21 March 2015

Checklist Translations: 1990-1992 Chiclets Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL)

     The inaugural season of the CPBL was accompanied by several different sets of baseball cards in various forms.  For the first three years of it's existence, the American Chicle Company (or their Adams subsidiary) produced sets of baseball cards for the CPBL under the Chiclets brand (芝蘭口香糖).  Technically this is a single set, spread across the first three seasons of the CPBL, and is numbered contiguously from 1-400.

     Slight digression - As with most CPBL sets, the cards were actually issued the year following the year they represent, so the 1990 was actually released in 1991  After all, there was no 1989 season, so it would have been very difficult for anyone to acquire all the photos necessary to produce a decent sized 1990 set during the 1990 season and still have it in stores before the year was out.  Today it could probably be done, but remember this was in the days before digital photography.  Aside from some small, team-based sets, this tradition has continued to the present.  Now the official CPBL sets tend to include a reference to the season number in the set names with 1990 being the first.  So the set that will be issued in 2015 will cover then 2014 season and probably have a "CPBL 25th" referenced somewhere.

     Chiclets cards were issued with the well-known candy-coated gum.  The first series of cards had a colorful design that was coordinated with each teams' colors and, as with almost all cards from the region, prominently featured the player's uniform number along with name, team and position.  Foreign players also had their names printed in English on both front and back.  The backs have the card number in the upper left corner, the usual player biographical details and a summary of their 1990 statistics.  The first series includes cards 1-118.  The first 17 cards feature a coloring variation on the back and can be found with both a much lighter border than the rest of the set, being more of a blue-gray as well as the richer blue of the remaining 101 cards.