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

Want Lists are located here. NPB Baseball Want List is located here.

Friday, June 22, 2018

No, Really, I Do Collect MLB Cards

With all the NPB cards I put on this blog, you'd think that I've forgotten about American baseball. Did you know that there was an Aunt Jemima Pancake House in Disneyland? Anyway, while I don't show off many of my US card purchases, I do pick up what I can.

There was a card show last month, and now that I'm finally ready to start showing my treasures, let's start with some of the fun MLB cards I picked up.
 I've posted plenty about CardGen, but I'm still happy to grab singles when I find them.
 I really enjoyed Panini Golden Age. It was a good response to Allen & Ginter and Goodwin Champions, with an interesting mix of celebrities and sports stars from the past.
 The base set design was interesting though not exactly outstanding, though Panini also included a nice variety of inserts.
 Some of those inserts were based on old sets (Fan Craze and Nu Card Scoops, for example).

I didn't actually need these cards for any sets. I already have them all. But I didn't realize that when I got them, so they're just fun extras to look at for now. Eventually, I'll find them a nice home.
This card, however, came at a great deal. For $3, I finished my Bright Spots insert set with Derek Jeter. This was a steal, given how much it's been on COMC for a long time, and shipping prices on eBay now. (Seriously... $4 to ship a card?)

Anyway, I'll try to keep up the posts over the next two weeks. I have stuff scanned, but I'll be finishing up at my current assignment and then heading back to Hokkaido over the next few weeks, so things might get a bit busy. So, until next time...

Thursday, June 21, 2018

New Release: 2018 BBM Lions

Another day, another team set. The Lions version came out at the end of May, with the usual 81-card base set, inserts, and hits.
The regular base cards use a hand-written font, a trend for BBM for the year. Cards L01-L68 feature regular players plus a dual-mascot card at the end. There is no checklist card.
The subset cards have no obvious meaning. Catch The Moment is six cards, possibly for clutch hitters. Kazuo Matsui's statistics from his days with the Lions are on the back - the 2004-2017 seasons were spent in the US and then with the Golden Eagles. He's had a pretty solid NPB career, actually, with a career average of .344. The last line of his statistics is his 2018 line, with only 9 appearances and 15 at-bats boasting a .333 average. However, since this card was printed, he's appeared in 2 more games, gained four more at bats, and lost a hit. His NPB page says he has only four hits this season. Poor guy.
The fastest players must be in the three-card Accelerator subset.
The final four cards are in the Reign Men subset, featuring award winners.

The regular inserts come in the usual three tiers of parallels: Gold #/90, Holofoil #/75, and Gold Holofoil #/50. There are 18 inserts total, split among four sets.
Rocket Arms: 3 cards, pitchers.
Sparkling: 3 cards, no idea (defensive stars?)
Big Bang: 3 cards, power hitters
Pride of Lions: 9 cards, starters

Moving on to the premium inserts and hits...
 Phantom is #/25, and features 12 cards for the Lions.
 Every player has a regular autograph card, #/60 or less.
 There are two Combo Authentic Autographed Cards, #/5 each.
 Silver Autographs are #/9, and Gold Autograph parallels are 1/1s. There are nine cards in each set.
 Six players have Rookie Autographs, #/10 each.
And three Lions appear in the cross-brand Picturesque autograph set.

I'm not aware of any promo cards for the Lions set.

Premium insert and autograph images are promotional images from BBM.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

New Release: 2018 BBM Carp

Released in mid-May, at the same time as the Giants set, actually, the Carp team set is very similar. Like the Giants set, there are 81 base cards and a bunch of insert cards. And like the Giants set, there are several memorabilia cards. Unlike the Giants, however, the Carp set comes with autographs.
The first 69 cards in the 81-card base set are regular player cards. Actually, the last card features the team's mascot, Slyly. Several cards come in two parallels: Silver Signature #/100, and Gold Signature #/50.
Top Prospects is pretty self-explanatory. Three young promising players appear in this subset.
Another unambiguous subset is Pitching Staff. The team's top four starters have their prior-year's appearances itemized on the back.
Franchise Players are the five best hitters on the team. Interesting statistics can be found on the back - this is a list of the players who have worn jersey number 6. I'm not sure how complete the list is, but it does feature at least the major players. (There are no records for 1951, 1952 and 1974, and it's at least somewhat possible though unlikely that a player wore a jersey number for at least one or two games somewhere between listed players.)

The Carp set doesn't have a checklist card. Moving on to inserts, there are several small sets totaling the standard 18 cards. Three tiers of parallels can be found for each insert set: gold #/100, silver hologram foil #/75, gold hologram foil #/50.
Clear the Bases: four cards, featuring the team's best sluggers.
Confidential: three cards, no reason why the players were chosen on the card, but these are all relief pitchers.
Defence Master: two cards of the team's best fielders. British spelling!
Hard Hitters: three cards, the team's best hitters... again? These players are different from the Clear the Bases set, with players who get hits, instead of home runs.
High Energy: six cards of the team's starting pitchers.
 Royal Purple is one of the super-limited inserts, with all cards serial-numbered to 50 copies. There are 12 cards in the Carp set.
 Phantom is the other limited set, with 18 cards, #/25 each.
 As I mentioned, there are memorabilia cards. Five different jersey cards are available, each featuring just one player. Regular swatches are #/250, foil signature #/100, patch #/20, and foil signature patch #/10.
 The single player autographs are #/70 or less. Most players have on-card signatures, but seven have sticker autographs.
 Two combo autograph cards are #/3 each.
 Rookie Autographs can be found for six players, #/10 each.
 Silver Signature cards were made for 18 players, #/10 or less. Nine of those players have 1/1 Gold Signature versions. These are actual autographs (not foil or printed), though they are sticker autographs.
Picturesque is the cross-brand autograph series, and three Carp players have cards #/10 each.

Finally, BBM released a nine-card promo set to shops and for stadium events. Two different insert promos were included, one for stores and one for stadiums.

Limited inserts, memorabilia, and autographed cards in this post are promotional images from BBM.