April 4, 2014

Tanaka makes MLB debut, but no stranger to collectors

Masahiro Tanaka makes first Major League debut against the Toronto Blue Jays tonight.

The Yankees new starter doesn’t have any MLB cards, yet, but Tanaka does have cards available for collectors. Tanaka has at least 50 cards on the market, including three autographs. Of course, many of the cards are from Japan, but a handful are more readily available

Tanaka’s cards appeared in 2009 World Baseball Classic subsets such in Bowman Chrome, Topps Update, and Topps Chrome.

His cards appeared again in 2013 WBC sets such as ToppsTribute.

Even though he hasn’t pitched in the Majors yet, Tanaka’s cards aren’t cheap. Some of the Japanese cards can be had for a few dollars, but his Topps cards have commanded more money with base cards selling for at least $10.

Autographs and low-numbered parallels sell for hundreds.

Topps recently announced Tanaka’s first live cards would appear in Gypsy Queen, which comes out next week. It will also put Tanaka cards in 2014 Bowman with parallels, inserts and a Chrome mini. He will also have cards in Topps Archives and Topps Series 2.

Panini, which has an MLBPA license but not an MLB Properties license, announced Tanaka will be one of the subjects in the Donruss wrapper redemption program.  

Of course, I have none of these cards – that I know of. 

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