Featured Cards: 2006 Konami #80, Ryan Howard; 2012 Sega Card-Gen #338, Antonio Bastardo
I think deep down I’ve always suspected that MLB trading cards were made exclusively for the Japanese market — especially given the influx of Japanese players into MLB over the past 15-20 years. However, I didn’t want to think too seriously on the subject because I knew what confirmation of this potentially meant to me as a Phillies collector. However, a few weeks ago I saw a post at Funner Here displaying a 2010 Kellogg’s Japanese Chase Utley card, thus breaching that admittedly barely fortified wall. Once that occurred, I knew that I needed to start tracking down Japanese Phillies and adding them to my collection as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, information about them is about as easy to find as it is to actually find them for sale. However, after performing a litany of internet searches that I really don’t feel like enumerating here, I have already managed to add a few to my collection and am adding a list of others to my want list. Now that I know about them, I just want to acquire as many as possible. This strikes me as funny because I don’t normally succumb to such sudden desires.
However, I think this has happened for a few reasons. Although the fact I am an omnivore in regards to my collection and this element can never be overlooked, the most important reason for my desire to grab as many as possible comes from the fact that their rarity (at least here in the US) provides more uniqueness to my collection. It’s the oddball and hard to find items that I think most collectors love adding to their collections, and I am certainly no different in this regard. In addition, the fact they are partially in a foreign language and not intended for the US market makes them exotic. I own the Phillies from the two United Kingdom sets Topps made in the ’80s, some of the Spanish Topps cards from 1994 and nearly all the Spanish Pacific cards from the ’90s, but they didn’t feel exotic because they were just so readily available here in the US. Despite the differences, they didn’t feel all that different from the mainstream American issues; in other words, they weren’t special in the way that the Japanese cards were.
So, the hunt is on and more Japanese Phillies posts are on their way over the coming days (yes, I am expecting more such cards in the mail soon). So, if you know of any way I can obtain a 2010 Kellogg’s Japanese Chase Utley or a 2007 Kellogg’s Japanese Ryan Howard, please let me know post-haste. I most have more Japanese Phillies!