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

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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Seven Days Without A Post Makes One Weak.. Week?

(It's only been five days.)

Yeah, been lazy lately. Actually, I have been keeping busy, but not very productive all the time, so I haven't been churning out posts like I usually do. Part of that is because I've been hammering out the details for my Golden Week trip (the Japanese spring break, essentially... but kids have a break this month too). And at the same time, I've been doing all kinds of other chores and errands while living in two places simultaneously. But I do have a lot to share, so let's see if I can kick it into high gear?

Well, maybe start in low gear...

One thing I've spent a lot of time on these past few weeks is my Gaijin Collection - that is, the collection of foreigners who've played baseball in the NPB. Right now, my database sits at 1130 players and managers, of which about 225 have no records of cards in the Trading Card Database. For the obtainable players, I'm down to about 100. (Yes, that means I'm approaching 800 players in my collection!) But most of those players only appeared in Owner's League, older Calbee, Takara, or menko sets, and thus won't be too easy to locate.
 Here's one! Garry Jestadt with the Taiyo Whales. He appeared on three cards in the 1975-76 Calbee set, and I found one of them.

I picked up a few more vintage Calbees to go with it:
 This Hankyu Braves card will go well in my Japan Series collection!
These days, Calbee's base set is purely base cards, with subsets being found numbered separately as non-limited inserts. But in the 1970s, each series either was its own subset, or had subsets in it. Here are a couple examples - you can read about these in my Calbee Through the Years posts. (Eventually I'll have an index for these...)

One of my goals for this year was to get two BBM sets, plus the current year's set. I haven't found any that I need yet - they seem to just show up randomly - but one thing I have been working on instead is Calbee. I'm actually fairly close (depending on your definition of fairly close) to finishing six sets:

  • 2000: a few inserts and all of Series 2
  • 2003: Series 1 is in the books
  • 2004: a decent number of base cards and inserts
  • 2005: a handful of base cards and inserts - my goal is to finish this set this month
  • 2009: Series 1 is in the books
  • 2016: only some inserts left - I might try to finish this in March as well
While the goal was BBM, I'm counting Calbee completions under that goal, as overall I was hoping for two older flagship sets of any kind. Something I've been considering as a side project of sorts is the Calbee 1973 Crossed Bats set.

Containing 91 cards, this set is essentially a parallel to the larger 1973-74 set of 368 cards. While I know building all of the Calbee sets is a lifelong, very costly challenge, I believe I can put together this 91 card set bit by bit. And I've got a good start:

Cards 5 and 6 (Nagashima), and 11 (Oh) are some of the key cards in the set. There are many "keys" here, though - card 1 won't be cheap, and the set is riddled with Yomiuri Giants, who tend to carry a premium. But I might swing back out to Nakano this weekend and see what I can find from this set to really get started.

The 1973 Calbee set will be a challenge, and I don't see it being finished this year. But I've been wanting to tackle a new vintage set after finishing 1973 Topps last year, and what better way to follow up a 1973 set with another 1973 set? (Oi, what am I getting myself into?!)

1 comment:

  1. I have most of the sets you are looking for....hit me up if interested at have most BBM, Calbee and Takara from 1990-2008