Monday, July 18, 2011

1997 BBM Box Break

Another recent eBay pickup for me was this 1997 BBM box.  The box contained 30 packs of 10 cards each, so there were 300 cards in all.  The 1997 set only had two insert sets (and no memorabilia cards) so I wasn't terribly surprised that I only got four insert cards in the box (two Rivals cards of Motoyuki Akahari and Yasuyuki Kawamoto and two Best 9 cards of Luis Lopez and Takeshi Yamasaki).  There were also two subsets in the regular set that were short printed - a nine card "Nostalgic Stars" subset and a nine card "KK" subset that celebrated the reunion of high school teammates Masumi Kuwata and Kazuhiro Kiyohara on the Giants.  I got two of the "KK" cards in the box but no "Nostalgic Stars" cards.

So that leaves 294 "regular" cards.  I have to say that I was expecting a lot of doubles in the box.  While opening the packs, I noticed that two were nearly identical.  Not only did the two packs share six cards but they did it in almost the same sequence of cards.  The top card in each pack was Yasuyuki Yamauchi, followed by Hiromitsu Ochiai and Jason Thompson.  The next three cards were not the same between the two packs, but then the next two in both packs were Yu Sugimoto and a Troy Neel leader card.  Then once again the next card was different between the two packs but the final card in each was a Hawks checklist.  Despite this, however, I was surprised to discover that the box had only 37 doubles in it, meaning that there were 257 unique "regular" cards in the box.  Even better than the box of 2000 BBM I opened last month.  (And even better for me - 120 of them were ones that I didn't already have).

The one things that I came away with after going through these cards is how many big name rookie cards are in this set.  Yoshitomo Tani, Michihiro Ogasawara, Kazuhiro Wada, Tadahito Iguchi, Nobuhiko Matsunaka, Hiroki Kuroda, Akinori Iwamura and Makoto Imaoka all have rookie cards in the set, along with future US imports Shinji Mori, Akinori Ohtsuka, Kats Maeda and Yusaka Iriki.  I haven't studied this at all so I don't know but it seems like this might be one of the more impressive rookie crops (and that's not even taking into account anyone who's first card is in the set but is not labelled "Rookie".

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