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

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Manga, MLB, and Wrestling: Odd and Oddball Pickups from the Weekend

 In America, MLB teams retire numbers of superstar players or honorary numbers for its executives. In Japan, one number has been retired to honor a comic book. The story is best saved for another day, but this should whet your whistle.
 One of my mini-collections is that of Japanese MLBers. Most of these players got their start here in Japan, so the key is having one NPB card and one MLB card.
The first Japanese major leaguer was Masanori Murakami. Murakami doesn't have many cards, having played before the days of BBM. Those that are available from his playing days aren't cheap. However, he had a couple cards in 2005 when he threw out the first pitch at a Fighters game. This same event is found in the 2005 BBM 2nd Version First Pitch subset.

After some hunting today, I'm down to needing just two more Japanese cards. I have put off buying Hideo Nomo's card due to the cost. I'm hoping to find something for 100 yen, but I'll probably have to pay 200 yen for one of his BBM cards from 1991-1994. The second player I'm missing is Toru Murata, who was with the Yomiuri Giants for just three years before being released, meaning he has only five known regular cards, all from BBM. It might be just because of where I've been looking, but all of those cards are gone so I'll have to continue hunting. Murata signed with the Fighters in November, so he could show up in this year's team set or the flagship BBM release.

As for the US side of the collection, I need Norihiro Nakamura, whose cards are too expensive on COMC right now to justify buying one, as well as Ryota Igarashi, Toru Murata, and Kensuke Tanaka, all of whom only have minor league cards.
 I found an Alex Ramirez card I didn't have on my list, too. This is an SCM Magazine card, included with one of the magazine issues in 2004. As I come across Rami-chan cards, I check my list, and I occasionally find sets that are missing, so this wasn't surprising at all.
 Also from SCM, I had to get these two pro-wrestling cards. The one on the left is number 18, and on the right is card number 14.
Finally, while looking for cards for the Japanese MLBers collection, I saw this checklist. BBM randomly included cheerleader cards in some of its team sets in the 2000s. I have several of them but no master list to verify whether that collection is complete.


  1. Replies
    1. Yeah. I was trying to find that one - as a base card it would probably have been cheaper. I couldn't find any shop in Tokyo with singles from that set, so I settled on the 2002 Hawks insert above.

  2. That's a great Murakami card! It was great being able to hang out and watch him sign autographs during his trip through the states. One of those moments that I'll cherish forever.

    1. I remember the crowd-funding campaign for the Murakami tour. I wish I had been able to afford that at the time. A great experience, I'm sure.

  3. I think there are special sets just for cheerleaders I believe. I love the SCM cards.

    1. Yes, there has been at least one set every year since 2011 just for cheerleaders. And I have almost all of them! And there are SCM cheerleader cards too.