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Sunday, January 25, 2015

2014 Sports Graphic Number Yakult Swallows

Sports Graphic Number is a magazine found on newstands in Japan which, unsurprisingly, has lots of photos and stories about baseball and other sports stars. Over the past few years, they've issued a few single-player baseball sets for some of the best of the best active players. As far as I can remember, this is their first multi-player baseball set, though they only went with three. Note that the company itself sometimes is known as Athlete or Sports Athlete, and the official "publisher" is TICトレカ (TIC Trading Cards).
 As is customary with SGN, the base cards are photo-based. Some cards form puzzles, but other than the team logo and player name on the front, and card number and copyright line on the back, there is no text on the cards. The three players are Tetsuto Yamada (above), Shingo Kawabata, and Yuhei Takai (seen below). The regular set has 81 cards, distributed evenly among the three players.
 There are two designs to the SP cards, though they are numbered sequentially. The first design uses gold foil, #SP01-SP18. There are three images on the front in sequence, with a fourth image on the back in a gold frame. The background is of a cloudy late-afternoon sky.
A similarly-themed background is found on the silver foil SP cards, numbered SP19-SP36. These only have two different photos; the back photos on these cards are in a silver frame.
There are six box privilege cards, BP01-BP06 with two per player.
A store-distribution card carries a unique design as well that puts all three players on the same card. I am aware of a card A and a card D, using different photos and arrangements of the players on the front.
There is a series of promo cards for the set which were distributed in stores. These cards featured 10 different players who were eligible to be in the set; a voting campaign in September helped decide the three finalists. These cards were also distributed at the stadium on three dates to 2000 people each game.
Above is an image of all the promo player cards you could get.
Of course, packs of this set had rare cards beyond the SPs. They are as follows:

  • Photo Cards (9 cards, bottom right)
  • Autographs (3 cards, middle far-right)
  • Autographed Photo Cards (3 cards, bottom center)
  • Combo Signatures (3 cards, middle center-right)
  • Jersey Relics (6 cards)
  • Pennant Race Jersey Relics (3 cards, top center-right)
  • Batting Glove Relics (3 cards, middle center-left)
  • W-Used Jersey/Batting Glove Combos (3 cards, top-right)
  • Jersey/Batting Glove Combos (3 cards)
  • Patch Relics (6 cards, top center-right)
  • Patch Premium Relics (3 cards, top center-left)
  • Big Patch Relics (3 cards, bottom left)
  • Masterpieces (3 cards, top far-left)
I'm not sure about any print runs for any of the sets above. One special card is found per box of 10 packs. 


  1. OK, now something makes sense - I'd seen those "mugshot" cards of the Swallows players back in September when I first saw something about this set. I thought it was some sort of Swallows team set and I wasn't that interested. I keep considering picking this set up as it looks really attractive.

  2. I was quite confused about those promos too until I saw the dates and manufacturer matched up. I've thought about getting a SGN set or two - Tanaka or Maeda, probably.