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

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Thursday, April 5, 2018

These Cards are Real. They Aren't Real, Though.

I remember the 1990s. That was an amazing time to be a baseball card collector. Early in the decade, everybody made unauthorized promos, creating a bevy of oddball options. And through the decade, the real, licensed manufacturers issued promo cards for shops to hype upcoming products.

Topps and the other manufacturers don't really make promo cards anymore. Who cares about base cards, anyway? All that matters are the super-rare mega-hits. Sell sheets and Twitter posts give all the visuals at nearly zero cost. Sure, events like The National see special versions of sets, but those function more as event-issued parallels than promotional sets.

But even promos are still fairly big here. SCM is gone, but Weekly Baseball is still making cards, I think. And I do see Bookstore, Stadium and Event Promotion cards for BBM and Epoch sets.
 Here's a 2007 "Sample" print autograph card. It's a print print autograph? A facsimile facsimile signature? The answer to that is - yes. There are foil print autographs, and this sample is just a black signature.
 Another facsimile autograph, but this is basically part of the regular set. I love vintage uniforms, though there isn't much visible here.
I'm still many cards away from finishing the base set, but I got this sample from the 2000 BBM Century's Best Nine set. Maybe I can actually finish the base set this year! There are many great things on this card: the leaning old-school windup, the old-timey glove and striped socks, the dirt infield, and the simple bleacher stands that I believe are down the third base line. What exactly is happening at what I assume is home plate?


  1. Didn't learn about Sawamura until a few years ago... but it still blows my mind that he was able to strike out Charlie Gehringer, Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, and Lou Gehrig in succession. Insane feat.

    As for promo cards... I have a small collection of them... most of which were acquired in the 90's when I had a part-time job at a local card shop.

    1. Sawamura and Jackie Mitchell both struck out Gehrig and Ruth. (Or so the stories go.)

      I still get excited when I find a promo card.