With Leaf’s Ichiro Immortals Collection they are taking a leap of faith on one man and hoping the collectors are willing to pay the money to pull some very limited autographs of one of the best pure hitters in baseball history. At $550-600 per box (only 300 boxes will be released) collectors will pull one autograph and 4 base cards (#/51 or less). When you look at the possibilities it seems like a solid collection, as you would expect from a high-end release, but is the price worth the risk?
There will be plenty of Ichiro autographs, a difficult signature to come across even before Leaf got the Ichiro licensing, in various forms including base autographs, Letterman autos, jumbo patch autographs and booklets. Some will even be multi-autographs where Ichiro is matched up with Ruth, Ott, Gehrig, Wagner, Rose or other legendary player.
There are some very cool cards but if you end up with a base auto you could have saved the money and just picked up one of his UD autographs which can be had for $300-400 range. The Jumbo Swatch cards look an awful lot like something you might pull from Upper Deck’s Exquisite or Ultimate releases.
One of my favorites is the Kanji Letterman cards but when it comes to these you would want all four cards for a complete display-worth set. In order the character cards spell out “I” “Chi” “Ro” with the fourth card depicting the choonpu character which represents a long vowel to go with the “o”, so Ichiro when all four cards are put together.
Being a Mariners fan I still mourn the July 2012 trade to the Yankees, I think most people always expected him to retire a Seattle Mariner. I would love to get a hold of some of his Seattle cards, Leaf really did an amazing job outside of the Photoshopped images.