- Two new box sets called Young Lions and Young Fighters featuring young players from the Lions and Fighters respectively (not that you really needed me to explain that...). Each set contains 28 cards - 27 cards for the base set and 1 "special" card that could be any number of different types including memorabilia or autograph. You can figure that Yusei Kikuchi and Shohei Ohtani will be prominent in both sets. I assume that there is more than one card for each player in the set but the web sites don't break down the sets in any more detail. They will both be out in late August.
- On September 26, 2001, the Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes trailed the Orix Blue Wave by a score of 5-2 going into the bottom of the ninth. The Buffaloes loaded the bases and won the game on a grand slam by pinch hitter Hirotoshi Kitagawa. That win clinched the Pacific League pennant for the Buffaloes, their first since 1989 and only their fourth ever (this was of course prior to the Pacific League starting a playoff system). And no one knew it at the time but it would be Kintetsu's last pennant since they merged with Orix following the 2004 season. BBM is issuing the third of their "Greatest Games" box sets to commemorate this game. I don't know too much about the set - not even the number of cards - but it will be released at the end of August.
BBM did commemorate this game previously in the 2010 20th Anniversary set:
|2010 BBM 20th Anniversary #234|
- I mentioned this one a few weeks back but BBM now has a page for it - there will be a second gaijin set released this year. This one is called Deep Impact and will have the same format as the earlier set - 81 cards in the base set broken into 72 player cards and 9 "Off Shot" cards. There's also an insert set and lots of possible autograph cards. I still don't know for sure who will be in the set - the autograph cards shown on the website include guys like Ralph Bryant and Boomer Wells who were in the original set - but based on what I saw before, I think we're going to get some guys who haven't had Japanese cards before. (And it looks like Hensley Meulens at least has an autograph card which should make Jason happy.) This set will also be released in late August. UPDATE: I forgot to mention that it looks like some of the American managers in Japan like Bobby Valentine and Trey Hillman are included in the autograph cards (and presumably in the regular set)
- This year's high end set is again called "Genesis". This will be a pack based set with 156 cards in the base set - 108 "regular" player cards (9 per team including 1 rookie per team), 12 team checklist cards and 36 cards for the final part of the "Cross Wind" cross set subset (3 per team). Also available are several different insert sets (including a 3D one and a plastic one I think) and a batch of autograph and memorabilia cards. There's also some ridiculous variety of parallel versions of the cards - both in the base set and the insert cards. The set will be out in mid September (as opposed to the other five sets I've mentioned here).
I have seen nothing about an All Star set this year - if BBM does not do it, it will be the first time since...well, ever, at least since BBM started doing cards (in 1991).