BBM announced three new sets this past week - the 2014 editions of a couple perennial sets and a somewhat expected new Anniversary set.
- In late January, BBM will publish their annual box set commemorating players who retired during the previous season. I'm never exactly sure how to translate the name - I call it the "Farewell" set but it could be "Farewell Heroes" or something along the lines of that (Google Translate calls it "Regret At Parting Ball Person" which really isn't helpful). The set will contain 30 cards - 29 "regular" cards and 1 "special" card - either an insert card with a facsimile autograph or a memorabilia card with a real autograph. The webpage specifically mentions Shinya Miyamoto, Takeshi Yamazaki, Shinjiro Hiyama and Shigenobu Shima but I would be surprised if Tomonori Maeda was not included (especially since BBM did a box set commemorating his career).
- BBM's annual set for other end of the career spectrum, the Rookie Edition set, will be released in the middle of February. As usual, it will contain cards for all the players drafted (and signed) in last October's draft. The set is a pack based set that contains 102 base set cards (89 draft picks, 1 checklist and 12 "Then And Now" cards), two insert sets (24 card "Next Generation" and 2 card "Rookie Of The Year" sets) and (I think) possible autograph cards. The cards themselves look very similar to the sets from the last few years and show the player wearing the jersey for the team that drafted him. The pictures were probably taken at the press conferences that formally introduced the draft class. I still think it would be a lot more interesting to show the players playing for their high school, college or industrial league teams.
- I mentioned a month or so ago that I expected that BBM would do a 10th Anniversary set for the Eagles in 2014. What I didn't expect was how early in 2014 they'd be publishing the set - it will arrive in late January. It's a pack based set containing 90 cards in the base set - 74 players, three mascots, four managers (Yasushi Tao, Katsuya Nomura, Marty Brown and Senichi Hoshino) and a 9 card 2013 Best 9 subset. There will also be a nine card "Team History" insert set and possible autograph cards. If I had to guess, I'd wager that there are at least two Masahiro Tanaka cards in the base set and at least one in the insert set. Don't know whether there's an autograph card or not.
- I haven't seen it on their website yet, but the OB Club has their latest set scheduled to be released on January 18. This is a 31 card box set entitled "Shigeo Nagashima Memorial Treasures" and is apparently a set dedicated completely to Nagashima. The 31 cards included the 30 base set cards and 1 "special" card - there is a dizzying array of autograph, die-cut, foil parallel and other fancy cards possible.