In 2018, Nippon Ham brought back their card-plus-meat combination with three products. In addition to Homerun Sausage, they included rare cheesecake flavored cheese pieces, and mini salami pieces.
I never found 2017 Homerun Sausage products in stores, though I did get one at the stadium when I got to a game in Sapporo that year. However, I spent my summer in Sapporo last year, and my local supermarket had the sausage and salami products. I didn't see the cheesecake, but I didn't really know to look for it at the time.
Each expensive pack comes with a mediocre-at-best piece of meat (or cheese) and one card. If you saw the 2017 cards, 2018 is very similar:
A full set is numbered 1-147, though two cards (#39 and #63) weren't included due to players being traded. It appears that most players have multiple cards.
Rare cards titled "We Love Hokkaido" are numbered R01 to R26. Again, card R23 was not issued due to a player being traded. Another rare set, #R27-R44, is called Hokkaido Be Ambitious. I don't know how rare either set is.
As a comparison, the 2017 set was #1-146 (two card numbers not issued), We Love Hokkaido #R01-R28, Hokkaido Be Ambitious #R41-R60, with a Legend Series #R29-R40.
The 2016 set was also #1-146, with two missing cards, and We Love Hokkaido #R01-R25. Legend Series #R-26 to R-45.
Nippon Ham's website states that Home Run Series products were sold in Hokkaido in 2018. So it appears that they are purely a regional issue. Given that the cards only include Fighters players, it makes sense. They also announced 2018 cards were sold starting on March 20th. So any 2019 set will probably be released around Opening Day. Furthermore, the FAQ page states that Homerun Series products could be found at the Kamagaya Stadium shop near Tokyo.
With a "Hit" prize card, the winner received large-size "bromide" cards. With a "Home Run" prize card, the winner received a framed collection of seven cards.
Differing amounts of points gave different prizes:
- 50 points gave a charm in the shape of a uniform
- 100 points would give you an official collector's binder
For those who couldn't collect 50 points, there was a lottery drawing:
- 10 points: 5 people won a group of Nippon Ham food products
- 30 points: 1 person won an autographed collector's binder
- 30 points: 2 people won an autographed photo frame
- 40 points: 10 people won an original alarm clock
I'm always happy to come across oddball issues!