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

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

They come from a land down under!

What a great song! I have a new foreign coworker from Australia - the Melbourne area, to be a little more specific. Not long after he arrived, cards from Adam at Australian Custom Baseball Cards showed up in my mailbox. As you may expect, his blog is devoted to creating custom baseball cards for Australian players, and the Australian baseball league. But he also collects Australians, and a few of them have played here in Japan. So he sent me some Australian cards, and I'm about to post him some Japanese cards of Australians. Confused? Oh well.
 This is a Dingo card from last season. It's a nice, fun design! I think these were team sets.
 Select issued team sets for the 2011-12 season. I considered ordering these, but there was no way to order them and have them shipped out.
 There were a few larger sets issued in the 1990s by Futera. I'm pretty sure they still make soccer cards. This is probably a 1995-96 card, which doesn't seem to be listed in Beckett or SCF.
 Here's the Rookie of the Year! Those shades are stylish. This is a subset in the 1995-96 set.
 Steve just looks happy to be here, playing at the All-Star game. Another 1995-96 subset!
 This is an actual insert, called Bottom of the 9th. It's serial numbered out of 3000.
 This is from the 1995 Futera set. I like this design better.
 Here's a subset called ABL Veterans.
 And an All-Stars subset.
 This Adam Burton card is from 1993 Futera, which is the first major Australian release.
 This interesting card looks to be something promotional - it has Mizuno and Pepsi logos and a 1993 copyright. Obviously printed by Futera, it isn't part of their base set.
 The last three cards are customs from Adam's collection. They all look quite professional! This is his 2010-11 design, and I like that the card has his name in Korean Hangul as well as English. There's a spot for an autograph on the back, too. The front design looks similar to a future Topps release...
 Mitch Nilsson's 2011-12 card has that season's statistics and team logos on the back. I like the simple elegant design here.
The 2012-13 card has a little more style - the photo has been cropped and there's a lightning background here and the font is unique. Again, Nakazaki's name in his native characters (kanji) is on the back. And again, statistics are included including a very modest ERA under 14. This year, with the Seibu Lions in Japan, Nakazaki's ERA was under 10. I guess he's getting better?

I'm wondering a bit about where he got his cards printed - Adam discusses his thoughts here. I would like to use the same service in the future if I ever get my stuff together to make custom cards. Meanwhile, it's really cool to have these cards, and other than the obvious "not licensed/fan made" disclaimer these look professional - great work! I'm looking forward to our next trade so I can get some more Down Under cardboard! Thanks a ton!


  1. Great cards, and much better than a Vegemite sandwich!

    I wonder if Mitch Nilsson is related to former MLB catcher Dave Nilsson? They're both from Brisbane...

    The Adam Burton card threw me at first... a team called the Reds wearing a Nationals hat?!? Then I realized that the card is from 1993, a dozen years before the Nats... which means that they were wearing a sort of Senators throwback cap. I'm guessing MLB wasn't concerned.

    Somewhere in my stack of boxes I've got a minor league card of Lonell Roberts as a Blue Jays prospect, and the back of his Australian card also links him to the Jays. Those Sydney Blues unis look pretty much like the Blue Jays unis of the day. I wonder if there was some sort of affiliation between the two teams?

  2. Mitch is Dave Nilsson's nephew. Dave had a couple brothers (Gary, Bob and Ron) who also played professionally in Australia. Mitch is Gary's son.

    The curly-W hat was for the Waverly Reds. I think Waverly is a suburb or park in Melbourne but I'm not positive.

    I did a post a few years back on the ABL cards of the 1990's.

  3. The 1996 Futera set has been added to the SCF database. I didn't realize I'd missed a set. Fortunately, Futera has the checklists for their sets posted to their website.

    I really like Adam's customs and have been following his blog the last couple of years. I like the idea of baseball cards with rounded corners, and don't understand why that isn't a mainstream feature. It would make the a lot easier to keep in good shape!

  4. shlabotnik: In Japan, too, many teams are patterned after US teams. Most notably, the Yomiuri Giants are a tribute to the NY Giants; other teams have similar color schemes, names, logos, and even jersey styles. I don't think there are any affiliations in Australia.

    NPB Card Guy: thanks for the info, and the link to the post! I figured (and possibly read before) that team sets had been issued prior to the '92/'93 Futera sets, but I don't think it really set in.

    Jason: Futera is where it's at as far as record-keeping goes, then. BBM's set info is even worse than Topps... And yes, the rounded corners are fantastic. Card Gen and the other CCGs here use them, as does Calbee.

  5. Ryan - thanks for the write up :) (I'm only just catching up on my blog reading :)) Expect to see a reciprocated post on my blog soon with the cards you sent me :). And to answer some questions. 1. Yes, Waverly is a suburb of Melbourne. 2. There are no formal affiliations between ABL and MLB teams, although the league is backed by MLB. You'll find that certain MLB teams tend to send over prospects to play as imports, but an ABL team can have imports from multiple MLB teams. 3. The Sean Jones card - the one with the Mizuno and Pepsi logos was actually from the 1992-93 set of cards released by Futera. This was actually their first widely distributed set of cards - released in foil packs (they also did team sets in 1989-90 and 1992-93). Aussie baseball is played in our summer (northern hemisphere's winter) , so the sets are usually referred to by the two years that the summer spans (eg this years cards are the from season 13-14)

    Thanks for the positive comments about my cards and blog as well to everyone :)

    The 2012-13 ABL cards with the lightning background was fun, but also a really time consuming to do for 130+ cards ..

  6. Adam - thanks for the info about the '92-93 set. I think I came across a little more information after I posted this, actually part of that was a mention on NPB Card Guy's blog (he linked it in the comments above). I haven't seen a checklist yet, and I think this is the first I've heard of it being pack-based. I'm sure doing photoshopping to crop out the backgrounds gets quite tedious quickly.