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

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Sunday, July 4, 2021

Half-Year in Review

Howdy, folks! It's been a few weeks. I don't know how I've been keeping busy, but here we are. I've been busy. I haven't neglected collecting, and I do have some scans that I hopefully will be sharing sooner or later (perhaps some in this post?)... but until then, 2021 is already halfway through, and I thought it would be nice to take a quick look at my goals for the year.

If you're interested in the original post where I introduced my goals, just go back to this January 1st post.

1. Finish certain player collections. Two of the four US collections are done, and the others are moving along as much as possible. I haven't made much progress on my NPB collections, either. But I did get the card above - the 1990 Calbee "Big" card for Motonobu Tanishige. I've also added a few new players to my collection, but I haven't actually begun to collect them.

2. Complete certain collections. Nothing completed, but I did find a few singles here and there to get me closer. Nothing to write home about! 

3. BBM and Calbee sets. I've met my goal, as I've finished a couple Calbee sets and I finally finished 1996 BBM last month. This is the only goal that's actually completed, halfway through the year!

4. Reduce my US want list size. I have finished a few sets, and if I ignore this year's additions, I'm making some good progress. But overall, the list is just as big as before, thanks to new releases and beginning a few new vintage sets.

5. Knock a bunch of inserts off my type collection want list. I haven't started on this goal. It's possible I could tackle it late in the year, or even on an idle Sunday. But I've always figured this was a stretch goal.

6. I wanted to create some custom card sets, but I haven't done anything with this. Another goal that I need some free time for! I have figured out one aspect of creating the cards: I can print photos quite easily from local convenience stores or at electronics stores (I'm not sure which is cheaper, since I haven't priced them yet).

7. I also wanted to properly label my type collections and card scans. I've finished the bulk of the non-set scans (I'm not sure I'll ever do the set scans, but it's possible). But I've been working away from home all year, and it looks like I might be here for the remainder of the year. As new sets have come out, I've been properly labeling my cards, but the older sets need to be done. Because I'm not at home, I doubt this will get completed this year. Labels don't write themselves.

Beyond my annual goals, it's been really hard to get complete sets, but I've started on 2021 Donruss and 2021 Diamond Kings. I  haven't had any luck on Stadium Club yet, and Ginter hits shelves in a few weeks. This might be the year of unfinished base sets. (Ugh.)

Until next time...

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Discovery: 2011 Pro Yakyu Data File Weekly Baseball Reprint and Rookies Card Set

BBM doesn't just make cards. Their name is "Baseball Card Magazine" after all. They are responsible for the now-defunct SCM, several magazine specials a year, and Weekly Baseball (週刊ベースボール, Shuukan Baseball).

The first issue of Weekly Baseball had a cover date of April 16, 1958, though it was released in March. It actually was a rebranding of Baseball Magazine (ベースボールマガジン), which was first released in April 1946. The company Baseball Magazine gets its name from this periodical. Weekly Baseball passed the 3000-issue milestone back in 2010.

Bonus fact: in 2015, BBM bought the naming rights to a baseball stadium in Niigata Prefecture for 1 million yen per year (about $10,000/year). 

In August of 2011, BBM reprinted the first issue of Weekly Baseball. The magazine was included in this box:

The top says "Pro Yakyu (Baseball) Data File". Pro Yakyu Data File is another magazine published by BBM. If I understand correctly, this box was a gift for subscribing to Pro Yakyu Data File.
Here's the cover, featuring Shigeo Nagashima and Tatsuro Hirooka.
For the most part, the magazine was replicated exactly like the original, down to the photos and ads. Phone numbers and addresses have been removed, but prices remain intact.
There's a lot of focus on Giants players, but there are some articles on the other teams.
A large portion of the artwork is hand-drawn. Vintage Japanese publications have a lot of hand-drawn design elements. It was fun to flip through and enjoy the vintage, black and white pages, even if I can't really read it.
The inside of the box also held a set of special baseball cards split into two subsets.

The first subset is 2011 Big Hope Rookies, featuring the top rookies of, well, 2011. Yuki Saitoh was probably the biggest name then, but Yudai Ohno also makes an appearance in this series.

The second subset is titled Legend Super Rookies and features retired players who had outstanding rookie seasons. Naturally, Shigeo Nagashima is included.

 I didn't know about the existence of this set until NPB Card Guy came across it and asked me to find one for him. I was able to get another for myself soon after! I've had this for a few months, but I'm just now getting around to posting it.

As always, I must wonder how many other sets are out there which remain uncatalogued. 

Until next time...

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

What is this? A glove for ants?

Yesterday, I showed off a nice piece of art I found at the local recycle shop. But that's not all that I've bought there. I also came away with some much smaller souvenirs: ones that I had never seen before.
First, let's start off with some mini figurines. These little guys I have seen before, and I have a couple of the tiny ones. Now I have a few more. The Clemens is a 2005 Corinthian mini figure, while the rest are SportsClix kind of things. (I wish I had gotten a better picture or scan of that pamphlet.) I believe those were found in gacha-gacha vending machines, or they could have been sold in little boxes. I considered for a brief second trying to put the set together; I could have come close just with the selection at the shop. But I wisely decided against it.

The little guys are also made by Corinthian, by the way, and in their original little bags. Left to right, Ken Griffey Jr., Chipper Jones, and Randy Johnson.

Next, three little baseballs. One side shows a player's name and jersey number (Mike Piazza, Chipper Jones, and Sammy Sosa).
The other has the player's team logo. Each ball has a little strap attached so you can put it on a phone or phone case, or a bag.
These straps are little plastic baseball caps. They don't have any players, but the detail is amazing given their size. Each one is about the size of a piece of popcorn (as are the baseballs above).
And here are some tiny jerseys with straps. And now you can probably tell where these came from. The fronts of the jerseys are designed to look like teams' home or away jerseys.
Backs continue the design, along with a player's name and jersey number. Ichiro was wearing #51 for the Mariners back in the mid 2000s, while Bernie Williams was Yankees #51. But I got two Chipper Jones jerseys, both home and away! And a Pepsiman jersey.
These gloves are tiny, and have straps as well. I have Ichiro, Chipper Jones, and Mike Piazza.
Finally, these are little metal plates that look similar to baseball cards, but also have straps to attach to your phone or bag.
Despite being really small, the backs include a team logo, photo, and lots of text. As you can see if you enlarge the photo, these were issued in 2004 by Pepsi. My guess is everything other than the Corinthian mini-figures were included free with various Pepsi products.

Boy do I miss those days, when I could walk into a supermarket or convenience store and find free toys hanging from the necks of soda bottles. I see some free items, but now they are nicer-quality and require bigger purchases. And they aren't related to baseball.

Would you hang one of these from your phone?