Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Custom Autograph Photos

This past weekend, I started a new project. I had a lot of time on my hands and a lot of photos that I took last season so I thought it would be cool to do something different with them. I decided to work on some custom autograph photos that I can hopefully get some players to sign.

I enjoy collecting in person autographs for memories and display but unfortunately I am never very successful in attempting to get them. It is mostly due to where I live and the difficulty of getting to a stadium early enough in the mornings to catch players as they arrive. Also, I am only able to seek out signatures like this on the weekends, which is when 100's of other fans are doing the same. I really wish I could do this on weekdays when the crowds are smaller, but it is mostly impossible to do so unless it's a holiday (which also brings a lot of fans to the stadiums).

Anyway, last Friday night and Saturday, I spent a few hours making and printing some custom autograph photos. I started with a photo of an old baseball sitting on grass as my background. You can't see a lot of it due to the photos and signature areas covering it, but I didn't want to just do a plain background and I also wanted to make sure that the photo and signature areas were big.

After putting in the background, I put in photos that I took last season and a signature area that are both the same size. I could have just put in a photo and let players sign that, but I like having an area that is just for a signature. In the signature area, I put a transparent image of the team's current slogan. I followed all of that up by placing the player's name and position at the bottom.

While it may not be the greatest of designs, I like it and think they will look nice on display after getting them signed. With time I will probably make some changes to the design and background, but for now I am happy with the results. Here is a look at what I ended up with. This one is of Choi Ju Hwan of the Doosan Bears. For now I only have them made for Doosan players, but I will make some of other teams in the future.

Choi Ju Hwan Custom Signature Photo

I will try to post some of them signed so that you can see how the turn out if I can manage to get any autographs in the near future.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 15, 2019

2019 BBM Tokyo Yakult Swallows Break (Part 4 - 5 Packs)

Today I opened up the final 5 packs of my box and they were definitely better than the previous 15 packs which isn't necessarily a bad thing when you don't want to pull the hits right at the beginning. Anyway, I ended up with a few more Yamada cards, a few more inserts, and an autograph. While the autograph isn't what I was hoping for (Yamada of course), it could have some potential given that it is from an 18 year old rookie, Yuta Ichikawa. Hopefully he is able to have a long and successful career.

Here is a look at what I got today.

Tetsuto Yamada - Base
Tetsuto Yamada - "Record Makers" Subset
Tetsuto Yamada - "Fly High" Insert
Yasuhiro Ogawa - "Breaking Through" Insert
Yuta Ichikawa - Autograph #'d / 30

Thanks for checking in! Cheers!

Friday, April 12, 2019

2019 BBM Tokyo Yakult Swallows Break (Part 3 - 5 Packs)

I am back today with a break of the next 5 packs out of my box of 2019 BBM Yakult Swallows cards. So far I have only pulled base and inserts with one #'d / 75 from the "Fly High" inserts. I didn't pull any autos today and no additional Yamada cards so the search will continue tomorrow with the final 5 packs of the box.

Anyway, here is a look at a couple of insert cards that I pulled today.

Taishi Hirooka - "Growing Up" Insert

Yuhei - "Fly High" Insert

Through 15 packs, the results have been a bit lackluster as of now. I was at least hoping to have pulled a few #'d cards of younger guys with superstar potential or a Yamada #'d card. Anway, I will finish off this box tomorrow so check back to see how this box turns out. Cheers!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

2019 BBM Tokyo Yakult Swallows Break (Part 2 - 5 Packs)

Today, I opened up 5 more packs of 2019 BBM Tokyo Yakult Swallows cards. Still no autos, but I did get my 1st Tetsuto Yamada out of the box.

I also pulled a base card of one of the coolest dude in baseball, Dave Huff. I got to know Dave a bit when he played for the LG Twins in the KBO. He was always fun to have a chat with and also a very nice guy that helped us out with our charity work back in 2017.

Dave Huff - Base

Taichi Ishiyama - "Fly High" Insert

Wladimir Balentien - "Fly High" Insert

Tetsuto Yamada - "Record Makers" Insert

Check back tomorrow for part 3 as I open 5 more packs. Cheers!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

2019 BBM Tokyo Yakult Swallows Break (Part 1 - 5 Packs)

For those that don't know, my favorite NPB player is Tetsuto Yamada of the Tokyo Yakult Swallows. I have a small collection of his cards (nothing major), but I try to pick up more from time to time.

Anyway, I decided to do something a little different and buy a couple of boxes of BBM cards that are only Swallows. I purchased a box of the 2018 release and 2019 release. I like that Japanese card companies do team releases in addition to their normal releases. It gives people that are only interested in a certain team or players more opportunities to get their cards.

