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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Epoch Shigeo Nagashima Baseball Card Game

 This oddball set has Shigeo Nagashima's floating head on the back of every card, but other than his photo, the game doesn't have much to do with actual baseball players. My set includes just the cards, all with the same back you see above. I'm not entirely sure if my set is complete, but the cards I have are below.

There are duplicates of many of the cards, and while I don't have instructions, I would guess that the cards are shuffled and then drawn to decide plays. The line drawings are color-coded, so it's possible that different colors were in different stacks based on move choices by the player.

Yellow cards are batting-oriented, pink are pitchers. Green are baserunning plays while blue are fielding. If I were playing, I'd shuffle the yellow and pink together, and blue and green together, and choose a yellow-pink card to determine most plays.
This card is labeled "Steal Out".
 These are Double Play.
 "Touch Out" (tag-out). Fielding cards are all outs.
 Batter Out.
 Strike. There are a lot of these. I guess this gives chances for strikeouts and stolen bases. Speaking of which...
 Double Steal.
 Bunt. I guess these are successful.
 Home run.
 "Three-base hit" (triple).
 "Two-base hit" (double).
 "Single hit" (single).
 Dead ball. There's one of these, I guess it's a random no-play card. Does it count as a balk? Catcher's interference?
 Wild pitch. Great when runners are on base!
 Ball. Again, lots of chances for steals and walks.
There's one green game card and a blank card for replacing missing cards. Or making up your own play? I wonder if this set came with little game pieces to track balls, strikes, outs, and baserunners. Plus, you'd need a sheet of paper or something to keep track of runs.

It's a basic game, but it could be fun for younger kids who can't handle more-complicated trading card games.


  1. Interesting game. I'm more into the floating head though. It'd be cool if a card company produced a throwback set using this design.

    1. Throwback designs are quite rare here. I wonder if Japanese collectors tend to ignore them or dislike them. There have been a few, and the ones BBM has done looked pretty good.

  2. Yes, interesting cards. Do you know when they were printed?

    1. Finding information about this set is proving to be quite diffficult. I would guess in the 1970s, given that Epoch issued other baseball games around that time (see my comment below).

  3. There's a card in the 2014 Epoch Shigeo Nagashima Memorial set that shows Nagashima in an ad for a baseball game from Epoch. Are these part of that game?

    1. I doubt it.

      Doing a little research, it looks like that big board game you're talking about actually was an action game, with a little bat attached so you could hit a little metal ball. The big board game came out in 1974. An updated version came out in 1977.

      There are various card board games out there too, including ones with a large board that functions like a scoreboard and playing mat, and this could be a portable version of those.

  4. Very interesting. Haven't seen anything quite like it although I the 1950s and 1960s there were similar card games that assigned a baseball play to different cards. I assume they were played in the same way. Thanks for sharing! I love what you dig up!

    1. Thanks! I love discovering this stuff! Hopefully I'll get to some flea markets this year, and maybe I'll find something there too.