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Mets baseball cards from Japan

I have a number of Japanese baseball cards in my collection. Most feature Japanese players who signed with the Mets or North American players who went on to play in the Atlantic League.

Until recently, I didn’t have any Japanese baseball cards of Major League Baseball players… it just never occurred to me to look for them.

Earlier this month, Kenny posted scans of some cards he picked up during a recent trip to Japan (link potentially NSFW due to scans of bikini model cards) at his blog, Torren’ Up Cards.

Jose-Reyes Jose-Reyes-b

Among the baseball cards were some produced by Upper Deck for Kelloggs in 2008, and I noticed a partially obscured Jose Reyes card in the image. I left a comment hoping to get a better look at it in a future post, and before you know it Kenny sent me a copy for my own collection.

According to Kenny, the back of the Reyes card says: “Represented the Dominican Republic in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, had a .300 average, 19 HRs & 81 RBI in the regular season which were all career highs. For three consecutive seasons, in 2005, 2006 & 2007, he led the league in stolen bases.”

(I’m not sure how you’re seeing the images above, but the Kelloggs card does have traditional square corners.)

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Mets baseball card of the week: 1979 Kellogg’s Pat Zachry

Pat-Zachry Once upon a time, baseball cards were not limited to hobby shops and a small section of an aisle in Target.

All kinds of stores cashed in on the baseball card bubble of the 1980s, and manufacturers of other products found baseball cards a useful way to drive sales. And sometimes that meant you got baseball cards with your breakfast cereal.

I’m not sure how many people were happy to find Pat Zachry‘s baseball card in their Cornflakes in 1979, considering that the team narrowly avoided losing 100 games and finished last in the National League East. I don’t know – I don’t exactly remember 1979, but I do recall getting some of the later Kellogg’s cards as “prizes” with my breakfast.

 

Zachry himself was pretty much a non-entity one year after representing the Mets in the 1978 All-Star Game. An ulnar nerve injury limited him to just seven starts in 1979, though he did win five of them.

Outfielder Lee Mazzilli is the other Mets player included in the 60-card set. You could expect to spend $30 or less for a complete 1979 set, or about 25 cents for either Mets player’s card, should you find someone selling them.

However, if a piece of plastic and cardboard can bring back memories of a simpler time, maybe it’s priceless.