28 May 2013

1994 Chiba Lotte Marines Menko (JCM 25)

     Back around 2008 or 2009, I decided to seriously pick up the slack in my Hensley Meulens collection, and I started exploring the world of baseball outside North America.  I learned that Meulens had played in Japan for a few years, and upon discovering Robert Fitts' website, learned that he also had several Japanese baseball cards.  I emailed Mr. Fitts and as I had exhausted his supply of different Meulens cards, he suggested I look into purchasing a copy of Gary Engel's Japanese Baseball Card Checklist and Price Guide, 6th edition, so that I could become more familiar with the hobby and get a better idea of what was out there.

      I ordered the 6th edition (about 2 months before the 7th edition was due to drop, but I didn't want to wait that long) and I found that Hensley Meulens had 9 cards from Japan over three years with the Marines and Swallows.  About 6 months after that, while more methodically browsing through the book, I ran across the 10th card of Hensley Meulens from Japan.  This one was right up my alley.  Not only was it a Japanese card, but it was Japanese ODDBALL card!  From my years of chasing cards for my Winfield and Williams collections, I loved finding oddballs.

26 May 2013

Checklist Translations: 2007 TSC Sinon Bulls

More details to come.

Checklist Translations: 2007 CPBL 18th Chinese Professional Baseball League

     I'm skipping ahead a bit because I ran across this checklist poster for the official 2008 2007 CPBL set (I recently realized this set was the 2007 set.  Apparently there was no full league set for 2008, so there is a gap before the league launched the Player of the Year set in 2009).  Being a graphic, the checklist was a little tougher to compile as I had to do all the translations by sight and comparisons, rather than getting to use any existing text-based resource.  Still, I've been able to work out names for almost everything except some of the players from the "Rookies" subset.  The new album site I found enabled the completion of the checklist. 

      The CPBL issued 3,600 boxes, each containing 24 packs of 6 cards each.  The CPBL had worked out a partnership with the 7-ELEVEn chain of stores for exclusive distribution.  The set is comprised of 395 base cards.  Cards 001-223 contain the main player cards, organized by team.  Cards 223-229 are dedicated to team photos, 230-253 cover new rookies for the 2007 season, 254-267 cover the 2007 statistical leaders and award winners.

      Cards 268-277 depict the 2007 Best Ten.  The Best Ten, similar to the Best Nine in Nippon Pro Baseball, covers the top players for each position, but the CPBL also includes an award for the designated hitter, as well.  I'm not sure why this isn't done in MLB.  MLB has the Silver Slugger, but that's just for the best hitters at each position, and neither the CPBL nor NPB has an equivilent award strictly for offense.

     After the Best Ten, cards 278-286 depict the 2007 Golden Glove winners for each fielding position.  Monthly MVP award winners are cards 287-302.  The next six cards (303-308) are dedicated to the post season teams and award winners.  A variety of season highlights, awards and milestones are described on cards 309-333.  Three major offensive records were set in the 2007 season; Tilson Brito set the new mark for home runs in a single season with 33 and there is a card for each home run.  Kuo-Ching Kao set the single season record for hits with 152 and gets his own 17 card subset to document the feat.  The last 12 cards of the base set are dedicated to Tilson Brito's breaking the single-season record for runs batted in with 107.

     Randomly inserted into packs were a variety of autographed and memorabilia sets including a 7-card single autograph set, 13-card dual-autograph set, 6-card authentic game worn jersey set and a 14-card set of autographed cards dedicated to the Chinese Taipei National Baseball Team.

     This was the last set issued by the CPBL that featured Chinese-only text on the card fronts.  Since 2009, the yearly CPBL Player of the Year sets have included the players' names in English on the front of all cards in the sets. 

21 May 2013

Checklist Translations: 2006 CPBL 17th Chinese Professional Baseball League

    After the nice return to the baseball card business in 2005, the CPBL followed up that success with this very nice design.  2005 was good, especially after several years of nothing, but in compared to the 2006 set's great photography and excellent use color, the 2005 set, with its hazy, white borders, looks somewhat pale.  Once more, the cards were sold in boxes of 24 packs at 6 cards per pack.  The checklist is arranged in the usual fashion.  The first 194 cards cover the players by team; 204-249 present the rookie crop from 2006; 251-285 covers the records and highlights from the season; 286-299 are the 2006 statistical leaders and award winners; 300-309 show the year's Best Ten selections; 310-318 are the Gold Glove winners; 319-334 cover the monthly MVPs for the season.

    In an interesting approach, cards 341-356 are all autographs and dual autos with cards 357-368 being game used memorabilia cards.  Rather than make the separate insert sets, they actually made the limited "hit" cards part of the regular checklist, which means there are only 50 total possible complete sets.  The game used cards had patch versions as well, but they were numbered among the total 50 card print run for the memorabilia cards.

     All of the cards in the set, as well as images of the boxes, packs, sell sheets, checklists and all of the cards can be found at my new favorite photo album website:


    Below are scans of the cards from this set that RyanG sent to me, by way of NPBCardGuy, along with the other goodies I've posted about lately.

Base Card Front:

19 May 2013

Checklist Translations: 2005 CPBL 16th Chinese Professional Baseball League

     By 2005, more than 10 years had passed since the CPBL had issued its own set of baseball cards (and about 6 years since anyone had issued cards for the CPBL), and the league jumped back into the arena with a fairly nice offering.  The oddly numbered 231-card set was issued in packs of 6 cards, 24 packs per box.  I was extremely fortunate to discover this website (http://mypage.pchome.com.tw/card/super0825), and accompanying photo album site (http://photo.pchome.com.tw/super0825/), that covers almost all of the CPBL sets released since the revival of baseball cards in Taiwan.  As this set represents the 16th season of the CPBL, it is most often listed as CPBL 16.  In fact, most of the sets are now found on auction sites with the season number in the title.

     As with most CPBL sets, it is broken on to several distinct subsets: main player cards, sorted by team; 2005 award winners; golden glove winners, monthly MVPs and rookies for the 2005 season.

Photo Album for 2005 CPBL 16 set:


Base card front and back:

Jui-Chang Chen (front) Jui-Chang Chen (back)

16 May 2013

Checklist Translations: 1991 Lotte Gum Baseball Kings

      Taking a break from the Taiwanese sets, we venture over to South Korea and find this small set for the Korea Baseball Organization from the Lotte Gum company.  In 1991, Lotte Gum (롯데 껌) produced this 50-card "Baseball Kings" (야구 왕) set, featuring 10 cards per team, in packs of 2 cards and a piece of bubble gum for 200 won.  Packs can be found in red/orange, green, blue, purple and yellow.  Oddly some of the packs have images from MLB on the back.

12 May 2013

Tiny, Tuffy and Taiwanese Cards: Part IIIa

       When last we left our heroes (NPB Card Guy & Ryan G), what began as a tiny look into the world of cleverly encapsulated pro yakyu goodness had grown into a much Tuffer expedition into a larger world.  Now we rejoin our story, at an earlier jucture when the intrepid Ryan G had ventured solo into the uncharted back alleys of Taichung in search of cardboard curios.  He did a good job detailing his haul in his series of posts, so if you've read those, most of these cards will look familiar.

      Ever a stickler for some semblance of order, I present these in (roughly) chronological order.

1992 Chinese Professional Baseball League

Chong-Long Yo