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

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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

BayStars B*Spirit Team Issue Cards 2016-2019

Many teams have their own card sets; MLB teams have had card giveaways for decades, and Japanese teams have their own sets.

The BayStars sets seem to be comprehensive, containing every player on the roster at the time of issue. I call these "B*Spirit" given the notation on the backs. This also distinguishes them from other BayStars sets; the past two seasons saw team-issued (or at least, team-sanctioned) pack based sets. (I opened a box of one of these a couple months ago; they are technically issued by Produce216, but don't carry TIC logos or copyrights.)

I was happy to grab a big lot of cards from the past several years in hopes of finding some Rami-chan singles I didn't have and filling in some gaps. I was successful on both fronts; you'll see the Ramirez cards included below, and for several of the years, I grabbed one card from the stack for the type collection.

Note that, to save space, I've left these images pretty small. But you can enlarge them by clicking on them, or right-clicking and opening in a new window for the full size window. Of course, if you're on mobile, that might be more difficult. Sorry.
 The 2016 set was the most represented in this lot. It is my favorite set, so that was a bonus.
 If you didn't notice, the backgrounds are images of Yokohama Stadium. What I didn't notice until now was that the cards could actually be pieced together like a puzzle to make a big stadium image.
 Not exciting are the poses. I bet you can tell who all of the pitchers and catchers are just by looking at the photos. The straight-on mug shot on the back is pretty plain, too, though I like the isolated facsimile autographs. There are interesting inspirational quotes on the back. I don't know how or why they were chosen.
 There's Rami-chan (Alex Ramirez). And two backup backup backup catchers. It's a nice set!
 I only have eight cards from 2017. But there's another Ramirez. This time, the background is black-and-white, though it looks like you could make a full stadium image by piecing the right backgrounds together. Backs are similar to the year before, including the same quotes for each player.
 Here's 2018. I have 14 of these, but none of Ramirez. The quotes seem to have changed, though again the front has an image of the stadium. I can't tell for sure, but there might be two different angles.
 I think the cards look better overall because the backs have more color, though the quotes are back, in the same place. Those numbers, by the way, are jersey numbers, and are the only numbering on the cards, making BayStars B*Spirit sets skip-numbered.
Finally, 2019. And finally, no more stadium puzzles. Instead, we have giant players standing in the Yokohama skyline, with a background of the entire stadium. Between the player and the stadium is a giant WordArt rendering of the player's name, fitting on two to four lines. The backs have another angle of the skyline with a second pose instead of just a headshot. And the quote lines are back. Again.

I still feel 2016 is the best design of these four years. What do you think?

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Thirty Eight: Last of the Card Show Pickups

Here's the rest of the singles from last month's card show pickups...
 Three printing plates and an /15 autograph. But that Leaf Matrix card looks the coolest in this scan! The Platinum autograph is nice. But I gotta go with Matt Harvey as the best card here thanks to the colors.
 I was surprised to come across a Goodwin Champions printing plate. But that's why I go to card shows! I really like that Eddie Murray dual relic card too. But Pedro Martinez is my favorite card here. I'm a sucker for art cards, if you didn't know.
One of the dealers has occasional Korean cards. I don't know why; perhaps he builds sets for himself, or he looks for certain big hits or players. I got a bunch of cards from the 2019 SCC Premium 2 set for my type collection from him. Dan usually hooks me up with singles but I didn't have any from this set. Jeon Sang Hyun is the best looking card in the lot, if you ask me. You didn't, but it's my blog. So I'll just pretend you asked me.
 After Korea, let's look at Japan. I do live in Japan, after all! One seller had a bunch of numbered Epoch singles, which I gobbled up for my type collection. Epoch's issues are usually so limited that most inserts are numbered less than 100 copies each. I've been gobbling up Calbee singles to finish off a little mini-collection I'm working on; I'm down to mostly 1980s cards. Soon, that project will be completed! Beste card here: Tokutsu, though it didn't scan well.
Finally, some more type collection singles. I lined these cards up so well that the Glory and Legendary Player cards look like single big cards! The two Tashiros are different; you can't tell it in the scan, but they are parallels of the base version. Best card: Asuka Teramoto, because any time I can get a gymnast out of a pack of baseball cards, that set is a winner.

What do you think of this scanning style? Nine cards per scan in an extra-large image size? Usually I have single card images, and put up to three in a row, but I thought I'd go back to this format to see how it works.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Fifty Four

One of my favorite things to find at the Tokyo Collectors Show is a dealer selling cheap MLB singles. Usually, someone's there with a 10-yen box, and I certainly get more cards than I need. In fact, that's where I usually get a bunch of doubles from. But that's fine with me, because it's fun just poking through the cards in the first place.
 I was surprised to get the Ohtani and Acuna for 10 yen each. And I was even more surprised to walk away with cheap Trout and Bellinger SPs, too. I enjoy the gimmicky SPs in Holiday, to the point that I've considered trying to find one of each type of SP (belt, hat, tree, etc.). And one set I chase each year is the Canvas Collection series in Topps Museum Collection. Best card: Bellinger Claus.
 I gotta say, I'm so glad that Stadium Club is back. It's much more enjoyable to flip through a set with unique, varied photographs than a set with batter after batter standing at the plate, and pitcher after pitcher in their motion. Best card: Giancarlon Stanton (the card stock makes this card)
 One of these cards is not like the other! I snuck a printing plate in with some Heritage. I've said it before: I get the concept of Heritage, and I get that many people enjoy it. But it's just not for me. There are some insert sets that pique my interest, at least. Best card: Velasquez for the view of the stadium.
 This is the "cards I don't know what to do with" scan. I like the Stadium Club Legends die-cut set, but I don't really need another set to collect. Best card: Nolan for the color matching.
 These cards fit into my type collection. I love the Score cards that pay homage to the 1990-ish All-Stars subsets. That is a set I will put together. Best card: Cole Tucker for the high jersey number.
Parallel city! It's like Geometry class all over again. Best card: Travis Swaggerty, because 'Murica.

Do you see any standouts here? More coming soon!

Until next time...