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

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Let's Calbee: 11 More 2014 Packs!

Calbee Pro Yakyu Chips are still tough to find. The grocery store closest to my office doesn't have them yet, though I noticed they put the soccer cards on clearance sale. But I ran into the supermarket near my house, and found that they have put out their stock. I grabbed 15 bags for later; these 11 packs below were bought last week! 
 Pack 1: two base cards. Sugano is a pretty good pitcher for the Giants; last year was his rookie season and he posted a 3.12 ERA; after 3 games this year his ERA is 0.79.
 Ishiyama was a decent relief pitcher this year, but has been struggling this April.
 Uchikawa has been a pretty solid offensive member of the Hawks, with a career batting average of .315. He's in his 14th season now, but had limited playing time the first several years of his career; with a few healthy, strong seasons he can reach the 2000-hit plateau.
 Takahashi is another veteran, though he seems to be on his way out. He hit his 300th home run a couple years ago.
 Shima has a career average of .253, but has 11 hits in 10 games this year.
 You may remember Kazuo Matsui from his days in the MLB. He returned to Japan in 2011, and while he's not hitting as well as he did before he left, he's still good enough to play regularly. He just got his 1800th hit in the NPB, and will hopefully get his 2000th next season. He had over 600 hits in the MLB, so he is a member of the Golden Players Club, but I think having 2000 hits here would be a good accomplishment. He should reach 2500 career hits between both leagues this year.
 The seventh pack for this week gives us our first insert, a Starcard of Tigers pitcher Shintaro Fujinami. He went 10-6 last year with a 2.75 ERA.
 Ogawa is another quality pitcher, playing for the Swallows. In his rookie season last year, he went 16-4 (for a team that won only 57 games last year) with a 2.93 ERA.
 Iwase is a veteran reliever with a 2.06 ERA and 384 saves; since taking over the closer position he's been averaging over 30 saves per year with a career high of 46 and 36 last year.
 We've seen that Ishiyama card already. Wada has been playing since 1997 and is 90 hits away from 2000; he's a career .304 hitter. He also has some power, with over 300 home runs.
 The last pack I opened for this week had two Starcards! The Dragons catcher is Motonobu Tanishige, who has been playing baseball since 1989. This guy has been on the field as long as I've been a fan - that's twenty five years (he just started his 26th). He managed to reach 2000 hits last year, and it hasn't been easy - he has a .241 career batting average. How does 26 years compare to the MLB records? Six players have seen 25 seasons, two have been a part of 26, and two have made it to 27 rosters. He's a player-manager now, so it's possible he could see some action in 2015 or even beyond!
Not available in packs, the Title Holder set uses a holographic-ish foil background on the front. The set was sold online. I found mine at a card shop.

After 31 packs, I have 40 different cards from the 84-card base set, 4 of 16 subset cards, and 7 of 24 Starcards - plus the one gold signature Starcard parallel. That's 52 unique cards - I've had a total of 10 duplicates as well.


  1. That is awesome getting two star cards in one bag like that, I don`t think I`ve ever had that happen to me.

    The availability of Calbee has improved markedly in the past few days in Nagoya, all the 7-11s started carrying them last week and my local Max Value also has them now so I think the drought is over. I`m about 15 bags in and my main problem as always is trying to figure out what to do with all these chips.

  2. Sean: it goes to show how random it all really is! I'm hoping I'll see more stores with Calbee baseball chips; I looked (briefly) in the 7-11 near my office today and they didn't have any. After taking most of my local supermarket's stash last night, I didn't check to see if they restocked them today. Hopefully I will be content with another 15-20 bags after the ones I bought yesterday, and will be able to just pick up a handful of singles at the card shop. I'm afraid that might not be the case though...

    My coworkers have been quite helpful in keeping the pile of chips small. Out of 21 bags in the past two weeks, we have 1-2 left. I've resorted to leaving them on people's desks to encourage them, of course!

    It's my intention to be done with Series 1, one way or another, by the end of the month.