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

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Back to baseball (cards), and loose ends get tied.

I haven't written a real post about baseball cards in a couple months now. If you've been following Chaos and Kanji, you've been able to keep up with some of my thoughts and travels here in Japan, and I'll try not to repeat myself too much here!

First, now that I'm back with internet and such, I need to handle a little business. I left three "clearance" packages unmailed in America, and some people have sent me money since then. If you paid for your clearance cards and didn't receive them, please remind me! Send me an email (link through my profile page - rgluesing, gmail, you know what to do) and remind me what team you bought, your mailing address, and how you paid. The packages are already prepared, and I want to ensure that you get what you deserve! I can have them mailed from SF when your details get here.

My internet was hooked up a week ago (I think? Time goes by so fast!) but between work and sightseeing I haven't had much time for writing. I haven't stayed away from cards though!

I mentioned somewhere that I met up with Kenny (AKA Zippy Zappy) last month for an evening of card shop exploration and talk. He's one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet - above and beyond the politeness one would expect from a Japanese person! We worked out a trade before I crossed the Pacific, and his end of the trade was immense!

He brought me a stack of 2012 Topps flagship - about 75 base cards and a few inserts. In fact, that's the first (and only) time I've had 2012 Topps in my hands! I didn't scan any of them, but I did scan a small selection of the Japanese cards he included. Overall, he gave me a 200-count box packed full of cards and a couple unopened packs. I was really happy with what he provided!

After meeting in Shibuya and trading, we visited a card store (which I'll review later) and had dinner at Sbarro (mmmm, pizza). We headed to Shinjuku to check out another card shop (again, review coming later) before parting ways for the night. I think 99% of my Japanese inventory was purchased or received in trade that night (that is, until this past weekend).
 First, Kenny's "calling" card or trading card. I think it's really cool!
 Notice it's serial-numbered to 13! Super-limited! This card has a special place on my baseball shelf here in my apartment. But there were other cards too, of course:
 Calbee chip products contain cards like the one above during the baseball season. I believe the 2012 cards will be available by the end of the month!
 This is an insert or subset card from Calbee. I like the full-bleed photography seen on Calbee cards - a very simple design which focuses on what should be the best part of the card.
 BBM is the "Topps" of Japan, and like Topps it's the only real manufacturer of baseball cards here.
 Each year's flagship has two versions (series) with different designs.
 Like Calbee, most of the designs focus on the photos. Some designs are more busy than others.
 See for example this insert, which is very similar to Upper Deck's style of insert.
 Hm. Same picture? Yep, it's on the back.
 There's a bit more to the design here, but again the cards are full-bleed.
 Press conference shots aren't too common on the Japanese cards I've seen. Though I can't remember the last time I saw a press conference image on an American card.
 Here's another insert card.
 And again, a different version of the base cards.
 Some of the inserts are shiny, and remind me of Playoff inserts of the 2000s (or Panini inserts these days).
 Wait. Topps? Kellogg's? Pirates? Is there an American card in the mix? Nope! Japanese players on American teams are featured in this cereal set (I think - correct me if I'm wrong!). And it really looks like a Topps issue - the design feels just like any other Topps card.
 Okay, let's close with a couple more BBM cards. Remember the 1990s Collector's Choice issues from Upper Deck? Well, BBM copied that concept with its silver and gold signature parallels found even today in flagship issues.
Kenny's into American cards and American baseball, so I'm sure you can find something he might want in trade! He's working on the 1987 minis set from 2012 flagship and probably more (though he could have finished those already!).

Oh yeah, and Kenny tossed in a bag of Butterfinger minis to remind me of home! I somehow still have one left for tomorrow - thanks Kenny, those little goodies really hit the spot!

So that's it! Not my first card experience here in Japan, but the biggest card day in Japan until last weekend. I have another post for you Friday morning! So until then, thanks for reading!


  1. Glad you're having a good time! We miss you on this side of the International Date Line.

  2. Hey man thanks for the kind words. I hope I can trade with you again soon.
    I've come across a few cards you might be interested in (a few Yu's).

  3. Awesome post. I'm not big on the full bleeds as a think a border is an important part of a card, but some of these look really cool. It is also cool to see former Rockie Alex Ochoa on a Carp card. Carp is a nickname that is so horrible it is fantastic.

    I also like the Kellogg's cards. Is this a new development or have there been these types of sets throughout the years? There are currently no Japanese players on the Rockies, but there have been three in the past: Mac Suzuki, Kaz Matsui, and Masato Yoshii. I'd love it you could track them down for me if there are any Rockies cards of these three (Suzuki especially since he doesn't have a Rockies card).

    Thanks in advance and glad to see you back on this blog.

  4. Eric: Thanks! Good to be read!

    Kenny: Anytime. Hopefully I can get some stuff you'd like to trade for! I bet you'd get some good cards for your Yus from someone in the states, though.

    Johnny: Borders are nice sometimes, and a distinctive design is even more important, though I like the idea of at least one set every year that has full-bleed photography with great shots and little design on the card front. As for the Kellogg's cards, I think there's only been a couple issues, or it's a new annual thing. I'll keep my eyes open for you, though the only Kellogg's card I have seen so far was from Kenny.