The guy who is my Stateside connection to Japanese baseball (NPB Card Guy) is one of the nicest guys I've met. He and I trade occasionally, and one of those trades just finished changing hands. There aren't many surprises in our packages, really - international shipping ain't cheap, you know. But I have a bad memory so even if he did mention everything headed my way it's like Christmas when I open my mail.
It'll take me a few posts to get through everything he sent this time, and we're already talking about the next go-round. How am I ever going to keep things straight?
When I opened the envelope, I saw a bunch of well-secured single cards, plus a large top-loader with a couple things inside. My first thought was that he had found an American card for my collection and tossed it in there.
This card is a good starting point because Murakami was the first Japanese player in Major League Baseball. It's too large to fit in my "Japanese MLB Players Collection" but that's perfectly fine since it's more likely to end up displayed in some way instead!
And speaking of my collection of Japanese players in the MLB, I am now down to needing only one NPB card: Toru Murata, who appeared in 2008's Rookie Edition and First Version sets, and the 2008-2010 BBM Giants team sets. I haven't been hunting too hard yet, but his cards have remained elusive.
And on the MLB side, I still need Murata, Ryota Igarashi, and Kensuke Tanaka, all of whom have only Minor League singles, as well as Norihiro Nakamura.
One of my goals this year is to hunt down those remaining five cards. Can I do it? Only time will tell.
Thanks, NPB Card Guy, for these two awesome cards, and the rest which are coming up!