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

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Saturday, April 29, 2017

The 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge (Day 29)

Day 29: A favorite card from before 1950, whether you own it or not

Yet again, COMC comes to the rescue.

I'm glad this challenge consistently makes use of the "A" in the challenge - A favorite card.... Without it, I don't think I could have been honest with myself and my readers. With so many of my cards out of reach, I've had to make compromises. I do love the cards I've posted, but if I had access to my entire collection, I might have made different choices for most of the posts.

And if it wasn't for COMC, I probably would have brought you another menko. I really enjoy getting new menko for my collection, and the older ones are the best-looking.

But I've been working on meeting my 2017 collecting goals. You know, the ones I posted about at the beginning of the year? I've met seven of the 20 goals already, so I think I should be pretty close to 100% this year if I don't actually finish all of my goals. One of those goals is to reduce the "type 1" want list to 50 cards. Type 1 is comprised of base cards from major releases; it's not perfect, because there are some sets on that list which many people would consider oddballs, including several TCMA releases.
The earliest set on that list is the 1887 Allen & Ginter's N28 set. It's a famous set even with modern collectors thanks to Topps' homage issued over the past ten-plus years. Known for its beautiful paintings, the set has "champions" from several different sports. On Sunday, I finally added one to my collection. It's in nice condition, especially since it's 130 years old! And while it's not a baseball player, it's from that same set, and the base ball players are listed on the back along with this guy, John McKay, an oarsman.

This is one of my favorites because it is my oldest card, it's very beautiful even just on my screen, and it (along with Old Judge and Kimball) represents the start of "mainstream" baseball card sets! I wonder how hard it would be to get the other 49 cards? (No, it's not happening.)

Friday, April 28, 2017

The 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge (Day 28)

Day 28: A favorite relic/manufactured relic card

Oddly enough, this is kind of difficult.

As a pop culture enthusiast, a large part of my "personal" collection is focused on entertainment autographs and relics. And over the years, I've put together what I feel is a pretty impressive collection of my favorite actors and actresses. No, you won't find Robin Williams or Tom Hanks autographs, unfortunately. But I do have a relic card with Jennifer Garner's latex dress from Alias. And Levar Burton and Bruce Campbell's autographs. And dozens more relics and autographs.

I have some beautiful patches, too. When Playoff/Donruss lost their MLB license in 2005, they dumped some awesome swatches in their packs, and I've grabbed a few nice ones. Regardless of the subject on the card, if it's a unique item I'm interested in having it in my collection.
I've finished one relic set, and I started it just by chance. I came across a bunch of the Japanese team relic cards from an Upper Deck USA release a couple years ago, and used COMC and a little luck here in Japan to finish the set inexpensively. There are a couple other relic sets I enjoy: Bazooka Adventures and Fun Facts relic sets, and the Currency Connection coin sets from Topps Gallery. I'm chasing Adventures and Fun Facts, but I'm not actively searching for Currency Connection cards due to their price.

My player collection has relics, too. Some are easier to find than others; Pujols has lots of swatches out there, while Julio Franco does not. The rarer ones are sometimes more treasured because of the effort it took for me to obtain it. I'm happy to have all of them in my collection, too.

As far as manu-patches go, they're cool, but overpriced. I tried to collect some of the manu-patch sets from around 2004 (Sweet Spot, UD Patch Collection) but had to give that up because of cost.
One of my favorite relics is one of my newest. Or, two of my newest. I collect gymnastics autographs and relics, and Aly Raisman has a relic card in 2016 Goodwin Champions. I have both cards above in my COMC account. They are certified as being used in a gymnastics event, and are obviously not just from a T-shirt. I would guess that the swatches are either from a leotard or a warm-up suit.

I guess I could show you more of my "awesome" relic cards, but they're all in the US. In fact, if you're wondering why so many of my card images have come from COMC, it's for that same reason. The majority of my collection is in America. So, thanks, COMC, for letting me use your images... of my cards and others'.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge (Day 27)

Day 27: A favorite oddball card from 1990 or later

Today's oddball brings us back to Japan. While the challenge is to post an oddball "card" from 1990 or later, I chose to highlight one of the other collectibles you can find here.

Team loyalty is pretty strong with most baseball fans here; there are very few people who are just fans of the game. I guess the same is true in the US, but I feel like the bond here is stronger. And for big fans, that means buying jerseys and sitting in the cheerleading seats, learning the cheers so you can chant along at the game.

I think the reason BBM can release full team sets every year for every team is because there are fans for every team, and they want to collect their team's cards. Can you imagine Topps releasing 30 different team pack-based products every year in addition to all the other product? And the teams themselves have tons of products, including series of collectibles.

For example, I recently picked up a big lot of pins issued by the Chiba Lotte Marines. For the past several years at least, they have issued pins for many of the popular players in various series. I've seen buttons, keychains, and all manner of other small things that can fit into the gacha-gacha (capsule toy) vending machines. Every team has something every year, if not multiple things.

And the Tigers, being the popular Osaka-area team, get a few other product tie-ins as well. Glico is a major snack company based in Osaka, and they have partnered with Hanshin multiple times for various collectibles. In 2003, they issued trading cards packaged with chocolate to highlight the team's victories in the first half of the season. And today's product was sold in 2003 as well.
The picture you see here is not of cards, though. Each of these is a small CD cover; the outside designed to look like a newspaper. Actually, it may be a redesign of an actual newspaper cover story. The CD itself... well, I don't know. I've never opened it up, but I believe based on the packaging that it's just audio, probably a recording of the broadcast from the game featured on the front.
The backs have details on the game featured on the front. I believe these were sold in two series of 10, as there are 20 cards in all in the set. I'm missing a few CDs for a full set, but I'll find those eventually.

While these aren't cards, they are pretty cool oddballs and nearly card-sized. I mean, Upper Deck included CD-ROMs in packs, Pinnacle sold cards in soup cans, and Topps makes stickers. Now I just need to pop one of these into my computer and see what happens!