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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.

Did Lauren Mikolas sign with Inagawa Motoko Office?

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As Yomiuri Giants Miles Mikolas continues bring the team wins, his wife Lauren (27) has become popular in Japan for her support for her husband and people can’t get enough of seeing her support her husband during games.

Quite often, you don’t see many NPB players wives, especially foreign wives receive so much press, but Lauren is receiving a lot of media hype because of her fashion, but also showing her support for her husband (with a few kisses – which you don’t see in Japan all that much).

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It was announced on Japanese media that Lauren Mikolas had signed an exclusive contract with Inagawa Motoko office and will make an appearance in an NTV program.

Lauren has since tweeted the following:

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[NOTE: Yomiuri Giants Pitcher and Lauren’s husband Miles Mikolas was recently interviewed and said that Lauren is working freelance and are accepting offers and not locked into any agency].

Shingeki no Kyojin – attack for GIANTS – Yomiuri Giants x Shingeki no Kyojin collaboration

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Yomiuri Giants x Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin) titled Shingeki no Kyojin – Attack for GIANTS– Collaboration! July 7-8 vs. the Tokyo Yakult Swallows and July 29-30 vs. the Yokohama DeNA Baystars. Get a booklet/poster illustrated by Isayama Hajime. Watch on the big screen as Eren Yeager and Mikasa Ackerman give a cheer for the Yomiuri Giants. Also, a special scarf will be sold as well.

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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:

2015 NPB Season Standings – April 28, 2015

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While it’s still to early in the season to make any bold predictions, we do know that so far, it’s a tight race in the Central League.

Currently, as of April 28th, the Yomiuri Giants and the Yakult Swallows are tied in first place (both are 15-11).

The DeNA Yokohama Baystars have climbed their way to third, one game behind at (14-12), while Chunichi has dropped from first to fourth place and are at (14-14).  Meanwhile, Hanshin are fifth and surprisingly, the Hiroshima Carp are at 8-15 in last place.

In the Pacific League, the Nippon Ham Fighters have a small lead at first place and have the best standing in the NPB for 205 with a 16-8 record.  Seibu Lions are not far behind at 12-10, Softbank at 12-11 and Rakuten Eagles at 11-11, the Chiba Lotte Marines at 24-11 and in last place are the Orix Buffaloes at 26-8.

Standings are ever changing these past few weeks as we have seen Chunichi who had a comfortable lead weeks ago, now down to fourth, while the Ham Fighters have remained strong.

Again, it’s early in the season but it will be interesting to see how these standings change by next week.

Photo: Sugano Tomoyuki of the Yomiuri Giants  – Photo by Dennis A. Amith, J!-ENT

How to sing the Yomiuri Giants song “Viva Giants”

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For those who have never been to a Yomiuri Giants game and have watched Giant clips on YouTube or have went to a game and wondered what song is being played when fans start twirling their orange towels, the song is called “Viva Giants”.

While a cool fan song to sing through the game, this is one chant that is best in Japanese and will seem very unusual when translated or if sung translated in English.

But here is how to sing the famous “Viva Giants” Song!

Here is an example of a video I shot in on March 27, 2015 on opening game day at Tokyo Dome of Yomiuri Giants fans celebrating by singing the “Viva Giants” song:

And here is another video (video from Kazuhirocom1) of the chanting session preparing to sing the song:

In Japanese, the song is:

VIVA GIANTS 輝ける男たちよ
VIVA GIANTS 美しき男たちよ
光る大地を 駆け抜けろ

Romanized, the song is:

VIVA GIANTS (pronounce it as GIANTS-SU) Kagayakeru Otoko-tachiyo

VIVA GIANTS (pronounce it as GIANTS-SU) Utsukushiki Otoko-tachi yo

Hikaru Daichi wo  Kakenukero

English translation is:

VIVA GIANTS, Shining Men

VIVA GIANTS, Handsome Men

The Earth is glowing.  Let’s Continue to Run!

Photo and first video by Dennis A. Amith, J!-ENT