2019 BBM Tokyo Yakult Swallows Box

I wish Korean card companies would do the same on a regular basis. They have done some team sets in the past, but it would be nice to see them done more like these where you can buy a box with a certain number of packs and cards per pack for one given team and try to complete the set. After all, half of the fun comes from opening them to reveal the unexpected. I don't really have a lot of fun just opening a team set that has the entire base set (minus a few special cards).

Also, if you are like me and like to open packs to try to complete sets, you may have to buy 20 or 30 base sets to try and complete some of the sets of special insert cards. Who really wants 30 base sets from the same product of the same team if you are not selling them? Not me.

Sorry about that digression (not really ㅋㅋㅋ), but now lets take a look at how I plan to break these boxes. I usually do whole boxes at a time. It makes me feel like a kid on Christmas morning, but I want that feeling more often so I have decided to do a few packs per day and post the results here.

1st Five Packs

I didn't get any huge autographs or anything out of these pack breaks, but here are a few cards from the 1st five packs from my box of 2019 BBM Swallows cards.

Kazuki Kondo #'d 25/75

Shingo Kawabata - "Superior" Subset

I didn't manage to pull any Yamada cards yet, but I do like the looks of the "Superior" subset card that I pulled. It kind of reminds me of some of the cards from Bowman products.

Be sure to check back in to see what I pull from the next 5 packs tomorrow. Cheers!

Friday, April 5, 2019

Searching For Lee Seung Yeop (EPOCH 2019 Lotte Orions Chiba Lotte Marines 50th Anniversary)

EPOCH, a Japanese trading card company, recently released a limited edition set named 2019 Lotte Orions Chiba Lotte Marines 50th Anniversary Baseball Cards. I have never bought any EPOCH cards (only BBM), but I decided to pick up a mini box of these to join in on the Lee Seung-yeop autograph search here in Korea.

For those of you that may not know, Lee Seung-yeop, a Korean player & legend, played in the NPB for 8 seasons with various teams but he spent his 1st two seasons there with the Chiba Lotte Marines (2004-2005). Anyway, he is one of the players featured in this limited edition release.

The base set for this release has 32 subjects and all 32 subjects have parallels and autograph cards (silver foil & gold foil) in the set. The boxes are not cheap since they cost about $140 dollars (in Korea) for a hobby box and each hobby box comes with 2 mini boxes inside. Each mini box contains 3 cards and you are guaranteed 1 autograph per mini box.

Lee in particular has 30 autographs of the silver foil type and 14 of the gold foil type in this set. Anyway, the odds of pulling a Lee card are way out there. I rough estimate by me is that his autograph will fall about one every 2 cases (12 hobby boxes per case). So if you do the math, it would run over $3,000 for two cases. Anyway, just for fun, I picked up 1 mini box for about $70 to take a crack at finding a Lee Seung-yeop (which would sell for around $800~$1,000 here).

So, did I find Lee?

Not even close, but this is what I did get.

Was a disappointed? Not really because I wasn't expecting anything great even though it was about $70 for 3 cards. That is the gamble that you sometimes take.

As for the autograph, it is Saburo Ohmura. I think its is a beautiful card and one of the lower numbered gold foil autos that you can pull. This one is numbered 1/12, however Saburo doesn't seem to be one of the really sought after players/cards since there isn't a lot of information out there about him in English. You can usually tell how desirable a player is if you find a lot of information/articles about them in English.

Anyway, if you would like to learn more about him, you can check out a trading friends site that has a brief post about him.



Monday, April 1, 2019

KBO Custom Cards - Kang Baek Ho

In 2018, a new face appeared in the KBO and that face was none other than Kang Baek Ho of the kt Wiz. Kang came into the league followed by much hype. He was entering the KBO straight out of high school and during high school he was a two way star that pitched and played in the field. He could throw in the 90's and hit with a ton of raw power so the hype was well deserved and he lived up to it in his 1st season. While he didn't pitch, other than in the all-star game when the teams like to entertain the fans, he had a great season at the plate and earned ROY honors for himself. 

Anyway, I have made several custom cards for foreign players from last year (I will post all of them eventually) and I also wanted to make some custom cards for some of the Korean players. I thought it was only fitting that I make one of "super rookie" Kang Baek Ho because I am a rookie at card making myself. Here is the card that I made from one of the photos that I took of him last season. This photo was him practicing his swing before a game with against the Doosan Bears at Jamsil Stadium.

I hope you enjoyed having a look at the card and for more of your viewing pleasure, here is a video of Kang's 29 HRs of the 2018 season. Cheers!