PWE from Fuji

I don’t have a lot of regular readers of my blog. I typically joke that it’s just my mom (though I think my wife also reads a bunch of posts during the rare occasion she cleans out her RSS reader) but that’s actually not true. San Jose Fuji is another blogger who reads everyone’s blogs, including this one. I’ve been super impressed, he reads and comments everywhere too.

Last weekend he also impressed me buy managing to stuff 18 cards into a plain white envelope. I’ve never sent more than 9 (full-size—I maxxed out at 24 once but it included a bunch of minis) and it’s kind of like the 1000 clowns thing to just keep pulling cards out of an envelope.

Fuji’s in the Bay Area. I keep thinking that I’ll run into him at San José Obon* some summer but to-date it hasn’t happened. He’s not a Giants or A’s fan but does collect guys from local colleges. Most of his Giants cards he ends up giving to his students instead. I wish I’d had a teacher like that when I was a kid.

*Though not this year.

The Giants cards he sent me are very cool regional issues however. These three look like Mother’s Cookies cards but are in fact Keebler cards. After Mother’s died as a brand, Keebler took over baseball card day. I haven’t gotten into those sets too much—I just have the 1999 set which closes out the Candlestick years—but they look pretty nice in capturing a bit of that Mother’s feel. It’s nice to add some from 2001 and 2002. I have precious few oddballs from the late-90s to the present in my Giants binders so these will spice things up tremendously.

Three more oddballs. I’ll address the last one first since Emerald Nuts took over from Keebler in the baseball card day promotions. The Emerald Nuts sets are made by Topps and most of them consist of slapping the logo on top of the base Topps design for the year. This is underwhelming.* What’s not underwhelming is that the Emerlad Nuts sets are like 36 cards and include a lot of players and coaches who aren’t in the flagship release. I very much like having a sample from the Emerald Nuts set which is one of those extra cards.

*2006 at least does appear to be an exception.

The other two cards are even odder. I actually don’t know what set they‘re from. I know the Jacob Cruz is from 2003 (only year he was with the Giants) but I have no idea on the Lowry. They don’t feel like Major League Stadium Giveaways and instead remind me of the golden age of oddballs being created by anyone and everyone for promotional purposes.

I scanned the backs of the Cruz and Lowry in case anyone can help identify them but these also show why I think of them as promotional pieces rather than stadium giveaways. The Cruz is issued by the State of California and by being a 2003 release includes references to Governor Gray Davis and the Flex Your Power program which he implemented to deal with the rolling blackouts that led to his recall that year.

The Lowry meanwhile is a collaboration between Blue Shield and the Giants Community Fund. Basically the health version of a police card. I’m surprised it’s regulation sized since this is totally the kind of thing that would’ve been oversize in the 1980s.

The rest of the envelope was assorted San José Giants cards. Most of these guys never made it past AA. A few made it to AAA. Only Valderrama made it to the Majors though. in 2003 he played in seven games with San Francisco. His line consists of seven plate appearances in those seven games, one hit, and one stolen base. He did play 16 innings in the outfield over those seven games where he recorded six putouts and made no errors.

Very cool stuff. I don’t purposefully acquire minor league cards but they’re also fun additions to the binder. Thanks Fuji for the mailing and thanks for being such a great reader and commenter on the blog too.

Author: Nick Vossbrink

Blogging about Photography, Museums, Printing, and Baseball Cards from both Princeton New Jersey and the San Francisco Bay Area. On Twitter as @vossbrink, WordPress at, and the web at

4 thoughts on “PWE from Fuji”

  1. Fuji gets around, doesn’t he? He’s simply awesome. I went to one Obon Festival in Pasadena with the gf and it was one of the best days of my life. It was so inspiring to see a lot of people of other nationalities celebrating Obon with the local Japanese-Americans at a Buddhist temple (first time I’d ever visited one). I’m now big fan of Taiko drumming.

    Congrats on some unique pickups!

  2. I can see why you wouldn’t like a local set just putting a logo on that year’s Topps design, but having a card on that design of the bullpen coach and bullpen catcher is pretty cool! Goes even beyond the coach cards that Giovanni (When Topps Had (Base)Balls) makes.

  3. One of these days we’ll get together. I think 18 is my record… and that’s because those minor league and Keebler cards are a little thinner than the standard base card.

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