You don't come across these every day …


It seems that there are trading cards for literally everything these days — though probably not as prevalent as they were in the boom years for the hobby in the 1980s and early 1990s. The influx of people interested in cards — any cards — led to some unusual collectibles.

BBMmagHere’s one example of an unusual card, except that it’s brand new. It’s a card of the Japan Professional Bowling Association’s Aki Nawa, a card included in the pages of Sports Card Magazine — a Japanese magazine on, well, sports cards. (It’s probably a good read, but you can’t take my word for it. I can’t read Japanese.)

Issue No. 75, which features Hiroshima Toyo Carp pitcher Kenta Maeda on the cover, includes not just one, but five promotional cards inside made by the BBM card company.

SCM Original Card No. 120 is Keisuke Tanimoto of the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, No. 121 is of Ryoehei Isaka of the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, No. 122 is Kei Nomoto of the Chunichi Dragons, No. 123 is of Noriharu Yamazaki of the Yokohama Baystars and No. 124 is the bowler. (Here’s her blog, by the way.)

If you’re wondering what the magazine prices, this issue includes Japanese cards for soccer, pro wrestling, sumo, kakutogi, basketball, volleyball, beach volleyball, karate, badminton and handball while previewing the latest in card sets (all sports) from BBM. The magazine also spotlights American cards — the World Baseball Classic cards from Topps have a two-page spread in the issue.

If you’re wondering, Ichiro‘s Topps World Baseball Classic box set card is the “best card of this month” while the Yomiuri Giants’ Taisji Ohta tops both the Rookie Card hot card list as well as the autograph and memorabilia hot card list with his 2009 BBM cards.

We all know that card collecting is a global passion, but it’s always cool to see how the hobby is handled thousands of miles away — and how similar, yet very different, the same types of collectibles (and their magazines) can be.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at

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