Another PWE from 2 x 3 Heroes arrived in the mail not long ago, and out popped this Hideo Nomo rookie card from 1995 Select.
I have this card already. I have lots and lots of Nomo cards, as you know. But this card prompted me to go on a very, very important mission:
Do I have all the Hideo Nomo rookie cards?
I knew immediately that the answer would be "no". We are talking '90s baseball cards here, and the answer always whenever you are asking whether you have completed something in the 1990s card realm is "No". Try again. There are different cards for every mood for every ball player for each year that they played in the '90s. No.
Nomo demonstrates this remarkably well. Where once a player had a single rookie card, Nomo has around 50 different rookie cards. Ask, "what's his rookie card?" and you get 50 cards thrown in your face.
But with Nomo, I'm very glad to have 50 cards thrown in my face, because I'm trying to collect 'em all.
Right now, I have around 30 or so. Wanna see 'em?
Sure you do.
I'll start with Topps, which was struggling to catch up to Nomomania that year. No Nomos show up in Topps sets until the Traded set. Here they are proclaiming him Rookie Of The Year, which he was, but it's very odd to see that on someone's rookie card.
You can't read that, but it says "Star Track." This card serves as Nomo's "base card" in the Traded set as his career stats (from Japan) are on the back, as well as vitals and a bio. I'm fairly certain he's the first player to have "star track" plastered on his rookie card.
Also the first player to share his rookie card with a Big Unit.
Rookie cards with parallels was new to the '90s.
But by the end of the '90s it was old news.
Here's your update: Hideo Nomo has another rookie card.
Nomo has the honor of his rookie card being featured in one of the most bizarrely designed sets ever made.
And one of the fanciest.
Every company had its own Nomo rookie card.
And each line in the company had its own Nomo rookie card.
Score was a little more aggressive with getting Nomo rookies to the public.
These are just a couple of them. I am missing a few more.
Upper Deck produced maybe more Nomo rookies than any other company.
That's a lot of twisting and turning.
Speaking of twisting, there's Emotion's contribution to the Nomo rookie cause.
And just in case you didn't know Nomo was a rookie, Emotion wrote it 20-or-more times on one of his cards.
Mother's Cookies even got into the Nomo rookie game.
And how many rookies have their phone rookie card?
But for me, the best of the Nomo rookie cards, the pinnacle of the Nomo rookie cards you could say -- and I just did -- was, indeed Pinnacle.
That's a beautiful card. And look where one foot is in relation to the other foot. Try doing that at home. OK, now pick yourself up off the floor.
This card might be even cooler because of the Japanese lettering and the shadowy Piazza figure in the corner.
I have the sample version of this card, but not the actual card it's sampling. Is a "Sample" Nomo rookie card actually a rookie card? Of course, it is! I'm holding it in my hand, aren't I?
Pinnacle and Sportflics also teamed up to ensure that there was a Nomo rookie card with lenticular technology.
Two different versions, in fact.
You could even get a special National Packtime Nomo rookie from the boys at Pinnacle.
That's 33 Nomo rookie cards, or a full career-and-a-half of cards for any player from the '50s, '60s or '70s. But I'm still not close to being finished grabbing them all.
Here are a few that I still need:
1995 Flair Wave of the Future
1995 Pinnacle Zenith Edition All-Star Salute
1995 Upper Deck Hobby Predictor Award Winners
1995 Bowman's Best
1995 Upper Deck SP Championship Series Fall Classic Destination diecut
1995 Select Certified Edition Certified Future
1995 Pinnacle Zenith Edition Rookie Roll Call
1995 Topps Finest
1995 Select Certified Edition Potential Unlimited
1995 Donruss Top Of The Order
1995 Los Angeles Dodgers D.A.R.E.
1995 Fleer Ultra Gold Medallion Rookies
And there's a handful more parallels and a 22K gold card, and a porcelain card, and let's face it, I'll never have all the Nomo rookies.
Jeff did send me some cards that were new to my collection, like these 2014 Allen and Ginter needs.
And a Mike Piazza card from my favorite set of the year.
If I land 95 percent of the Nomo rookie cards, I'll consider my collection quest a success. After all, he might have the best 50 rookie cards of all-time.