It's been out for about two months now and I've had my set for about a month, but I'm finally getting around to blogging about the 2009 BBM 2nd Version set. It's a 255 card set that is numbered as a continuation of this year's 1st Version set.
Like last year's set, this year's set has 180 player cards (15 per team). As usual, BBM has found some outstanding photographs for the cards. Here's a selection:
Card numbers: Kanemoto #673, Iguchi #608, Nakajima #562, Lee #655, Yoshinori #705, Oyama #682
There are 13 players who have "regular" (as opposed to 1st Version Update) cards in the 2nd Version set but did not appear in this year's 1st Version set. They are Atsushi Fujii (Dragons), Keiji Oyama (Dragons), Shinsuke Saitoh (Dragons), Yuya Hasegawa (Hawks), DJ Houlton (Hawks), Yasushi Kamiuchi (Hawks), Satoru Morimoto (Hawks), Atsushi Nohmi (Tigers), Tomoya Yagi (Fighters), Marcus Gwyn (Golden Eagles), Aaron Guiel (Swallows), Satoshi Fukuda (Giants) and Tetsuya Matsumoto (Giants).
One thing I noticed about the cards in this set - they have the player's name in English on the back of the cards. I think that's the first time I've seen that with BBM cards. Typically the name on the back will only be in Kanji for the Japanese players. (UPDATE - I guess I'm not very observant because this is the fourth year in a row that the 2nd Version cards have had the player's names on the back in English.)
In addition to the 13 previously mentioned cards, there's a 17 card "1st Version Update" subset. This subset contains cards that are in the style of this year's 1st Version set (although the text on the front does say "2nd Version"). I'm not quite sure what the difference between these 17 players and the 13 players listed above, but the update subset does contain players who signed later in the season (Craig Brazell), traded players (Ryuji Miyade and Yoshihiro Ichiba) and the BayStars interim manager Tomio Toshiro. But it also includes a card of Edgardo Alfonzo, who was NOT a late signing player.
Here's the list of the 1st Version Update players: Kentaro Hashimoto (Marines), Hiroshi Miyamoto (Marines), Juan Carlos Muniz (Marines), Yoshifumi Okada (Marines), Hayato Douue (Hawks), Jose Ortiz (Hawks), Craig Brazell (Tigers), Kai-Wen Cheng (Tigers), Yasutomo Kubo (Tigers), Scott McClain (Carp), Luis Jimenez (Fighters), Jobu (Golden Eagles), Ryuji Miyade (Golden Eagles), Yasuhiro Ichiba (Swallows), Yuki (Swallows), Tomio Toshiro (BayStars) and Edgardo Alfonzo (Giants). Here's the cards of Miyade (#777) and Toshiro (#787):
The set also contains three 12 card subsets, each featuring one player from each team. The subsets are "Team Specialities" which features one of the top stars from each team - Darvish, Ogasawara, Iwakuma, Kanemoto, etc (and yes, that title is misspelled - don't know if they were going for "Specialists" or "Specialties"); "Golden Age - Around 20" which features a promising early 20-something player like Masahiro Tanaka or Sho Nakata for each team (well, some are more promising than others...:-)); and the "Craftsmanship" subset which features a veteran for each team who's at least in their mid-30's if not older - Kudoh, Komiyama, Takuro Ishii, etc. Here's example cards from each subset:
Card numbers: Ogasawara #741, Maeda #756, Kosaka #763
There are 12 team checklist cards in the set. The pictures don't have any real theme - they are a combination of action shots, mascot interaction pictures and one or two just plain odd pictures. Here for examples are the Giants (#794) and BayStars (#799) cards:
Finally, there is a ten card "Ceremonial First Pitch" subset showing various Japanese celebrities throwing out the first pitch at a game. I was a little bummed (although not surprised) that there was no Tom Hanks card. Not living in Japan, it's usually hard for me to figure out who these people are - not all of them show up in Wikipedia. Here's the list: Hideo Higashikokubaru (Comedian), Sachi Jinno (Actress), Yumi Kobayashi (Model), Hidehiko Masuda (Comedian), Satoko Miyata (Model), Miyuki (?), Mari Motohashi (Curler), Tomoaki Ogura (Newscaster), Keisuke Okada (?), and Shosuke Tanihara (Actor). The only Keisuke Okada that comes up in a Wikipedia search was an Admiral in the Imperial Navy and Prime Minister of Japan in the mid 1930's. I don't think it's him.
I thought it was cool that there was an Olympic Curler in the bunch as my sister-in-law was a curling official at the 2002 Winter Olympics. So here's the card of Motohashi (#804):