we get to the Title Holders series.

There really isn't much difference between the Central League Title Holders and Pacific League Title Holders sets. Each set has nine cards, and both have parallel versions #/30.
The only premium insert in this release are autographs. Those are #/90 or less. I don't have a copy of one yet for my collection, so the above photo is a promotional image from BBM.