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

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

2013 Golden Eagles Team Issue

When I go to Japanese baseball games, I always check the surrounding shops and gachapon (toy vending machines) for collectibles. Most of the time, the vending machines have little trinkets for the players - mini batting helmets, pins, stickers, etc. I've come across cards once or twice before.

Last week, I went to the Rakuten Golden Eagles game in Sendai, and while browsing the shops I noticed they had a pack-based issue. I bought one pack, but I'll have to buy more packs or find single cards somewhere.
 The base cards are fairly simple but attractive, similar to Upper Deck's best flagship designs. The team logo is in the corner and the player's name, jersey number, and position is at the bottom, all in gold foil. The team name is also printed across the bottom. The entire face of the card contains a full-bleed photo, usually with game action.

The manager, Senichi Hoshino, has jersey number 77. It seems that most managers have numbers like 77 or 88 - 8 is a good luck number in Japan, and I think 7 is too.
 The backs have a headshot, biographical information and prior statistics. McGehee (front of the card is seen below) is playing his first year in Japan this year, though he has experience in other leagues.
 Hiroshi Katayama, pitcher
 Norihiko Kaneto, pitcher
 Tadashi Ishimine, catcher
 Casey McGehee, infielder. The fun thing about foreigners is listening to the Japanese pronunciation of names. Ma-gay-hee-ee or Gay-hee-ee is what I remember them saying during the cheers.
 One of the inserts is titled Heat. This is one of 11 cards in that set.
Here is the back; the large amount of black resulted in the borders getting shrunk down. Most notably missing is the card number - SS1-10. The image used here is also found on pack wrappers, as the theme of the year seems to be Heat.

There are other inserts or subsets in the issue:
  • a 2-card title holders set
  • a 1-card newcomer "set" - perhaps McGehee?
  • a 12-card insert set (they're called "insert card" on the pack)
  • a 3-card jersey (relic) set
  • a 34-card autograph set 
I would like to find samples for the rest of the issues. I might have to return to Sendai and visit the card store (closed when I made my trip) to hopefully find more team issues like this, and possibly compile a checklist.


  1. Cool looking set - very BBM-ish. Sports Card Jambalaya Yahoo has info on the set here, so it might actually be a nationally released team issued set.

  2. When I first saw the packs I thought they were a BBM issue. They might be made by BBM or one of the other major manufacturers (Epoch, etc). I didn't see any in Mint Ikebukuro this weekend though - and I was looking.