Saturday, September 21, 2013

2013 Baystars 20th Anniversary

Following the 1992 season, the Yokohama Taiyo Whales changed their name to the Yokohama Baystars (or BayStars or Bay Stars - never quite figured that one out).  I'm not entirely sure why they made the name change - Wikipedia says it's due to the parent corporation Taiyo changing their name to the Maruha Corporation which doesn't quite make sense.  Maruha had been one of the owners of the team for years - their uniforms had featured a patch for Maruha on the sleeve for years ( from the early 50's until the team moved to Yokohama in 1978),  So I think Taiyo always WAS Maruha.  Regardless, 1993 was the first year for the renamed team.  BBM published a 20th Anniversary set for the Baystars a few months back.

The base set features 81 cards, a little smaller than the "standard" size for BBM's Anniversary sets (99 cards).  As usual, this breaks down to a bunch of OB player cards (57), a bunch of cards for the current team (18) and a couple subsets - former managers (3 cards) and "Baystars History" (3 cards).

As always, the OB Baystars players includes both retired players and active former Baystars.  The former includes Bobby Rose, Tyrone Woods, Takuro Ishii, Norihiro Komada, Kazuhiro Sasaki, Glenn Braggs, Kazuhiro Kudoh, Takanori Suzuki, Marc Kroon and Satoru Komiyama.  The latter includes Ryota Aikawa, Shuichi Murata, Motonobu Tanishige and Seiichi Uchikawa.  It looks like the player selection is pretty good as there's no one in particular who stands out as missing.  Here's some example cards:






There are some guys missing from the "Former Managers" subset.  There have been eight managers of the Baystars prior to Kiyoshi Nakahata, the current manager.  The set only includes three of them - Hiroshi Gondoh (manager of the 1998 champs), Akihiko Ohya (who managed the team on two separate occasions) and Kazuhiko Ushijima.  That means Akihito Kondo, Masahiko Mori, Daisuke Yamashita, Tomio Tashiro and Takao Obana were left out.  Here's the Gondoh card as an example:


Typically BBM's Anniversary sets have a six or seven card subset for the team's history or highlights.  Not to be too mean here, but the Baystars probably haven't had that many highlights over the last 20 years, so the subset in this set is only three cards.  They commemorate the Baystars championship in 1998, something for Kazuhiro Sasaki (maybe leading the league in saves for four straight season from 1995-98?) and Takuro Ishii reaching 2000 hits in 2006.  The only other thing I can think as a highlight for the team might have been Norihiro Komada getting his 2000th hit in 2000.  On the other hand, Komada got a bunch of those hits as a Giant while Ishii got them all in Yokohama so maybe not.  Here's the card for the 1998 Championship:


The current team subset in BBM's Anniversary sets always seem kind of like an afterthought to me and this one's no different.  It contains most of the people that you'd expect - Tony Blanco, Norihiro Nakamura, Alex Ramirez, Sho Aranami, Daisuke Miura and Tatsuhiko Kinjoh among others.  On the other hand, there were two guys that I was surprised to see weren't included - Nyjer Morgan and rookie Kazuki Mishima.  Here's some examples:



You can see all the cards here.

It's not a bad little set, although it's probably only a set you'll want to pick up if you're a big Baystars fan (or love OB sets like I do).

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