Saturday, September 11, 2010

BBM Timeline 2003

OK, I've gotten waaay behind in these. I'll try to wrap it up before the post season starts, but I make no guarantees...

BBM's first set for 2003 was the Sluggers set - the "Historic Edition" set for the year. It established the pattern that would be followed by future "Historic Edition" sets - a 144 card base set broken down into 72 cards for OB players and 72 cards for current players. The set also featured a small, 12 card sepia parallel issue, a couple insert sets (12 card "Super Slugger", 3 card "Great Slugger" and 5 card "Slugger Bonus") and a couple bat and signature cards.

The big change for 2003 was the replacement of the Preview set with the Rookie Edition set. BBM apparently decided to expand the small, draft pick section of the previous Preview sets into a full blown draft picks set. This set contained 152 cards - 90 cards featuring players chosen in the previous fall's draft; 60 cards featuring active players (showing pictures from their rookie season) and 2 checklist cards. The set also featured a 36 card facsimile signed parallel set.

Once again, BBM issued 1st and 2nd Version sets in lieu of a single regular set. The 1st Version set featured 432 cards along with the Best 9, Golden Glove and Sluggers insert sets. The 2nd Version set had 407 cards along with Opening Game and Record Achievement insert sets. Both sets also featured facsimile autographed parallels and windbreaker memorabilia cards. In addition to the regular boxes of packs, BBM also issued boxes of "Light Packs" - six cards to a pack. These packs featured a Kira parallel issue and MVP insert sets.

Speaking of pack size - up to and including the 2003 1st Version set, BBM had always issued cards for the regular sets in packs of 10 cards. For the 2nd Version set this year, however, BBM would reduce the number of cards in a pack to 9. It would further reduce the number to 8 in 2004 where it has remained to the present.

"Touch The Game" returned for a second season with a 144 card set. It also featured two parallel issues, an All Star insert set and a bunch of memorabilia cards featuring bat, base, windbreaker and undershirt cards.

The annual All Star set was issued as a 68 card box set with the possibility of pulling autograph cards of Tuffy Rhodes or Makoto Imaoka.

Once again, BBM increased the number of teams that it issued pack based team sets for. Sets were issued for 8 teams: the Tigers, Lions, Giants, Hawks, Fighters, BayStars, Buffaloes, and Marines. All the sets were between 99 and 126 cards and also included various insert sets and autographed/memorabilia cards.

BBM also issued a set for the Giants that was a giveaway at a September Giants game. It featured 20 cards using the same design as the 2nd Version set, but with different pictures.

Boxed sets were again issued for both the pennant winning teams (the Tigers and Hawks). In a bit of twist, though, there were actually two boxed sets issued for the Tigers - the "Victory Road Prologue" set followed a month or so later by the "Victory Road Championship" set. All the sets featured possible autograph cards and the Tigers "Championship" set and the Hawks sets featured possible bat or jersey cards. The annual Nippon Series set was a 60 card box set that had possible parallel issues of the Toshiya Sugiuchi Series MVP card.

For the second time, BBM issued a set for the Japanese National Team - in this case it was the team that played in the 2003 Asian Games, which was a qualifier for the 2004 Olympics. The 36 card boxed set featured possible jersey cards for Daisuke Matsuzaka, Shigeo Nagashima, Koji Uehara and Tsuyoshi Wada.

The final 2003 BBM issue was a 30 card box set featuring six cards each of 5 "Young Hawks" - Tsuyoshi Wada, Hayato Terahara, Nagisa Arakaki, Toshiya Sugiuchi, and Munenori Kawasaki. Each box set featured either a jersey, autographed or "special" card for one of the players.

(As always, Gary Engel's "Japanese Baseball Card Checklist And Price Guide" was invaluable in putting this information together.)

From top to bottom, that's the 1st and 2nd Version boxes, a Rookie Edition wrapper, the box for the Tigers "Victory Road Prologue" set and the box for the National Team set.

1 comment:

drbillellis said...

That's a neat photo of Shigeo Nagashima on the 2003 Asian Championship card set. I collect box-tops, too, when they have good photos of players or managers.