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

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Monday, January 22, 2018

New Autograph: Yuna Hiraiwa

Things have been busy this week, as I've been settling in for a longer-term stay at a school. So my posts have been brief, but I'm happy to say that I've been able to post consistently so far this year. I hope it can continue!

My Women in Sports collection isn't restricted to specific sports, but I do focus mainly on gymnastics. It's my favorite Olympic sport and it's been featured in several card sets.

BBM has issued a few box sets for the Japan national gymnastics team over the years, and I've made it one of my goals to try to get one autograph or relic for every team member who has one. Some of these athletes have appeared in the Real Venus/Shining Venus series, while others are in the gymnastics box sets. Rie Tanaka had her own box set, but her autographs are quite pricey, so I've stuck with just a relic card.
 Yuna Hiraiwa is still active in gymnastics, though there isn't much out there. She started college this school year, but appears to still be participating.
Here's the back; this card is numbered out of 110. I believe it's her only autograph.

If you're interested, here's a video of Yuna in action:

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Making Progress on 2000 Calbee: Dice-K

One of my goals this year is to finish my 2000 Calbee set. The biggest part of the set that's missing is Series 2; I don't want to try to build the set card by card. That'll cost a fortune and take a long time. So I'm holding out for an affordable set to show up in an auction or a card shop.

The most challenging part, though, is finishing the insert sets. Granted, inserts aren't actually part of the set, but I have a good start on getting everything and it makes the experience that much more fulfilling. There are two insert sets that will be the most difficult. One is the Title Holders set; it's doable but pricey because it's more limited than the others and is printed on shiny card stock. The other is the checklist set.

I don't know why checklists are so challenging and expensive. I'm still not entirely sure they're any more rare than a regular card. The 2000 card set has 18 checklists in all, six per series. Each series of six checklists feature the same player in a succession of images. Series 2 was the first one to be completed, featuring Koji Uehara.

Series 1 is the most valuable in Engel's 7th Edition guide, with each card being valued at $25 each! However, my SCM guide lists those singles at only 300 yen each. On the other hand, the Series 3 checklists carry the most value there, at 1000 yen each.

Series 3 has Ichiro, and he is definitely the biggest name in modern Japanese players. So who did he beat out? Series 1 is Daisuke Matsuzaka. Here is my Series 1 complete checklist set:

The full progression of Dice-K's pitching motion is pretty cool to see in a row. I have a few more insert cards on the way, too, so hopefully I'll get to show those off in the next couple of weeks!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Going Platinum: My First 1/1... Platinum

I didn't expect to win this card.

It's a simple story - I saw this card on Yahoo Japan Auctions and tossed in a basic 1000 yen bid.
 A few days later, I won it for my minimum bid! It's from the 2013 update set, and it is an RC logo. But most importantly is that foil stamp above the Cubs logo. It's 1/1. This is the Platinum parallel, which I've never had in my collection before!
The backs are pretty standard, though the front has that parallel color border.

It's not my first 1/1. I have several printing plates in my collection, though technically there are four of every card, just with color variations. A couple came from packs, while many others came from card shows and auctions. I also pulled one notable 1/1 autographed patch from a pack back in 2005, and I have a couple other 1/1 cards I've lucked into over the years. Plus all of my Buck Farmer 1/1 cards (29 different!).

But the one kind of 1/1 I've never had is a Platinum parallel from the flagship Topps brand. Granted, this is Update, but I consider that a third series of the base set anyway. Unfortunately, an Allen & Ginter Wood parallel that was recently for auction went out of my price range. Otherwise, it could have been a really great week for my type collection!