Buzz 12 in 12: Busting a 2000 Upper Deck Ovation Japanese baseball cards hobby box (Hour 2)

Do you like Buzz Breaks? Today’s your day then as we launch 12 in 12 — a series of a dozen breaks of past wax boxes and wax packs in a dozen hours. We’ll post one every hour on the hour all day long today … this is Hour 2.

12in12-logo-smallerThe box: 2000 Upper Deck Ovation Japanese baseball cards (hobby)
The cost: 

What’s inside this one? Keep reading …

Packs have discolored some over the years while inside the box.

Packs per box: 24
Cards per pack: 5
Cards in this box: 120
Base set completion: 
60 of 60 (100 percent)
Duplicates: 42

Notables on base cards – Ichiro Suzuki, Kenji Johjima, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Kazuo Matsui, Soh Taguchi, Kohsuke Fukudome, Hideki Matsui, Koji Uehara, Kazuhisa Ishii, Shingo Takatsu, Tsuyoshi Shinjyo, Keiichi Yabu (spellings are as on their cards)

Gaijin on base cards – Tuffy Rhodes, Rod Pedraza, Tony Fernandez, Brian Warren, Phil Clark, Leo Gomez, Bobby Rose, Roberto Petagine

Inserts/short-prints: 16 (all in gallery below with some base)
Rising Stars (2) – Shinobu Fukuhara, Takaya Kawauchi (/2,000)
Standing Ovation (1) – Tomohiro Kuroki (/2,500)
40-Home Run Club (2) – Phil Clark, Sherman Obando
Oendan Favorites (8) – Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hideki Matsui, Tadahito Iguchi, Tsutomu Iwamoto, Norihiro Nakamura, Takahiro Saeki, Hitoki Iwase, Kazuya Fukuura
Griffey Jr. Gallery (3) – Ken Griffey Jr.

Autographs/Memorabilia: None

What’s Buzz-worthy: An American Upper Deck brand (with an active MLB player inside the packs) but a Japanese baseball card set featuring stars of Nippon Professional Baseball made to be sold in Japan? Yep, it happened. Back in 2000 and 2001 Upper Deck dabbled with card sets for this part of the world with this release and a Victory set the first year and a flagship set and a second Victory release to follow. This one is the best of the four with the quirky embossing and same strong design as its American MLB counterpart. The first 30 cards in the overall set are the Rising Stars and those are limited to only 2,000 serial-numbered cards per player. Then there are 60 base cards and that’s it for standard stuff. There are also inserts — Oendan Favorites, 40-Home Run Club, Standing Ovation and Griffey Gallery — a six-card set showing Ken Griffey Jr. in his MLB threads. Rarer pulls not in this box (or a past one I’ve ripped) include sets with game-used baseball and shoe cards and then a set with a piece of both. This box delivered a full basic set with a number of the big names from Japan you’ll know who later came to MLB — and then some Gaijin, or “outsiders” — guys  who opted to play in Japan after we got to know them on American cardboard. The Rising Stars checklist includes Matsuzaka, Uehara and Fukudome along with a number of guys who probably contributed there but not here. … Names you will know who appear on the game-used sets include Griffey, Matsuzaka, Matsui and Suzuki. All 13 players in the sets have three different game-used cards. … This is a fun break once, though there could be issues with cards sticking — some minor surface issues here but not bad unless you’re a grader, though my Ichiros were clean — though I probably wouldn’t pay more than this box’s price. A past box I ripped of this one — opened more than a decade ago — actually delivered better with inserts of Suzuki and others but it’s still something different and fun to try. Want to experiment more? Search for BBM packs or boxes online.

Product Grade: A-
Box Grade:
Fun Grade: B+

What’s next? Be back in an hour …

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