Big Hit, Happy Body: Ichiro’s Japanese rookie added to the collection

Since the days of Nomo-Mania, I dreamed of owning a Japanese rookie card of a player who made the transcontinental move from his homeland to Major League Baseball.

In the 90s, Hideo Nomo’s BBM (Baseball Magazine – Japan) rookie card was all the rage.  In fact, in 1998, Topps inserted copies of that card (as well as those of Hideki Irabu and Shigetoshi Hasegawa) into packs of 1998 Bowman for collectors to own.  The cards seemed damn near impossible to find.  Trust me, I opened my fair share of that crappy product and never pulled one.  In fact, I’venever heard of anyone actually pulling one.

I digress.  The allure of owning the  first Japanese card of a Major League star was intriguing to say the least.  And with the magic of the Internet, it’s pretty easy to find what you’re looking for.  Enter the pictured 1993 BBM Ichiro Japanese Rookie.

There’s no shortage of Ichiro Major League rookie cards of the market.  There’s pretty much one for every price point from the bargain shopper to the big spender.  But make no bones about it, there’s always an asterisk in the hobby with 2001 Ichiro rookies.  Fact remains he was an established star in Japan before he ever set foot into the batter’s box at Safeco Field, and his 1993 rookie has to be mentioned in the conversation about cards to own.  He’s a first-ballot hall of famer, and one of the greatest players of this generation.

One problem does exist with these cards, though: They’re often counterfeited, which is discussed in great length here.  (H/T to Sports Card Info for that excellent guide.)

Anyhow, here’s an image of the back of this card.  Love the mugshot of a 20-year-old Ichiro … also the fact that “Did You Know?” is in English while almost everything else is in Japanese Characters. 

Now that I’ve acquired this badboy, I’ve got to go find a nice 1959 Sadaharu Oh rookie to go with this … oh and one of those Hideo Nomo’s, too.

3 Responses to “Big Hit, Happy Body: Ichiro’s Japanese rookie added to the collection”

  1. Awesome card… I keep telling myself… one of these days I’ll pick one of these up… one of these days… one of these days… one of these days.

  2. CAN ANYONE TELL ME ABOUT A CARD OF NOMO THAT IS PLASTIC LIKE A CREDIT CARD THAT ALSO HAS A FULL AUTOGRAPH? I CAN’T EVEN REMEMBER THE PRODUCT,BUT I THINK IT WAS ABSOLUTE MEMORIABILA AND I KNOW I ALSO HAVE A MIKE MUSSINA CARD DONE THE SAME.THE CARDS ARE NUMBERED IN THE LOW 20;S. I HAVE NOT NOTICED THESE CARDS ANYWHERE BEFORE,ALTHOUGH I MUST SAY THAT THIS IS THE 1ST TIME I’VE TRIED TO CHECK OR RESEARCH THEM ONLINE.THEY HAVE A SORT OF CLEAR AND GRAYISH TINT THEM.I’M NOT FOR SURE BECAUSE THEY ARE IN STORAGE PACKED AWAY, PROBABLY FROM 1998 OR 1999(AGAIN NOT SURE OF DATE).SOME COLLECTORS OF NOMO WILL KNOW EXACTLY WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT,CONCERNING THESE CARDS.

  3. DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW MANY OF THE JAPANESE ICHIRO CARDS THAT WERE PRODUCED? COULD ANYBODY PUT A NUMBER ON THESE CADS?

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