Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Nostalgic And Draft Story sets

Deanna Rubin had a post a few weeks back that involved opening packs of Nostalgic Baseball and Draft Story cards (both BBM sets). Since these are two of my favorite sets from the past year or so, I thought I'd write up something about them.

The Nostalgic Baseball set was released in the summer of 2006. It contains 108 cards of players mostly from the 1930's - 1960's. What's really cool about the cards is that BBM colorized the pictures. Some of these players have never had a card in color before (hell, some of them may never have had a card before). There are a great many Hall Of Famers in the set - Nagashima, Oh, Kawakami, Sawamura, Nomura, Harimoto, Starffin, Yonamine, Nishizawa, Inao, Nakanishi among them, along with guys like Akira Ohgi and Hiroshi Gondoh who are better known as recent managers.

One of the other things that I find neat about the set is that they have some of the more obscure teams represented. The decade or so following World War II saw a lot of name changes in NPB as companies bought and sold teams, the two league system came along and teams merged with each other. Teams like the Shochiku Robins, the Taiyo-Shochiku Robins (a merger of the Taiyo Whales and Shochiku Robins that only existed in 1953 and who are an ancestor of today's Baystars), the Tokyo Senators, the Nishitetsu Clippers (today's Seibu Lions), and the Kyuei Flyers (today's Fighters) all appear in the set.

The Draft Story set was BBM's Historic set from last winter. Like the other Historic sets, this set contains a mixture of retired (OB) players as well as current players. There are 144 cards in the set, 72 OB players and 72 current players. Each card shows the player essentially in his rookie year, with the team that drafted him. Since NPB didn't institute a draft until the mid-60's (like the US), players like Nagashima and Oh are not represented in the set. Ichiro Suzuki, Hideki Matsui and Kenji Johjima are in the set (as OB players), which I believe marks the first appearence of any US players in a BBM set while they played in the US. There are some interesting photos in the set - Deanna mentioned a young Michihiro Ogasawara wearing catching gear. There's a similar picture of a young Akira Etoh.

Like the Nostalgic Baseball set, there are some obscure teams represented like the Yakult Atoms. I hadn't realized that Osamu Higashio had been drafted by the Lions while they were owned by Nishitetsu. That means he played for the Lions for Nishitetsu, Taiheiyo, and Crown Lighter as well as Seibu. I think my favorite two cards are of current Baystars pitcher Kimiyasu Kudoh from 1982 and a very young and slender Yutaka Enatsu from 1967.

No comments: