Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Just in Time for the 2018 Olympics: 2000 Olympic Set Finished!

What must be the most comprehensive Olympic team set ever issued is finally in the books.

Upper Deck and MRM released a huge set of Japanese National Team players who were slated to compete in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. I know not every player on every national team isn't there - several baseball players are missing for sure. But speaking of which:
 Sugiura was the final player I needed for the baseball team set. But I'm not going for the baseball team set, I want the whole 264 card set. So in jogs this guy:
Hidetoshi Nakata is one of the key cards in the set, though it's really hard to say who have the true most important cards in the set. Some of the judo cards cost me almost as much as this card, and baseball players naturally are more in demand.

These two cards finished my set... sort of. After getting both in the mail from a Yahoo seller, I sorted out all of my cards, and found I was missing the last card in the set (a checklist) and I had two of a different checklist. I scrounged around all of my boxes to see if I overlooked it (and I might still have), but I didn't find it. So I stopped off at a local shop and was happy to find they had one, so while the checklist is technically my last card to finish the set, I'm counting Nakata as the final card I needed!

Once I get the whole set scanned, I'm going to consider how I can present it all on the blog... 264 cards are a lot!

Until next time...

Monday, February 19, 2018

First 2018 Baseball Autograph: Iori Miura

It's not the first autograph to be added to my collection this year. I couldn't tell you for sure what that actually was.

It's not my first baseball autograph of the year, either. I've posted lots of signed cardboard over the past six weeks or so.

It's not my first 2018 product autograph. I posted those yesterday.

But it is my first autograph on a 2018 card featuring a baseball player.

Even though it's ... a woman!
 Iori Miura is one of two baseball players in the Shining Venus set this year. As such, I had to add her autograph to my collection. This one has her in her Kyoto Flora uniform, as she plays in the JWBL (Japan Woman's Baseball League). She's also a member of the Japan National Team.
It's numbered lower than some of the other regular autographs; this is #77/79.

Miura is one of the best hitters in the league, with a career average over eight seasons of .381. She led the league in batting average twice, last in 2014 - when she went 52 for 104. That's a .500 average.

That's even more impressive when you realize that she turns 26 this year, meaning that she's been playing since she was 18.

I don't get to many JWBL games... in fact, I don't get to many baseball games at all. But I'm going to try again this year - depending on where I'm working, I'm going to try for a bunch of NPB games and look into some of the industrial and minor league games. Maybe I'll see Miura play in person!

Until next time..

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Three Down, Two To Go: 2018 BBM Shining Venus Autographs

Each year's Shining Venus set brings about three dozen female athletes, usually chosen as much for their appearance as their athletic prowess. Some of the subjects are returnees from prior years, with several being "rookies" for this year's release. BBM is exploiting that now by using "Rookie Card" designation on base cards and issuing limited "Rookie Version" autographs.

I scan through the set and choose the autographs I want to chase each year - I focus mostly on oddball (real) sports (you won't find that Bikini Fitness woman's autograph in my collection unless it's given to me for free) and my favorite sports.
 Chiharu Shida is a badminton player. BBM has done badminton sets before, but I've never had an autograph from a badminton player before. I do have a table tennis paddle relic card, though. Anyway, badminton is pretty popular here, especially with my high school and junior high school girl students. So why not?
 Another athlete I wanted to get was Aya Horiguchi. She is a gymnast, kind of - she competes in Rhönrad. It's wheel gymnastics, and as a gymnastics fan this intrigues me. I was already aware of the sport, though to me it's a form of acrobatics more than gymnastics. Either way, it's cool to watch.
I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing, and I ended up with both the regular and street clothes versions of her autograph. The card in street clothes is more limited, but I just wanted one autograph on any of the cards.

There is one more autograph on the way, which I should hopefully post in the next couple of days, leaving two more to chase. If I can knock those last two out of the way quickly I can then focus my efforts on the 2018 Topps Olympic set and autographs!