Friday, December 15, 2017

My Favorite of 2017 (KBO Card)

I have been away from this blog for a while as I have worked on KBO charity stuff at, but a tweet from Dave at Japanese Baseball Cards about a contest from Waiting 'til Next Year got me back into this blog. Without further adieu, here is my favorite KBO card of 2017.

This card is part of a 5 card set produced by the Samsung Lions and was given out to fans in honor of the retiring Lee Seung-yeop. The cards are not numbered, but they do have a number on the back that coincided with a drawing to win special Lee Seung-yeop items. This card was given out at a game I attended on 09/16/2017 and was the 1st of the 5 cards.

It commemorates the 3 run home run that Lee hit for the Lions to tie game six of the 2002 Korean Series against the LG Twins. The next batter Ma Hae-young hit a solo home run to win the game (10-9) and give the Lions their 2nd Korean Series Championship.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Team Jokbal Charity Blog

I have been rather infrequent with posts recently on the card collecting blog. Partially because of no new cards being released in Korea and having not bought any new cards from Korea or elsewhere in Asia in order to save for an upcoming vacation. Also, I have shifted a lot of focus to the Team Jokbal Charity Blog where I have been updating people on items that me and my friends have been acquiring from KBO players to be auctioned in a year-end charity event to benefit kids.

1st Item Team Jokbal Received (Michael Bowden Jersey)

Over the last few months I have been getting opportunities to meet and talk with a lot of great guys in the KBO that have all embraced our cause and have helped out or plan to help out in the near future. In just a short time, we have been able to get items from Michael Bowden and Dustin Nippert of the Doosan Bears, Jeff Manship, Na Sung-bum, and Kang Jin-sung of the NC Dinos, and Roger Bernadina of the KIA Tigers. We have also had a bit of face time with other players such as Pat Dean of the KIA Tigers and Henry Sosa of the LG Twins and they plan to help us out in the near future.

Take a look at the Team Jokbal blog to see some of the items that we currently have to put up for auction and check back often to see updates as more items come in.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Week In Cards (06/06 - 06/11)

2014-15 Blue Edition All Star (#SBCBE-145-AS)
Kim Tae-gyun's (Hanhwa Eagles) streak of reaching base ended at 86 on 06/04/17. He beat the previous record of 63 games set by Felix Jose with the Lotte Giants in 2001. This actually happened last week, but it was noteworthy enough to make an appearance this week.

2016-17 Black Edition Super Auto (#SBCBK-151-SA)
Jung Jin-ho (Doosan Bears) became the 23rd player in KBO history to hit for the cycle, doing so against the Samsung Lions on 06/07/17. He also picked up his cycle in the fewest number of innings in the game by reaching the cycle in the 5th inning. He started his cycle in the first inning with a double in the 1st. He picked up a triple in the 2nd, a single in the 4th, and capped it off with his home run in the 5th.

He was the 5th Bears player to hit for a cycle. He joined two of his current teammates in this feat, Oh Jae-won and Park Gun-woo. Other current KBO players that have a cycle to their name are Sin Jong-gil, Lee Jong-wook, Kim Joo-chan, Choi Hyung-woo, and Seo Geon-chang.

A few more interesting facts about Jung Jin-ho. He was drafted in the 5th round of the 2011 draft and he has won #33 and #23. By the end of the night on June 7th, he recorded the 23rd cycle in KBO history, became the 5th Bears player to hit one, did so in 5 innings, and he went 5-5 on the night. I guess you could say that #23 and #5 are his lucky numbers.

2016-17 Black Edition Super Piece (#SBCBK-131-SP)
Park Yong-taek (LG Twins) became the 13th player in KBO history to reach 1,000 RBIs on 06/08/2017 and he should realistically move up into the all-time top 10 by the end of the season. A couple of other current players that are likely reach this milestone in the 2017 season are Lee Bum-ho (979) and Choi Hyung-woo (952).

2012 Topps (#397)
Hector Noesi (KIA Tigers) recorded his league leading 9th win on 06/08/17 against the Hanhwa Eagles.

2015 Super Star Baseball Season 3 All Star (#SBC03-063-AS)
2016 Panini National Treasures (#MI-BP)
Hwang Jae-kyun (formerly Lotte Giants) looks more likely than Park Byung-ho (formerly Nexen Heroes) to get called up from Triple A in the near future.

2014 Super Star Baseball Season 2 (SBC02-102)
2016 Bowman's Best (#10)
Kim Sun-bin (KIA Tigers) was overtaken as the shortest player in the KBO by Kim Seong-yoon(Samsung Lions). Kim Sun-bin measures in at 165cm (roughly 5'5") and Kim Seong-yoon stands at 163cm (roughly 5'4"). Just look at Jose Altuve, all-star 2nd baseman, of the Houston Astros at 5'6." You don't need height to be successful in sports.

2014 Super Star Baseball Season 2 All Star (#SBC02-73-AS)
Han Dong-min (SK Wyverns) has overtaken his teammate Choi Jeong in the 2017 KBO home run race. He now has 20 HRs on the season and Choi is a close second with 18 HRs. Xavier Scruggs (NC Dinos) rounds out the top 3 with 17 HRs.

