Back in the summer of 1995, Hideo Nomo was taking the MLB and our hobby by storm. From June 2nd to August 5th, he went 9-1 with a 1.23 ERA and 112 strikeouts. During that span of twelve games he pitched a one-hitter and three two-hitters. By the end of the season, Nomo had done enough to narrowly beat out Chipper Jones and walked away with the National League Rookie of the Year Award.
He ended up having a very respectable twelve season career in the MLB that included two no-hitters and two strikeout titles. However these days, his cards are worth only a fraction of what collectors paid back in the day. If you factor in sentimental value though, he's still a superstar in my book.
He's right alongside Kurt Suzuki and Ichiro Suzuki as one of my largest Japanese player collections. A lot of that has to do with him being a product of the late 90's and early 2000's when card companies were cranking out tons of inserts, parallels, and memorabilia cards.
Masanori Murakami might have been the first Japanese baseball player to play at the Major League level, but it's important to remember that Nomo was the second. He also deserves some credit for paving the way for guys like Ichiro and Ohtani.
Today I'll be showing off the latest additions to my Hideo Nomo PC courtesy of fellow blogger, Dennis who is the author of Too Many Verlanders and Too Many Manninghams. He sent me a nice variety of cool inserts and rookie cards.
Let's kick things off with a card I would have died to pull back in the day...
1995 SP Silver #14
In the mid 90's, SP was one of the top brands to collect and Nomo's 1995 SP rookie card was very popular at the time. This is the silver parallel, which were seeded at one per pack.
1995 SP Championship Series #1
Upper Deck SP had become so popular among collectors, the company decided to create a retail only counterpart in 1995 called SP Championship. Nomo's rookie card filled the #1 slot and pretty much carries this set.
1995 Select Certified Certified Future #3
One of my favorite brands in 1995 was Select Certified. This is one of the inserts collectors pulled from this product, which highlighted young players around the league. Nomo, along with Alex Rodriguez and Chipper Jones highlight the checklist.
1996 Fleer Ultra Season Crowns #7
1998 Aurora On Deck Laser Cuts #9
I placed blue construction paper behind each card and rescanned them so you can see where light normally shines through.
1998 Pinnacle Plus All-Star Epix Orange/Emerald #E24
In 1997, Pinnacle introduced their Epix inserts to football, hockey, and racing collectors. The following year, baseball card collectors had the opportunity to collect the shiny multi-tiered inserts.
Dennis sent me two-thirds of the Nomo 1998 All-Star Epix rainbow. I just need the purple complete it.
1998 Pinnacle Museum Collection #PP41
When Topps won over collector's hearts with their refractors in the 1993, Pinnacle responded with Dufex technology. Normally, I'm a refractor kind of guy, but there's no denying how beautiful this Pinnacle Museum Collection parallel looks.
1998 Score First Pitch #14
Here's another example of Pinnacle's Dufex technology. This time it's being featured on an insert card instead of a parallel. These First Pitch inserts were found exclusively in the All-Star Edition packs.
1996 Stadium Club Mega Heroes #MH3
Rounding out the stack of Nomos was this 1996 Stadium Club insert that has a super hero theme. Nomo's windup earned him the nickname "Tornado", which also happens to be his comic book spirit on this card.
The final three cards that Dennis sent were three Christian McCaffreys for my Stanford PC:
McCaffrey is the latest big offensive name to come out of Stanford University and based on some of the fantasy football rankings I've seen... 2018 will be his breakout season. I haven't bothered chasing down his cards, because I'm still recovering from getting burnt by Toby Gerhart. But these three cards will make a nice foundation.
Thank you Dennis for these wonderful Nomos and McCaffreys! My COMC order has arrived and there were a few cards in there for you. Stay tuned. You'll be receiving a care package from me within the next few weeks.
Happy Saturday and sayonara!