Monday, January 20, 2020

When Sumo Wrestling Came to Hawaii in 1993 - Akebono, Konishiki, Musashimaru

In the summer time between tournaments, rikishi go on traveling tours around the country (and around the world) to give fans a chance to interact with the wrestlers and to promote the sport.  It has been a while since they have come to America.  In fact, the last time they were here was in 2009 in LA.  However, once upon a time when Hawaiian wrestlers were dominate in the sport, they went to Hawaii for a special two-day tournament.  In June of 1993, dozens of wrestlers descended upon the Hawaiian Islands to give the fans a true taste of this ancient sport.  And since Yokozuna Akebono, Ozeki Konishiki, and Sekiwake Musashimaru were at the top of the sport, this caused slight hysteria across the islands.  Spoiler alert, according to the July 1993 edition of Sumo World, Sekiwake Musashimaru was the tournament winner as described in the attached article.  Coincidently, the massive POG craze was going on at this time as well and this piece of history was captured on a set of POGs.  I got out of cards right when the POG craze hit so I missed getting absorbed in the collecting frenzy and missed collecting some great sets.  Luckily I was able to recently pick this up and will be cataloguing in future editions of my book.

These three rikishi were so famous that it inspired the famous Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwa'ole (Of the "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" fame) to write a song about them called "Sumotori".

Did anyone else get caught up on the POG craze?

Saturday, January 18, 2020

2002-2004 Radio Shack Zip Zaps Trading Cards

I've been working on this nearly impossible Radio Shack Zip Zaps trading card set for sometime now.  Back between 2002-2005, Radio Shack sold the Zip Zaps RC car starter kits for $19.99 that included one chassis, one rear axle, stock gears, stock motor, 4 custom hubcaps, stock tires, a body top, the remote, a small screwdriver and one collectible trading card.  There were close to a 100 different cars that were sold during this time in these starter kits and additional body kit packages and consequently there are close to 100 trading cards to collect(exact checklist is unknown, but this is what I have been able to checklist so far on TCDB).  Just recently I was able to add six new cards to my collection as well as the tough-to-find card binder that was sold separately to store these trading cards.  These cards rarely show up and if they do, they are frequently bundled with the starter kits which are still quite expensive on the secondary market for close to $50 these days.

Did anyone else play with these 15-17 years ago?

Sunday, January 12, 2020

I've been Zapped! Thanks Kenny at Torren' Up Cards!

Got a nice Zap this past week via Kenny over at Torren' Up Cards!  I never turn down any Brandon Laird cards from his MLB-playing days and these fit nicely in my collection.  Any numbered signature card is definitely a nice addition as well with this 2011 Bowman Chrome Prospects Auto #ed to 500.  Brandon arguably had one of his better years in the NPB this year, although his Marines still finished 9.5 games behind the league leaders.  Let's hope next year brings Brandon and the Marines a lot better results.

Kenny also hooked me up with this authentic sumo wrestling banzuke, or ranking sheet, from the July 1999 tournament.  Awesome!!  I had just landed in Japan at the end of this tournament to start working, although not a sumo fan yet.  Some great rikishi on this banzuke for sure: Akebono, Musashimaru, Takanohana, Wakanohana, Asashoryu (all the way down at Sandanme...the writing is so small I can't even find his name yet), and Kaio.

Thanks a million Kenny!