Sunday, July 19, 2020

Stuff on Cards: Beer

 Here is something you don't see everyday: a baseball card with a bunch of beers dead centre in the photo!

This is card 11 from the 1977 Calbee set (Jc 5(a-j)).  And I love it.

If anyone out there is pursuing an "odd stuff to find on cards" type collection, I'm finding that Japanese cards, especially Calbees from the 70s, are a gold mine.  You've got everything from cards with girls in kimonos on them to cards with vintage cars on them to cards with American pro wrestlers on them.  And now a card with beers.

My casual Google search for "beer baseball cards" doesn't turn up any other baseball cards with beer visible on them.  I see a lot of 1958 Hires Root Beer cards, and cards of some rookie prospect named Seth Beer and a bunch of doctored fun cards people have made over the years (Rob Deer gets a lot of these since the D in his last name can easily be rendered a B).  But no baseball cards with a beer just casually sitting in the background or anything, let alone three of them prominently featured in the foreground. So unless somebody corrects me (and please do if you find something I've missed) I'm going to go out on a limb and say this is the only baseball card from a regular set in history to ever feature guys drinking beer on it.

This makes sense of course, its definitely not a good idea for a product for kids to feature alcohol on it.  I mean, there must be rules somewhere about that sort of thing.  Right? Anyway, obviously those rules didn't apply to Calbee back in 1977 as this card's existence attests to.
The reason for the beers and smiles all around is that this picture features members of the Hankyu Braves celebrating their victory over the Giants in the 1976 Japan Series.  Pictured are star pitcher Mitsuhiro Adachi  who won the series clinching 7th game, Braves manager Toshiharu Ueda, and series MVP Yutaka Fukumoto.

I am starting to work on this set, so this card is going with the rest of them, but if I can ever track down another copy (these are not easy to find) I'll put the other one in my new "stuff on baseball cards" type collection!


  1. このカードはご覧のスポンサーの提供でお送りしています。

    1. Product placement for Asahi or Kirin maybe!

  2. Replies
    1. Ha, yeah! Actually maybe sake or shochu would be closer to the stereotype.

      OK, now I'm curious if there are any cards with sake or shochu on them.

  3. Very cool. Totally missed that kimono post, but that's a cool card too.