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

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

When Stale Cards Get Fresh Again

What happens when the unloved are loved again? You get a great trade between Jason of Clyde's Stale Cards and me.

Jason is basically a Tuffy Rhodes supercollector, and he has a lot of cards from his days playing here in the NPB. I attacked some of his want list one day last fall and sent the cards his way (via another Jason - oops!) in return for some cards to be named later.

Jason took a bulldozer and scooped up a gigantic pile of oddballs and team issues, shoved them in a box, and sent them in my direction (with a stopover in California, of course). I got my latest care package from San Francisco a couple weeks ago, and I got to see what he sent. 
 Jason specializes in obscurity. His work cataloging foreign issues and little-known sets is amazing - the Sports Card Forum inventory manager is more comprehensive than Beckett's database. And he doesn't only research these cards, he also collects them. I'm not sure what the extent or goal of his collection is, but he's amassed a large amount of extras on the way. We start with a 1983 7-Eleven disc of a squinting Steve Sax. I remember getting these throughout the decade because I loved Slurpees. I still do, and whenever I find frozen Cokes or other similar drinks I tend to buy one.
 While we're dealing with discs, here's a nice MSA issue of Rollie Fingers.
 The back is the highlight here! This was issued by Burger Chef, a place I've never heard of. I can only assume that Mrs. Fangburger liked her patties rare and bloody.
 This is a magnet. It sticks to metal. And it's basically a card (though the back is just black magnetic metal).
 In addition to a dozen or so oddball issues, Jason raided his minor league team set collection to help my type collection. Mickey looks to be about 12 in this card of the San Jose Bees.
 He had several All-Star Game sets.
 I've seen so many of these late-'80s/early-'90s minor league issues with their distinctive wood plaque design. But I still need more.
 Recently, the Disabled American Veterans have been issuing minor league team sets. AJ here needs a smaller cap. And he needs to shave that peach fuzz from his chin. Jason must have sent about 100 minor league cards.
 Welcome to Mexico! This marks my first Mexican League card.
 And Pablo is on my second! Jason has been very supportive in my search for international cards, supplying information about Taiwan (CPBL) and South Korea issues as he finds it.
 There were some MLB team issues in the lot too. I loved Tim Belcher because his last name means someone who burps.
 I'm not entirely sure if this is a Marlins team set or just a Tim Hyers special issue.
 Emerald Nuts has issued team sets for the Giants for a few years, and Jason sent a couple cards (2010 and 2011) for my collection. Despite living in San Francisco for over a year, I never found singles from this set.
 The cheesiest card in the bunch is this team issue. Kraft was a major promoter of Minor League Baseball in 2011 and offered discounts on tickets when Kraft Singles wrappers were brought to the ticket office. I wonder how many sets they are on.
 Let's make a quick stop in Taiwan! This is the 2009 issue, which I didn't find while I was in Taipei.
 Okay, back to Japan for a minute. This is a pretty cool issue. The front looks like a fairly normal Japanese card, including the player's blood type. The back is a game board with heat-sensitive strips. They don't seem to work anymore (or did I just not leave my finger on long enough?) but you played by picking a spot and placing your thumb over it for several seconds. It would magically reveal the outcome, and you could play an entire game that way.
Last, a card that's spawned several conversations at work lately. They haven't seen it, but I've been mentioning that I have a card from the Netherlands. Until this card arrived, I didn't even know there was a league in the Netherlands. The DOOR Neptunus are the Netherlands best professional team, having won 13 league titles including seven straight from 1999-2005.

Jason sent a whole bunch of cards, but I couldn't possibly show them all at once. Thank you so much, Jason! It was a baseball trip around the world looking through the pile you sent my way! I know I'll be sending more Tuffy cards your way soon.


  1. Glad you're enjoying the cards, I'm working up my next bucket-load to send your way.

    The 1983 7-Eleven disc was their first year, and is something of a test issue. Lots of the em were miscut, and they had the paper contents of the disc sandwiched between two layers of plastic. In following years, the back would just be glossy paper. And the seem to have worked out their cutting problems. I've got some that are VERY off-center, like a good 25-30% off center.

    Take a peek at Wikipedia's entry for Burger Chef. Aside from those discs, I'd never heard of the joint, either, but apparently they were a significant rival to McDonalds and Burger King in the 1970s and were the pioneer of the "kid's meal". If you look them up on eBay, you can find lots of the full kid's meal boxes with the discs still intact.

    The magnet is from the 1989 Collect the Stars Magnetables set. There was also a 1990 set. I picked up a couple large lots to get the few players I wanted and found that Beckett's and SCD's checklists were somewhat incomplete. I don't know of the checklist at SportsCardForum is complete, yet, but it is more comprehensive than the others now.

    In the 1980s, NPB used the California League (and to a smaller extent, the Florida State League) as a sort of secondary minor league and dozends of Japanese players appear in the team sets from those years. The great Chunichi Dragons pitcher Masahiro Yamamoto was even an All Star in the FSL in 1989 for the Vero Beach Dodgers.

    The Marlins card came in a lot I won on eBay that appeared to be someone's haul of fan pack requests from that year. It included several of those Marlins/Davie Police Department cards, each featuring a member of the team and a local peace officer.

  2. Jason: thanks! While I won't have a bucket-load in return, I'll do my best to help fill your want lists. By the way, how interested are you in random Japanese cards? I know you have a good collection of oddballs and foreign issues, but I'm not sure what your feelings are on Japanese singles (BBM, team issue, Epoch, etc).

    I think I tagged the magnet as a 1990 card in my collection; I'll have to fix that. And thanks for the details here! It seems then that the Marlins card is part of a team set of sorts.

    And I know that while there's still stuff missing, it seems the SCF database is certainly the best for identifying a card from these really obscure releases, or recent oddballs that don't end up in Beckett.

  3. I'd love any oddballs, team issues, promos and non-BBM base set cards you'd care to fire in my direction. My white whale is still that 1994 Chiba Lotte Marines menko sheet with Hensley Meulens on it, but I don't expect you to stumble across one of those. I have no problem trading for Tuffy cards I need at a 15 to 1 ratio since all of these minor league cards and oddballs are just sitting idle in my house right now. If I can knock one card off my wantlist and you knock 15 off yours, all the better.

    And if you notice anything missing from the SCF database, let me know. I haven't added a lot of the team issue stuff from Japan, yet, and I don't have any real resource for tracking down things like the stadium or bookstore promo cards, so those might take awhile to add, but for anything else, drop me a line and I'll try to track it down and add at least a partial listing.

  4. Jason: OK, I'll keep my eyes open. I think it'd be great to find a couple of those menko sheets, or any Marines team issue stuff for that matter. It must exist somewhere...

    I need to get in the habit of taking notes of what cards I see when I pick up team issue and other oddballs like that. Usually they're too expensive to buy a whole set or at least the complete stock, but I don't think staff would mind if I made a checklist.

    Thanks again!