This is one of a number of Japanese packs I bought at The National this past summer; they’ve remained unopened through a combination of restraint and a phenomenon known as “out of sight, out of mind”.
I’ll confess up front that while I’ve been fascinated by Japanese baseball for much of my life, I know very few players who hadn’t played in MLB at some point… so if I list the name of your favorite player or a 10-time Japanese All-Star, and didn’t show their card, just leave me a comment; I’d be happy to do an additional post featuring that card.
One thing that struck me immediately when opening this pack is that the wrapper material is a bit odd; it’s more like a foil than mylar; it feels kinda metallic, and when you fold or bend it, it tends to stay in that position to a large degree.
Getting on to the cards…
Roberto Petagine – Giants
Right off the bat I’ve got a former Met! Well, OK, he only played in 62 games over two seasons, but it counts. He also spent time with the Astros, Padres, Reds, Red Sox and Mariners. Roberto made more of a name for himself in Japan, having played for 6 years and hit 223 homers. 2003 was his first with the Giants after 4 seasons with the Yakult Swallows, so this set must not have gone to press until sometime after the start of their Spring Training.
Yukinaga Maeda – Giants
Masayoshi Izumi – Swallows
Makato Yoshino – Tigers
Fumiya Nishiguchi – Lions
Hisanori Takahashi – Giants
Another former Met, only this one goes in the other direction; it pictures him with the Yomiuri Giants before he played with the Mets (and Angels and Pirates). Takahashi will be in camp with the Cubs this spring, as he’s signed a minor league contract with the Northsiders.
Takayuki Ohnishi – Dragons
I’m not sure what to make of this card… I initially thought I’d pulled an autographed card, but when I looked closer there’s no evidence of ink on top of a card, it seems more like the autograph is printed on the card. I guess it’s a parallel… Too bad I can’t read the Kanji on the wrapper to see what inserts come in the set (assuming that this information is there in the first place).
Hitoshi Taneda – Bay Stars
Goki Ikeda – Fighters
…then I said “Oh, THAT Chris Holt.” He pitched for the Astros & Tigers from 1996 to 2001.
Being a fan of “Arrested Development”, when I saw Chris Holt’s name I went fists-to-the-sky and said “CHRIS HOLT!” I pretty much do that whenever I run across anyone with the name of Holt (although I only do it in my head when I meet them in person).
…If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s really not worth explaining.