2012 BANDAI OWNERS LEAGUE LASTINGS MILLEDGE
Mets COTW is back in town after 5 weeks in Japan, jet lagged as hell and raring to go.
While in Tokyo, I dropped 5,000 yen on Japanese baseball cards at an Akihabara hobby shop. All in the name of research, I assured my wife, as she cocked her head and arched an eyebrow or two.
The primary card set in Japan is called “Owners League” and it is produced by Bandai, a prominent toy company. Like most card sets in Japan, the baseball issues are designed to be used in an online/electronic game.
Each card carries a QR code on the reverse, as well as a 16-character alphanumeric code. My understanding is that you enter these codes online to create your team, and then compete in games with other team owners.
You’ll find the same general principle on display in Japanese arcades, where cards and chips are utilized by many of the gaming machines. My kids were dropping their coins into the Pokemon Battrio game at the local super store, and then laying out thick plastic Pokemon pucks on the machine’s interactive screen in order to battle against their friends.
As usual, the Beavis/Butthead in me could not help but titter (huh huh huh… titter) at the signs on the card machines in all the arcades, which read “BattleCarddAss.” (The “Ass” here is short for “Assortment”– the Japanese have a propensity for truncating English words. For example, one of my wife’s favorite TV shows is “Music Station,” known more commonly as “M-Sta”…)
And if you look closely at the top of the Owners League pack here, you’ll see that it reads “NetCarddAss.”
Huh huh huh…
While I had hoped to pull a gaijin card relevant to the mission of this column, alas I was not so lucky. Instead I am left with a deck of Luis Terrero, Esteban German, Micah Hoffpauir, Matt Murton, and Nick Stavinoha. So that grainy Lastings Milledge scan you see above was borrowed from our good friend, the Internets.
It should be noted that Lastings is having a fine year for an underperforming Yakult Swallows squad. He is tied for the league lead in homers with 20, and is second in batting with a .308 average.
I’d take those kind of numbers in LF any day.
I wonder how long Lastings’ contract with the Swallows runs…