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BBM Cards of the Week: Yomiuri Giants Baseball Card Set – 2015 Giant Step

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With every start of the season, BBM releases baseball card sets showcasing a team.

While in Japan, for the first game of the season, I saw the release of the “BBM Yomiuri Giants Baseball Card Set 2015 – GIANT STEP” which costs about Y2,500 and only 3,000 sets created.

The baseball card set features a total of 27 cards + 1 special card (there are a total of 9 special cards) and created in collaboration with Baseball Magazine Sha and to my satisfaction, the card that I received was one of my favorite players in the NPB, shortstop Sakamoto Hayato (#299 of #333).

The cards themselves are cool.  Infield backgrounds removed and visual effect in the background.  Fortunately, the backgrounds were removed with care, so no chopped out uniforms or anything problematic.

The rear end of the card features the players statistics and information on each player.

It’s important to remember that this was a late March 2015 release, so you are not going to find Mikolas or Donoue cards.

But these BBM sets are for the fans, one can expect a more expansive set to come out this month with the more expensive BBM 2015 Yomiuri Giants Baseball Set.

Japanese Baseball Card Pick of the Week – BBM 2013 – Historic Collection – Hideki Matsui

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My pick for Japanese Baseball Card of the Week goes to Hideki Matsui from the BBM Historic Collection 2013.

The 2013 Historic Collection celebrated the players with a certain number and in Japan, Matsui was known for his #55.  Which also represents the single-season home run record held by Sadaharu Oh.

While the card is nothing special in terms of rareness or being valuable, I selected the card primarily for bias as a fan.  He was one of my favorite players in the NPB and MLV and was always impressed how this right hander hit left-handed and threw right-handed.

Matsui played 10 years with the Yomiuri Giants (where he one the Central League’s MVP award three times) and played the next seven seasons with the New York Yankees (2003-2009), winning the World Series MVP for the Yankees in 2009.  Matsui also played for the Los Angeles Angels, Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays.

I will always remember when his team played at Koshien and the opposing team used the strategy of throwing five consecutive walks.  His team lost Koshien and drew a lot of attention of unsportsman like conduct on the opposing team, despite that team winning Koshien. But it will be a memorable game, especially fans showing their displeasure and throwing their megaphones out to the field in anger.

But being the stoic guy that he is (including his first grand slam with the New York Yankees, which was his first game at Yankee Stadium), he is not a complainer and takes things as they are.

He led the Yomiuri Giants to four Japan Series and winning the title in 1994, 2000 and 2002 and that final year, he had 50 home runs.

And yes, I still sport my Godzilla #55 Yankees jersey to this day!

Japanese Baseball Card of the Week: Yoshida Eri from the BBM Real Venus Cards 2013

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For this week, I’m going to go a different route and showcase a female baseball player.

And this week goes to Yoshida Eri (for those who found this page on a search engine, Yoshida is the family name, Eri is her first name and for this site, I go by the Japanese style of showcasing family names first).

Yoshida Eri plays for the Ishikawa Million Stars (for the Baseball Challenge League) and back in 2008, at the age of 16, was the first female drafted by a Japanese men’s professional baseball team.

She is also the first female professional baseball player in the U.S. since Ila Borders to play professionally in two countries, as she signed a contract with the Chico Outlaws in 2010.

She is also known for pitching a really cool sidearm knuckleball.

For those not familiar with BBM’s Real Venus Cards, they showcase a female athlete.  You get their profile photo, a player’s sport photo with them in action and a fashion photo of the player outside of the sport in normal or fashionable clothing.

Japanese Baseball Card Pick of the Week – BBM Tokyo Yakult Swallows 2014 autograph baseball card – Nishida Akihisa (西田 明央)

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While visiting my favorite place to shop for Japanese baseball hats in Shinjuku, they happened to have two packs of the BBM Tokyo Yakult Swallows Baseball Card 2014.

Typically, I rarely pull out any autographed cards.  But surprisingly, I pulled young Tokyo Swallows catcher Nishida Akihisa’s autographed card which has certification on the back #28/60 which means only 60 were produced.

The 2014 autograph cards feature a color version of a player in front,  a black and white version of that same photo but enlarged in the background.  To the right is a small autograph with a plastic seal.

Sports Card Magazine has it listed as worth Y2500 but not being the kind of guy who sends his cards to get cards graded let alone sealed, this one will be going into a sleeve.

But because of this rare pull, this card is my pick of the week!