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NPB: Hanshin Tigers 1985 Memorial Card Set (Japanese Baseball Card Review)

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The Hanshin Tigers are a team known to come so close in various seasons but have been unable to finish strong.

While the team have won five Central League pennants (1962, 1964, 1985, 2003, 2005), they have won only one Japan Series.

While there are Japanese who blame the Curse of Kentucky Fried Chicken’s Colonel Sanders, the truth is that the Hanshin Tigers have had very awesome teams (as they have a strong team right now in 2015 in the very tight race in the Central League), they will be remembered for their 1985 team.

In the 1985 Japan Series, the Central League champion Hanshin Tigers went against the Pacific League champions, the Seibu Lions and beat the Seibu Lions 4-2.

From star players such as Randy Bass, Munehiko Shimada, Akinobu Mayumi, Masayuki Kakefu, Keiichi Nagasaki, to name a few, 1985 was the year of the Hanshin Tigers.

And to celebrate the 80th Anniversary of the team, Epoch has released a Hanshin Tigers 1985 Memorial Card Set for Y9800.

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Featuring a total of 45 cards (43 regular + 2 checklist) + random signed card, each box is numbered, while each card features  a Nippon Champions 1985 logo on the bottom right corner, Hanshin tigers logo on the upper right and photo, jersey # and name of the player and their position.  Reverse features information about the player.

The cards have that shiny sheen on both sides and for the most part, are very cool!

For the hardcore collectors, there are 153 cards total, if you intend to get all the signed cards (good luck on that!), with the VC-YOY and VN-YOY signed celebration cards (only ten made and only one signed).  So, those two cards alone are rare!

For me, I purchased this set for nostalgia but also, I wanted a baseball card set of the only Hanshin Tigers team to win the Japan Series.  So, I wanted to have this set in my NPB card collection!

So, while Hanshin Tigers have hopes of winning the Japan Series in 2015…If you are feeling nostalgic of that 1985 win, then definitely enjoy this video from 1985:

Japanese Baseball Card of the Day: Shigeo Nagashima’s retirement card (Epoch’s Shigeo Nagashima Memorial Treasures)

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Shigeo Nagashima, the legendary #3 and the third baseman who along with Sadaharu Oh, dominated the game of baseball as the one-two punch or better known in Japan as “On Hou”!

In 1958, his rookie year would have him leading the league in home runs (29) and RBIs (92) and also taking home the “Rookie of the Year Award”.

Nagashima would win the MVP Award five times, the Best Nine Award for 17 years straight and would become part of the Yomiuri Giants Dynasty that would win nine league championships from 1965-1973.

Nagashima would eventually retire as a player on October 14, 1974 and would become the coach of the Yomiuri Giants, with his best years being 1994, 1996 and 2000, in which they won the championship.  He would also be known for drafting Hideki Matsui (which both would receive the People’s Honour Award on May 5, 2013).

While I could have chosen many other cards in the wonderful and elegant Shigeo Nagashima Memorial Treasures cards from Epoch, the 1974 retirement speech and goodbye is one of the most memorable of Nagashima moments.

Here is a video of the retirement: