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

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Thursday, July 5, 2018

Just Twenty Cards #2: Flower Girl

Twenty more cards for your viewing pleasure. Tuesday's group could be called "Focus on the Past" while I suppose today's could be named "Mostly Cards Nobody Will Remember".
 I recently added three players to my player collection. Adrian Beltre is one of those - he's just too much fun to watch.
 Ah, Panini Prism. Here's a set that always seemed so close to being good. Donruss Optic is much better, if you ask me. It's much more colorful which really makes the shiny shine.

 That's all that comes to mind when I see this set name.
 Heh. Chairman of the Board. There's another music joke there.
Live in Tokyo!
 Speaking of Donruss... earlier... um, here are some parallels from this year's Donruss set.
 I wasn't too impressed with this design, though I get the homage to 1984. the Long Ball Leaders card looks pretty cool, though!
 People talk a lot about all the parallels Panini and Topps stuffs in their sets. But look at some Pacific's sets from around 2000 - they passed a dozen more than once.
 Interesting to think that these players were supposed to be good. Do you even remember their names today?
 Marlon Anderson. Mark Grudzielanek. Two players not going to the Hall of Fame.
 Which name is worse? Grudzielanek or Schwindenhammer? Oh, look, Mike Pizza. I'll take a Pepperoni. (Yes. I know. Piazza. But I'm tired. And I think it's moderately humorous.)
I once dated a girl named Shirley Poppy. If I plant this card will she grow from the ground?

No, not really. I never dated anyone named Shirley. How cool would that be, though? Or cliched? "Here are poppies for my Poppy." I guess a girl could do that for her father? Either way, this is a cool card.

But now, I'll spend the next hour watching videos of old music performances inspired by that Sinatra clip.

See you next time!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Just Twenty Cards #1

I'm in a hotel this week. Actually, almost all this year I've spent my weekdays "on the road", living in an apartment on the other side of Tokyo from my home apartment. So moving from a "borrowed" apartment to a hotel isn't much of a change, though it does mean I'll have clean towels and a made-up bed every day. It also means no cooking, so I might have more time to post. I want to clear out my scan folder, and there are about 100 cards I got from that card show back in July to share. There is no common theme, so instead I give you 20 cards with no real purpose!
 I love the original Topps Archives sets, simply because I don't have the original vintage cards. One of these days, I might actually try to build a 1950s Topps set. I doubt it, though - there are plenty of other cards in the stacks that I want more.
 1952 Topps is over-rated though. Yes, it was the first real Topps baseball card set. Yes, it has amazing names and some other great things in it. But the lighted marquee sign is dated, just like many of the 1990s card sets (Pacific Online?!). And the 1953-1956 sets have much better images.
 Don't get me started on the 1960s, either. Actually, these zoom-and-enhance rookie star cards aren't as good as the original multi-player issues.
 What would people say about designs like the Mazeroski, Bench, and Williams cards today? "Boring." "Simplistic." "Lazy." But they were clean and left lots of space for the photos.
 Topps was practicing leaving lots of space for relics even back in the 1960s, apparently.
 Rookie Cup, before and after. I wonder if baseball players used the trophies for MnMs or keys and loose change.
 I love Golden Age. There aren't many baseball players in it but there are some fun, obscure names. I can't remember the last time I saw Eddie Gaedel on a card. Rocky Colavito... well, give it a few minutes.
 Don't worry, there'll be some more newer cards coming up in a post or two. Here are two nice refractors to get you started.
But we'll finish the day with two more oddball-ish cards. I had the chance to buy a box of 2013 USA Champions for about $35 last weekend. I didn't do it - it's a great set but I have pretty much everything I want from the release already. But what I really love is that Ted Williams set. I think it was just ahead of its time - if a set like that came out today I bet collectors would jump all over it. Logos, retired local heroes, and lots of interesting topical subsets and inserts.

Friday, June 29, 2018

New Release: 2018 Epoch NPB

Last year, Epoch tried their hand at a big current set with a Pacific League set. Granted, that was much smaller than this set, but it was a start. Now, Epoch has a full set covering all twelve teams for the first time since 2000, I believe. In 2000, Epoch issued a pack-based sticker set similar to Panini's stickers of the 1980s and Topps' stickers of the past decade or so. And I believe this is Epoch first comprehensive NPB set in nearly 20 years.
 Base cards are pretty attractive. It's not too busy, but the design is fairly unique. Backs are similar to what BBM does - biographical stats, another photo, some stats, and a career biography. There are 432 cards in the base set, 36 cards per team.
 If McGehee's photo looks a little grainy, that's because it has a shiny holographic background which doesn't scan as clean as a regular card. 72 players have the holographic parallel (six per team). Odds for parallel cards is 1:2 packs.

The common insert card is called Silver Foil, which you can see on the front and back. The set is divided into subsets. Silver Foil cards come about 1:2.5 packs, and there are 60 cards in a set - five per team.
 Here is Sluggers.
 And here is Rookies. I don't recall seeing a Hurlers subset, oddly.
Hologram Foil is a 1:12 insert set with 24 cards - two per team.
Finally, Holospectra fall 1:144 packs, with 36 cards in the set, making it the most challenging set to finish in this release. Each card comes in Green, Blue and Red versions, though Epoch didn't release any print runs or odds for the different colors. However, the above green card is #/15, and the blue card is #/7. The red parallel might be a 1/1.

I'm still looking for my base set, but I definitely want a complete set. Hopefully one shows up at a good price soon!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

New Release: 2018 Epoch Dragons Rookies & Stars

The Dragons Rookies & Stars set was released on May 19th, with five cards per 400 yen pack, and the usual 20 packs per box and 12 boxes per case.

The base set clocks in at 90 cards, but they're numbered 1-70. Twenty players have photo variations, though they aren't short-printed and are being considered part of a full set.
 I think Epoch was going with a sort of art theme - maybe a framed painting with bronze plaques above and below the image? Anyway, regular cards use white card numbers on the back.
This is an image variation, and you can see the light blue card number on the back. And for you bat flip fans, Merry Christmas.
There are two limited insert sets to be found in packs if you're lucky. Lightning Flash comes in Silver #/75, and Gold #/50. Super-rare Force of the Dragon is found in base #/10 and parallel #/5 versions.
A total of 32 players have autographs in the set. Twenty-seven of those have regular horizontal autographed cards with silver backgrounds. Eight players have gold vertical parallel versions. Rookie Signature horizontal cards can be found for six players, with three players having vertical parallels. Print runs vary wildly - one player has only three regular autographs, while others have up to 74.