2015 Baseball's Best Season 2 (#PA02-KT007)
Oh Jeong-bok's (KT Wiz) hitting streak ends at 15 games. Going into Friday night, Oh had hit safely in 15 consecutive games. He didn't start the game on Friday night, but he did enter the game later in the night and went 0-1. He's still batting 0.396 on the season, but doesn't currently have enough at-bats to qualify for the batting title.

Friday, April 28, 2017

The Big Let Down: 2016-17 Super Star Baseball Black Edition Box Break

Within a month of it's release, the 2016-17 Super Star Baseball Black Edition had sold out of it's 2,500 boxes at distributors. It seemed like a bit of a surprise that the boxes went that fast since I never knew that Koreans were that into collecting cards. However, I could see the reasoning behind so many people wanting the product.

After getting my first few boxes and seeing that each box had 2 to 3 "hits," it became fun to pick up a box to see what autograph or jersey card that you may pull. Anyway, I must admit that I got caught up in the hype because opening these boxes were fun. While a lot of the autos and things were not from the biggest names, it was still cool to hope for something like a nice booklet, patch card, or a super star signature.

Just recently I stumbled across a couple of boxes on the internet and decided to buy them. I ended up paying about 20,000 won per box more than they originally sold for but I figured what the heck and I wanted to open some cards. Sometimes you get the itch and you just wanna rip some packs and as I said before, the Black Edition boxes were fun to open.

Now for the let down! I got the boxes in a couple of days after ordering them and I couldn't wait to see what was inside. I grabbed the first box and cracked it open. Then there was this moment of pure joy with the heart racing a bit. This is what I saw.

There was a lovely silver pack sitting right on the top. At that moment I got to thinking about what it could be. I figured it was probably a nice 1 of 1 booklet until I picked up the pack and felt the thickness. At that point I was pretty sure it wasn't a booklet unless it was a thin one, but I figured it was probably a nice patch which are number to 5. Of course I would be more than happy to pick up a nice patch. I set the packet aside and got to work opening them.

The first thing I pulled from the box was a Lee Seung-yeop numbered to 50. I have already had a couple of these but I was more than happy to have another one. It also got me to thinking that his was going to be an epic box. In the next pack I pulled a Choi Seung-jun auto. While he isn't a very well known player and he hasn't spent much of his time in the top KBO league, I wasn't disappointed because I had already gotten the nice Lee Seung-yeop card and I had that silver beauty waiting to be opened. After I finished up all of the packs from that box I grabbed the silver pack and cracked it open and the disappointment set in. That pack held 2 cards, a normal base card and a die-cut of Choi Jeong. It may not be that big of let down, but it is still a disappointment in my book.

Don't get me wrong. Choi Jeong is a great player as I have said in a previous post and the card is pretty nice, but a die-cut in that lovely little silver pack? Come on guys! That is a pretty cruel thing to do to a guy when you could have easily slid it into a normal pack. At the end of that box, the thing that I was happiest about was the 3rd Lee Seung-yeop that I had pulled from the Black Edition.

After the disappointment settled I grabbed the second box and got to work. The first thing that I pulled was a Choi Young-pil numbered card and that was pretty cool since I didn't have that one yet. Next up was a really nice Mo Chang-min auto. At that point I figured I was probably done getting any more hits from the box since several of the past boxes I opened only had a numbered super star card and an auto, but I was cool with that considering the auto I pulled was a Mo Chang-min. However, nearing the end of the box I was rewarded with a nice little Ju Kwon jersey card.

In the end, the second box was much better than the first in my opinion and the Mo auto helped sooth some of the bitter disappointment from the Choi Jeong die-cut (aka my silver pack heartbreak) pull. Anyway, if I ever run across another box of Black Edition I will probably grab it since they are some fun cards to open.

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Jokbal Edition: Welcome Back Michael Bowden

This Jokbal Edition is a special one and before anything else is said, this must be said. This is a big shout out to Michael Bowden of the Doosan Bears. He is an awesome guy, great pitcher, and somebody that has his heart in the right place. Thank you so much for helping us out with getting our first jersey, Bowden!

Front and Back

Arm Vents and Stitching

I have been working with a few friends to try to get game jerseys from players in order to use proceeds from auctions/sales to purchase baseball equipment for Korean kids in some of the more rural areas in South Korea. We are hoping to get a lot of KBO players (foreign and Korean) on board with this so that we, with their help, can bring the joy of baseball to kids that may not otherwise have a chance to ever play or have equipment.

Sometime in the near future I will work on a post in English and Korean that fully explains all of this for Korean players and fans.

Now to a bit about Bowden as a player. Michael got his start in professional baseball in 2005 with the Boston Red Sox. He made his MLB pitching debut on August 30, 2008 and came out with a win against the Chicago White Sox. After making his MLB debut in 2008, he spent his time bouncing between the MLB and Triple A ball with the Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs through 2013.

