Thursday, July 4, 2013

2013 BBM Hawks 75th Anniversary Set

I apologize for the lack of posts lately but I'm currently in the middle of software integration hell on my project at work.  Actually "middle" is optimistic - it's probably more like the beginning.  Anyway, I didn't have to work the holiday so I thought I'd get caught up on the sets I got a few weeks ago - the last one is the Hawks 75th Anniversary set from BBM.

Like the preceding 70th Anniversary set back in 2008 (and almost every other BBM Anniversary set), there are 99 cards in the base set.  They are divided up among four different subsets - "Memories Of Hawks" (5 cards), former Hawk players (67 cards), current Hawks players (18 cards) and the "Osaka Classic" subset (9 cards) which features current players in retro uniforms.  (This is almost exactly the same breakdown as the 2008 set - that set had a six card "History Of Hawks" subset, 66 cards for former Hawks, 18 cards for current Hawks and nine cards for current Hawks wearing "Turn-Back-The-Clock" uniforms.)

This set fixes the biggest problem that the 2008 set had - the absence of Katsuya Nomura.  Not only does Nomura have a "former Hawk" card but he's on at least two if not three of the "Memories Of Hawks" cards.  The "Memories Of Hawks" cards feature significant groups of Hawks teammates over the years.  One card is labelled "400 Ft Row" which I have been unable to find any information on - the card shows eight Hawks players (I think one is Nomura) from the late 50's/early 60's.  The other cards show Mutsuo Minagawa, Tadashia Sugiura and Nomura; Sugiura and Nomura; "Trio The Yamauchi" (Kazuhiro, Takanori and Shinichi Yamauchi, three pitchers with the Hawks in the early 1980's with the same last name but unrelated) and "Young Hawks Starters" (Nagisa Arakaki, Toshiya Sugiuchi, Hayato Terahara and Tsuyoshi Wada from the early '00's).

The "former Hawks" cards feature OB players as well as active players playing for other teams either in NBP (Tadahito Iguchi, Sugiuchi and Hitoshi Tamura) or the US (Munenori Kawasaki and Wada).  I'm not really seeing any major omissions in the set - maybe the biggest is Yutaka Enatsu who only played two seasons for the Hawks but was featured in the 2008 set.  The star players in addition to the ones already mentioned include Hiromitsu Kadota, Hiroki Kokubo, Kenji Johjima, Kimiyasu Kudoh, Koji Akiyama and Yoshinori Hirose.  As usual there's an over abundance of recent (post 1950's players) but there's a couple earlier ones (Akira Bessho, Tokuji Iida).  For once there doesn't seem to be a lot of black and white photos used.  Also prominent in the set are former managers like Sadaharu Oh and Kazuto Tsuruoka and several foreigners like Clarence Jones, Julio Zuleta, Joe Stanka, Tony Bernazard and Don Blasingame (who is NOT labeled as Don Blazer in this set).






Since current manager Koji Akiyama is included with the former Hawks, he doesn't have a card in either the subset for the current team or the "Osaka Classic" subset.  The "Osaka Classic" was a three game set the Hawks played against the Buffaloes to celebrate the days when the Hawks shared Osaka with the Buffaloes.  The Hawks wore the Nankai Hawks uniforms used from 1984 to 1988, the last five years the Hawks played in Osaka.



All the cards can be seen here.

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