The first offering for 2009 from BBM (actually released at the end of November) is this year's "Historic Collection" set - Back To The 80's. The set contains 144 cards - 72 cards for OB players who were stars in the 1980's and 72 cards for current players who were born in the 1980's. The selection of OB players contains some of the obvious - Hiromitsu Ochiai, Tatsunori Hara, Suguru Egawa, a bunch of stars from the great Lions teams of the 80's like Koji Akiyama, Hiromichi Ishige, Tsutomu Itoh and the recently retired Kazuhiro Kiyohara, but I felt that there were some players missing. Some of the missing are accounted for in the fact that none of the OB players in this set appeared in last year's "Historic Collection" set - Back To The 1970's. Hiromitsu Kadota, Yutaka Fukumoto, Sachio Kinugasa and Koji Yamamoto could have been in either set. But Choji Murata and Katsuya Nomura (again) are no shows in either set. And while I noticed that the new set has some significant gaijin - Warren Cromartie, Randy Bass and Boomer Wells - while the 70's set had none, I see that the Lee brothers have also been left out of both sets. (I keep thinking that Kimiyasu Kudoh should be in the set as well, even though he hasn't retired yet!)
The set itself is nice enough. Some of the pictures are pretty cool and BBM threw in the occasional horizontal card just to break it up a bit. As usual, I'd prefer more OB players instead of current players, but I'm not sure that will ever change. I got a good deal on the set so I'm not sorry I bought it, but I probably could have simply made do with a couple of packs.
Here's some sample cards:
From the top, that's the OB player cards of Takashi Nishimoto (#003) and Kaname Yashiki (#027) and the current player cards of Yuichi Honda (#125) and Hichori Michimoto (#113).