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)