In 2014 he made a move to Japan to play with the Saitama Seibu Lions of the NPBL. During his time there he recorded a record of 2-1. In early August he made the journey back to the US and spent some time in the Baltimore Orioles and Minnesota Twins organizations in their Triple A systems. At the end of 2015, Bowden signed with the Doosan Bears of the KBO and made his way back to Asia.

In his first season with the Bears, he tallied a record of 18-7 with an ERA of 3.80. He finished the season ranked 6th in ERA, 2nd in wins, 8th in innings pitched, 3rd in complete games, 1st in shutouts, and 1st in strikeouts. On June 30, 2016, he recorded a complete game no-hitter against the NC Dinos. I was lucky enough to be in the stands that night and watch my first live complete game no-hitter. It was awesome!

At the end of 2016 he signed for a second season with the Doosan Bears and we are happy to have him back with Doosan and in the KBO. He is a great guy and a great pitcher.

Bowden has only made one limited appearance this year since he has been restricted since the start of the year with an injury, but he looks to be on form for another great year in the KBO. The best to you and your family. Keep doing what you do. While I didn't get a chance to hook you up with the jokbal platter at that game, one is coming to you in the future if you want it. Just let me know. ㅋㅋㅋ Cheers to you from the Jokbal Team, Mr. Michael Bowden!

Friday, April 21, 2017

2017 BBM 1st Version (NPBL Cards)

While I am catching up on recent purchases, I got in my 2017 BBM 1st Version boxes a couple of weeks ago. I preordered them a little over a month ago and they were released at the start of this month. I ordered 2 boxes and the total came to about $120 USD which included shipping from Japan to Korea. Each box contains 20 packs per box and 10 cards per pack so the price per pack ended up at around $3 USD.

The base set contains 336 cards (foreign players, managers, rookies, and checklists included) and there are 6 other insert sets. In addition to the base and insert sets, there are some different foil signature cards and rookie refractors. The cards look really nice and the quality is great (as I have been noticing with the BBM cards). I have been enjoying the BBM cards that I have been purchasing recently. The only thing left for me to do is to get all of them sorted and try to pick up the missing base cards to complete my set.

Here is a look at some of the cards that I got out of the 2 boxes. Please forgive the poor scan quality and some of the cut off images. The cards look much better in person.

 Box (Front and Back)

Checklist (inside each box)

 Base Card

Team Checklist (Base)

Rookie Cards (Base)

Rookie Refractor Insert (#'d to 50 and has a checkerboard pattern on front)

Rookie Refractor Insert (#'d to 150 no checkerboard pattern on front)

Silver Foil Signature Insert (not #'d)

Gold Foil Signature Insert (#'d to 100)

Green Foil Signature Insert (#'d to 10)

 Hyper Nova Insert Set

 Cross Squall Insert Set

Cross Signings Auto Insert (#'d to 13)

2015 CPBL Baseball Cards

I purchased 120 packs (100 for me and 20 for a friend) of CPBL baseball cards about a month ago and I am finally getting around to posting some of the photos of the cards. With the start of the KBO season I have been a little behind on getting any new purchases up on the blog.

Now on to the cards. I guess the best place to start would be with the price. With shipping from Taiwan to Korea the total came to about $3 USD a pack so it ended up costing me around $360 USD for my purchase. Each pack contains 7 cards and one of the 7 is for some sort of online game. Honestly I don't know much about CPBL cards except the sets are huge, there are a lot of different inserts, they contain non-Chinese players in the sets, and the cards look pretty nice. Another thing to note is that the 2015 cards were released in 2016. The cards are released behind the actual year for the CPBL unlike KBO cards that are released at the end of the season for the most recent season.

If you are a person that loves to collect insert sets, then CPBL cards are the thing for you because they have tons of different inserts and parallels. Overall, I enjoyed the purchase and opening the packs. The next thing for me to do is to get them all sorted and to try to find someone to trade with to complete the base set which is over 300 cards, but I am not sure of the exact number.

Here are some of the photos of the different cards that I got. Some of the scans are pretty bad since my scanner has been acting up. There is also one card (Ascend to the Throne) that looks strange because it is actually a kind of 3-D card.

Pack (Front and Back)

Base Card (Normal and Foil)

Forest Expedition Insert (#'d but I'm not sure what they are number to) 

Ascend to the Throne Insert (#'d but I'm not sure what they are numbered to) 

 All Star Legends Auto (#'d 26/50)

 Team Card (Part of Base)

2015 All Star Game (Part of Base) 

2015 Taiwan Series (Part of Base) 

Special Records (Part of Base) 

 Online Game Redemption (1 per pack)

AWB Winter Stars Insert Set

Checklist Insert Set

2015 CPBL TV Insert Set

Minor League Awards Insert Set

CPBL Draft 2015 Insert Set 

MVP of the Month Insert Set 

Baseball Girls Insert Set 

All Star Legends Insert Set 

Best Ten Insert Set 

Annual Awards Insert Set 

 Golden Gloves Insert Set

Rookie Insert Set (Normal and Foil)