This is the dead card season in Japan. After Christmas, very few baseball card sets come out. The first series of flagship BBM doesn't hit shelves until April, and only BBM Rookie Edition comes out in February. Sports Graphic Number (issued by Produce, a company that also makes lots of non-sport idol card sets) released a second Hiroki Kuroda set this year, after making a smaller set last year.
While there are two basic types of cards, there are eight subsets throughout the set, of nine cards each. These focus on topics like the Japan Series, Kuroda's 200 wins, and retirement.
There are always a bunch of inserts included in this pack-based release.
Enjoy the "Engrish" on the front: "Japanese plum trees bloom most beautifully as they stand and overcome the cold severe winter." I'm not sure what that has to do with Kuroda.
My scanner doesn't like the dark bottoms of the second type of SP card. These use silver foil. Below what you can see in the image above is Kuroda's name and a game date. This one states:
Hiroshima Toyo Carp VS Hokkaido Nippon-ham Fighters
I'm guessing that is a photo date, and if so, that's pretty cool. But then I think they should do that on every card.
- photo cards
- printed signature cards (9 types)
- mini paper cards (card sized signature boards)
- printed signature version
- autographed "home" version
- autographed "visitor" version
- autographed relic cards
- autographed ball cards
- uniform relic cards
- uniform patch cards
Packs of 6 cards retail for 500 yen each, while a box of 12 packs is 6000 yen. That means you won't finish a base set from a box, let alone having a shot at the insert set. I don't know what print runs or odds are for this set.