Sunday, February 7, 2010

2009 BBM Buffaloes History Set

I mentioned the other day when talking about the Carp 60th Anniversary set that after the 1949 season, NPB expanded from eight teams to fifteen. Another of the teams that were added (in addition to the Carp) was a team that was then called the Kintetsu Pearls. This team would change it's name to the Kintetsu Buffalo (yes, singular) in 1959, the Kintetsu Buffaloes in 1962 and finally the Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes in 1997. Following the 2004 season, Kintetsu sold out and the team "merged" with the Orix Blue Wave - the new team being called the Orix Buffaloes - but essentially the franchise that had been the Kintetsu Buffaloes folded and ceased to be.

BBM has issued a set this past fall to celebrate the Kintetsu team. They don't really refer to it as a 60th Anniversary set, but rather a Kintetsu Memorial set, although they produced a boxed set in late 2004 as a Kintetsu Memorial set. The set follows the now very familiar pattern of the nine previous Anniversary sets done by BBM - there's a six card "History Of Kintetsu Buffaloes" subset, 84 cards for former Kintetsu players (no subset for the 2009 team since there wasn't one) and a nine card "Team Record" subset showing the career team leaders in various categories.

As always, the former players subset contains both OB players and active players who are playing elsewhere (Norihiro Nakamura, Tuffy Rhodes and Hisashi Iwakuma for example). The OB players are a little heavy on the 70's and later (again as usual) - there are only two players shown wearing Pearl uniforms in the group - Akitoshi Kodama and Fumio Takechi. Most of the Buffaloes managers are represented either as manager (Akira Ohgi, Osamu Mihara) or players (Keishi Suzuki, Masataka Nashida). I was really happy to see a card of Shigeru Chiba - I believe that the team was renamed the Buffalo in his honor when the "Formidable Buffalo" became the manager in 1959.

The main player that I see absent is Hideo Nomo. There are a number of gaijin included (Ben Oglivie, Jack Bloomfield, Phil Clark, Ralph Bryant), but there were a couple of others (Charlie Manuel and Carl Boles) who could have been included as well.

Here's some sample cards:

From top to bottom, the "History Of Kintetsu Buffaloes" for the years 1993-2004 (showing the celebration for the Pacific League pennant in 2001) (#06); the player cards for Shigeru Chiba (#11), Masahiro Doi (#15), Tuffy Rhodes (#82) and Hisashi Iwakuma (#88); and the "Team Record" card for Norihiro Nakamura.

No comments: