Size: 317 cards (cards numbered 410-690, then 36 cards of "Cross Wind" subset are skip numbered)
Cards Per Team: 19 (team card + 18 players)
Team Card Theme: Pitchers Batting
Number Of Leader Cards: N/A
Subsets: 1st Version Update (36), Ceremonial First Pitch (16), People's Honor Award (1), Cross Wind (36)
Inserts: Strongest, Twin Gem
Memorabilia Cards: autographed "Cross Wind" cards, Rookie "Ball" cards, Patch cards (maybe)
Parallels: silver (unnumbered), gold (numbered to 100), holographic (numbered to 50), red (numbered to 25) facsimile autographed player cards, some sort of parallels for Twin Gem, Ceremonial First Pitch and Cross Wind cards
Notable Rookies: Makoto Aiuchi
|1st Version #199, 2nd Version #579|
As usual, there were a number of players who had regular cards in the 2nd Version set who did not appear in the 1st Version set: Shota Ishimine, Taiki Nakagoh and Yuta Ohmine of the Marines; Atsushi Fujii, Yuta Mutoh,Toshiya Okada of the Dragons; Koudai Senga of the Hawks; Tomohiro Abe, Ryuhei Matsuyama, Kyohei Nakamura of the Carp; Yuya Ishii of the Fighters; Tomoyuki Kaida and Tatsuya Satoh of the Buffaloes; Shuichiro Osada and Ryo Sakata of the Lions; Brandon Duckworth and Hiroshi Katayama of the Eagles; Keizo Kawashima, Masayoshi Miwa, Ryosuke Morioka, Shinichi Takeuchi, Ryosuke Yagi and Tetsuya Yamamoto of the Swallows; Shotaro Ide of the Baystars and Kyosuke Takagi of the Giants.
The backs of the cards show the player's stats through May 13:
As has been standard for the last few years, there's a 36 card (3 per team) "1st Version Update" subset - a subset in the style of this year's 1st Version set (with the small print changed to say "2nd Version") of players who for whatever reason did not appear in the 1st Version set. Some of these are late signing foreigners (Blaine Boyer, Michel Abreu, Chris Leroux) while others are some fairly big name players (Masahiro Yamamoto, John Bowker, Yuya Andoh, Takeshi Yamasaki). This subset also includes the only rookie who was not included in 1st Version - Makoto Aiuchi of the Lions. Aiuchi was drafted in the second round last fall but ran afoul of the law - he was arrested in December for speeding and driving without a proper license. He did not finally sign with the Lions until early March, too late to be included in 1st Version.
The team checklist theme is called "Batting Scene" and features a pitcher batting (a theme BBM previously used in the 2010 edition of this set). The pitchers featured in Masahiro Tanaka, Kenta Maeda, Atsushi Nohmi, Yoshihiro Ogawa and Tomoyuki Sugano.
I think at 16 cards, this year's "Ceremonial First Pitch" subset is the largest it's ever been. Of these 16, 14 of these cards feature celebrities from outside of baseball throwing out the first pitch at games: actress Rika Adachi, figure skater Mai Asada, teacher/commercial actor Osamu Hayashi, actress Seiran Kobayashi, actor Kotaro Koizumi, actor/model Louis Kurihara, model(?) Natsumi, musician Kazumasa Oda, singer Hitomi Shimatani, comedian Eiji "Sugichan" Sugiyama, model (?) Saya Tajima, gymnast Rie Tanaka, actress Kanon Tani and model/actress Ryoko Yonekura. Rie Tanaka has been featured in a couple BBM products lately - she was on the cover of Sports Card Magazine last winter to promote the Real Venus set and a few months later BBM put out a box set just for her.
In addition to the celebrities, BBM included "Ceremonial First Pitch" cards featuring both Hideki Matsui and Shigeo Nagashima from the Matsui retirement/People's Honor Award ceremony back on May 5th. In addtion, they added a card commemorating the ceremony itself featuring Matsui, Nagashima, Giants manager Tatsunori Hara and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Lastly, the set includes the second installment of the cross-set subset "Cross Wind", which started in the 1st Version set and concludes in Genesis. Like the other two sets, there are 36 cards in this subset (3 per team). They are numbered separately from the rest of the set.