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

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Card Store Pickups: Mint Chiba (Tuffy and Calbee Explosion!)

On the way to nearby-yet-out-of-the-way Nokogiriyama, I dragged Amanda to the Mint Chiba location for a bit of card hunting. I wasn't too happy the last time I visited Mint Chiba. I had found a few cards that were useful for my collection but I didn't have time to really hunt for the good stuff.

My time was limited again, but I made more of an effort to get an idea of what the store really has. I noticed there are lots of binders containing cards from BBM and Calbee issues, as well as a collection of game cards. I didn't find any Marines team issue cards. Yet again, I'm going to have to return to search closely for team issues and oddballs. Maybe the third time will be the charm.

But I wasn't shut out this time! I kicked a bunch of Calbee needs off my list, plus I found a whole bunch of cards for Jason over at Clyde's Stale Cards.
 Let's start with the Tuffy cards. Jason needed a bunch of Calbees, and I had a good bit of luck. These are the Tuffy cards I found for him, and he should have in his hands soon.
 Almost the same pose...
 Ready to bat now...
Contact made!
 Follow through!
 Watch it fly.
 Oh, gotta run the bases too!

Now for the Calbee cards I needed for my type collection.
 Team Stats insert. When teams win championships massive amounts of streamers are shot onto the field from the stands. It's an unbelievable mess.
 Nippon Series insert.
 League Champions insert.
 Climax Series insert.
 Base card.
 League Leader insert.
 All-Star Game MVP insert.
 Opening Game insert.
 I found some BBM cards too - some oddballs and promos. This is a Rookie Memorial card that was probably given away at the stadium.
 If only that was a real ball piece. This is a promo.
 Another special release.
 Another promo. Given the low number of card shops in Japan, I wonder how many promo cards are actually printed. It couldn't be that much.
 Okay, back to Calbee. This is a Starcard insert, one of the longest-running Calbee inserts.
 Title Holder insert. This insert is similar in style to Starcards.
 But some of the Title Holder and other insert sets have a holofoil style background. The holofoil (refractor-like) inserts look beautiful. If Calbee brings it back I might put together a set of something, or maybe I'll retroactively collect one of these.
 Top Player insert.
 This card is from the Shortstops insert set. It too uses the refractor-like background.
 Another promo bat from BBM.
 A Calbee insert set devoted to closers.
 ON usually refers to Oh and Nagashima, the two Giants greats. Memorial cards and sets are released pretty often - they are the Mickey Mantles of Japan.
 This is an insert for SCM (Sports Collectors Monthly) magazine, published by BBM.
 Another jersey promo card.
 More awesome refractor-like insert cards from Calbee.
 This card is a memorial of the charity game played for the 2011 earthquake. It's proven quite elusive until now.
 More foil insert greatness.
Last, let's finish nearly where we started. I needed a card from this set for my type collection too, so I grabbed two Tuffys. It's happened a few times now!

As I mentioned, I'll go back to this store at least one more time. There might be a chance later this month, but more likely I'll return next baseball season.


  1. Looks like it should be a very Merry Christmas for me! I love the way you arranged the cards. BBM does a lot of cards showing various players pitching motion, base stealing motion, and swings, but I don't think I've seen one of Tuffy before.

    As to the "non-game used" cards, a lot of those are inserts in the various yearly team-based boxed sets. I picked up a 2006 Chunichi Dragons Central League Champions set for cheap a couple of years ago, and if you didn't get an actual memorabilia card, you usually got a card like those that just had a picture of the memorabilia piece. They'd print like 1000-2000 sets and include GU cards with print runs under 200. Then include another 700-800 of those non-GU cards.

    Some unlucky collectors got no inserts at all, some were lucky and got an auto or GU card, and everyone else got those facsimile GU cards. I thought it was a neat idea.

  2. Another cool batch of cards. One minor note - the "N" of "ON" is Shigeo Nagashima, not Nakajima.