Monday, November 30, 2020
Friday, November 27, 2020
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
I've been fortunate to have a local sport card legend living and working "right around the corner" from where I live. Mike Jaspersen is the owner of Jaspy's, a brick-and-mortar store in Hermosa Beach, CA which also has a very successful and popular breaking business, Jaspy's Case Breaks. Coincidently, they just broke a box of Panini Immaculate and landed a 1-of-1 Logoman of Lebron James a few days ago that has been making its way around news wires across the country as this likely is a 6-figure card. Mike runs a great business and just opened back up after having been closed for a while due to COVID. I was in there the other day and noticed an autographed card of himself that had been issued in the 2017 Allen and Ginter product. Mike explained that he had signed 10 of them and he talked briefly about the Topps representative stopping by for him to sign before moving on to other people in the area. I did not have an opportunity to ask why he was featured on the card, but I picked up a copy for myself and plan on swinging by here shortly to inquire. It does state on the back that he was the "A&G Las Vegas Party Winner", so excited to get more information on that. Mike has a very interesting history in the hobby and here is an interview from several years ago by Sports Collectors Digest.
Anyone else ever get to meet someone who was featured on a trading card besides an athlete?
Monday, November 16, 2020
Back in April I wrote about these flash-card type of menko that had math equations on the back for kids to solve and as a way, I am assuming, to get kids more engaged in math. Here is another set I came across during the COVID days of browsing auction sites. Interestingly, all the math-back menko that I own are from 1941. Not sure why this is. It may be that the same company produced all math-back menko and found success in the math theme. Maybe there was some cultural phenomenon going on that made these type of backs more appealing to the kids and several companies hopped on board. Not sure we'll ever know. Definitely a pretty cool piece of Japanese history for sure.
This set captures the great Yokozuna Futabayama as well as many of the top-ranked wrestlers of the era. Hard to believe that soon after this set was released, Japan would drag the United States into World War II which would ultimate cease menko production for the next 5 years until the war ended.
Here is a shout out to all the teachers out there fighting through this pandemic continuing to educate our kids and keeping them engaged in important school subjects. Thanks especially to Fuji!
Monday, November 2, 2020
"Playing Cards" in the United States are known as "Trump Cards" (トランプ カード) in Japan. Not getting political here, but Trump Cards don't have anything to do with President Donald Trump, but rather have to do with the "Trump" being the term used to identify a powerful suit in different types of card games. The tie to sumo wrestling has to do with the fact that these sets are popular souvenirs during tournament time as they depict the different active sumo wrestlers. Since 1973, there have been over 63 sumo wrestling trump card sets released. From quick napkin math, you can see that in some years there was more than one set released. This often was the case when sumo popularity was extremely high and the Japan Sumo Association was trying to capture the latest, ever-changing ranks of the wrestlers. This past September, the Japan Sumo Association released its 63rd set. I scanned the top 3 cards in each suit (J,Q,K) of this 2020 set as these cards depict the 12 highest-ranked wrestlers at the time. Interestingly, the Japanese don't view the Ace as a strong card in general, but with these sumo wrestling sets, the Ace is usually a veteran or someone notable so not necessary the weakest wrestler either.