Thursday, September 24, 2009

2009 BBM All Stars

I used to really like BBM's All Star sets.

When I was learning about Japanese baseball, those sets helped me learn who some of the better and popular players were in the league. They also helped fill in my collection for some of the years where it's a bit thin (like 1998).

But I think now that a combination of the fact that I'm getting a lot more cards now than I used to and the fact that I've haven't liked the design of the cards much in recent years (with the notable exception of 2007) are making me reconsider if I want to keep getting this set.

Now admittedly, this is simply my personal preference, but I think the nicest looking cards are ones with border-less, full bleed photos and a minimum of text (name, team, position, etc) in an unobtrusive manner. So take a gander at a couple of "regular" cards from this year's BBM All Star set (#A59 & #A58):

So we've got an odd orange-ish border around the edge (it's blue-ish on the Pacific League cards) that for some reason is thicker on the bottom. There's the words "2009 All Star Cards" running down one side of the card. If the player was selected by the fan voting, there's a "Fan Selected" thing in the middle of the picture. If it's the first time the player was selected, there's a "1st Time All Star" thing in the picture. And if, like Masato Akamatsu here, the player was both selected by the fans AND a first time All Star, he gets both things cluttering up his picture.

Oh, and if you're going to have the player's team "flag" in one of the upper corners, you don't need to list it again under the player's name. I just feel the front of the cards are way too busy.

Anyway, some details about the set. Like always, it's a 65 card box set. There are 28 cards for each of the two all star teams, three cards for the managers and coaches for each team (Hisanobu Watanabe, Masataka Nashida and Daijiro Ohishi for the Pacific League, Tatsunori Hara, Hiromichi Ochiai and Akinobu Mayumi for the Central League), two cards for the MVPs for last year's All Star games (Takeshi Yamasaki - card #A64 pictured below - and Masahiro Araki) and one card for the player who got the most votes from the fans - Atsunori Inaba.

To wrap up on a positive note, I guess the one thing I can say about this set is that I like it better than last year's set.

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