Monday, February 25, 2019

Baseball, Sumo, and NASCAR

I honestly don't know where to begin with this giant stack of madness. What you see above is most of the cards that Ryan from the Sumo Cards blog sent me a while back. It's a regular treasure trove, mostly baseball, but other stuff as well, including my first ever sumo cards.

I'll be quite honest, I'm not familiar with the sport of Sumo at all. As a kid I remember seeing it here and there in the early days of ESPN2 back when they would run tapes of pretty much anything from strongman spectacles to caber tossing competitions and every manner of off the radar sport in between. Somewhere in between all of that, there would be the occasional kickboxing or sumo wrestling tournament. I was pretty fascinated with the sumo wrestling but never really followed it or anything. I watched it out of mere curiosity than anything else.

These cards are just so cool but not knowing the first thing about old sumo cards, I had to ask Ryan about them. Luckily, he gave me a nice rundown of the wrestlers on the cards and what they are called. The black and white cards are called bromides and are from the 1940s and 1950s and are basically cards printed on photo paper. The round disc is a menko piece and dates to about 1930. Apparently the menko piece is extremely rare but Ryan had an extra from a set and included it for me.

As far as the wrestlers on the cards go, the two on top are Meagashira Fujigatake on the bromide photo and Maegashira Fujinosato on the menko disc. The other three, from left to right are: Yokozuna Chiyonoyama, Yokozuna Kagamisato, and Yokozuna Tochinishiki, three of only 72 wrestlers in history to attain the top ranking in sumo.

Here are some more modern sumo cards put out by BBM. The green card is actually part of a sumo fantasy card game (similar to MLB Showdown from the early 2000s I'm guessing). The BBM cards feature Ishihura Masakatsu, Takayasu Akira, and Daieisho Hayato. The explosion of color on these is fantastic and kind of makes me want to pick up a few more here and there just because of the cool looking cards.

Moving on to other cards, these two racing cards from the Maxx '91 set were included. I don't watch a lot of NASCAR but I have a general idea of some of the drivers. Both of these guys are legends in the sport. These are cool additions to my otherwise small racing collection.

Moving on now to the giant stack of baseball cards. First, there are these Expos cards. I always like it when Topps includes the Expos on modern cards. I keep telling myself I'm going to get more of those Highlight of the Year cards in general but I never do.

Some nice cards for my player collections of these four. The Robinson is a reprint so don't get excited thinking it's an original 1971. The Griffey card though is very nice with the Chrome style and the retro Bowman design.

Some modern Reds cards including a really cool Billy Hamilton card from not so cool 2016 Topps Opening Day. Mascot cards are always super fun. Strangely enough, one of the people in the office I work in is a mascot for the Reds and I think that he might actually be Mr. Redlegs.

Some old school Reds. Pete Rose may be a duplicate I think and the Tom Browning might be as well but I think the Eric Davis card is new to me. I really should catalog my cards.

This Johnny Bench card claims it's from 2002 Topps on it but I can't find a record of it anywhere. I'm guessing it's part of a legends insert or variation set? Did they do such things in 2002?

There was also a nice lot of Nolan Ryan cards, some of which I strangely didn't have yet. 

What I've shown so far is only about half of the cards from the header photo. The other half, the BBM cards from Japan, I'll cover in the upcoming days.


  1. That Bench card is interesting for sure, I don't recall having seen legends variations that far back either, though I wasn't collecting when that set came out...

  2. I did a Google Image search of the Bench card and nothing matched. That's a really strange one. Awfully nice, though!

  3. Ryan's packages are always full of awesome variety. Those vintage sumo cards are sweet!

    As for that Bench... in 2010, Topps produced an insert called Vintage Legends Collection and he had two cards in the set. One of them featured him on the 2002 Topps design. If your card is #'d VLC-43, then it's from that set.

  4. That would be so cool if your coworker was Mr. Redlegs. Hopefully most of the cards fit into your collection. If not, feel free to pass them on, no feelings hurt!