Size: 311 cards (numbered 502-812)
Cards Per Team: 16 (team card + 15 players)
Team Card Theme: Game Action/Candids
Number Of Leader Cards: N/A
Subsets: 1st Version Update(20), Youth Explosion (24), Cool And Tough (24), Great Footprint (10), Ceremonial First Pitch (15), Interleague Topics (26)
Inserts: Star Of My Team, I Am Ace, Swing For The Win, MVP ("Light" packs only)
Memorabilia Cards: 10 different - see below
Parallels: 72 cards have either a gold or "hologram" facsimile autograph. The gold were serially numbered to 100 while the "hologram" were numbered to 50. 108 cards have a "kira" version that was only available in the "Light" packs. Each of the regular issue inserts had a serially numbered (to 100) parallel. For the Star Of My Team it was gold leaf text, for I Am Ace and Swing For The Win it was blue foil text.
Notable Rookies: None
In response to the drop off in size between the 2005 and 2006 1st Version sets, the 2006 2nd Version set actually grew in size a little. The growth was only about 35 cards so overall 2006 had about 20 fewer cards than 2005.
The number of "regular" player cards in the 2nd Version set rose from 9 to 15. There were eight players who had cards in the 2nd Version set who did not appear in the 1st Version set - Hayato Terahara (Hawks), Masaki Hayashi (Carp), GG Satoh (Lions), Hisashi Aikyo (Eagles), Teppei Tsuchiya (Eagles), Hiroki Yamamura (Eagles), Tomohito Yoneno (Swallows) and Yuki Yoshimura (Baystars).
|Back of #540 (Tsuyoshi Wada)|
|Gold Parallel version of #696|
|Gold Parallel version of #696 back|
|Hologram parallel version of #610|
BBM once again included a subset that was a "1st Version update". The size of this subset rose to 20 cards this time. These cards used the same design as the 2006 1st Version cards except that they said "2nd Version" on them. Three of the players had switched teams from the team they appeared on in the 1st Version set - Ryotaro Doi and Rysuke Minami both moved from the Baystars to the Marines and Takuya Kimura moved from the Carp to the Giants. The remaining players apparently were all late signing players - Justin Miller (Marines), Ken Shinzato (Marines), Matt Watson (Marines), Michitaka Nishiyama (Hawks), Yusuke Kosai (Hawks), Kazuki Fukuchi (Lions), Wes Obermueller (Buffaloes), Hideki Okajima (Fighters), Takashi Kawai (Eagles), Ryan Glynn (Eagles), Eric Valent (Eagles), Claudio Galva (Dragons), Shigetoshi Yamakita (Baystars), Shawn Sonnier (Baystars), Kazunari Sanematsu (Giants), Shigeyuki Furuki (Giants) and Tatsuya Ozeki (Giants). As usual, I have no idea why BBM included some players in the 1st Version update rather than having a "regular" 2nd Version card.
|1st Version #298 and 2nd Version #502|
|1st Version #420 and 2nd Version #521|
Once again there was a subset devoted to young players - Youth Explosion. The subset contained 24 cards (2 per team). There were at least a couple players - Takehiro Shoda and Kazuya Fujita - who appeared in this subset but did not have a "regular" player card in either the 1st or 2nd Version sets this year. In other words, the "Youth Explosion" cards were their only BBM "flagship" cards in 2006. The other 22 players included were Koji Aoyama, Atsushi Fujii, Yoshiaki Fujioka, Satoshi Fukuda, Yoshihisa Hirano, Yasuhiro Ichiba, Yasushi Iihara, Yoshiyuki Kamei, Daiyu Kanemura, Mamoru Kishida, Nobuhiro Matsuda, Kosuke Matsui, Shoitsu Ohmatsu, Mitsuru Satoh, Eishin Soyogi, Masafumi Suenaga, Ginjiro Sumitani, Kazuya Takamiya, Shinya Tsuruoka, Tatusya Uchi, Hideaki Wakui and Tomoya Yagi.
The set included a second 24 card subset which once again featured two players from each team. The set was called "Cool & Tough" and all the players in the subset were foreign players - Benny Agbayani, John Bale, Alex Cabrera, Jolbert Cabrera, Tom Davey, Sean Douglass, Jose Fernandez, Matt Franco, Karim Garcia, Chris Gissell, Marc Kroon, Greg Larocca, Seung Yuop Lee, Jose Macias, Alex Ochoa, Chris Oxspring, Jeremy Powell, Alex Ramirez, Fernando Seguignol, Andy Sheets, Rick Short, Shawn Sonnier, Tyrone Woods and Julio Zuleta. This is the only subset that I can think of that BBM's ever done exclusively of gaijin players other than the "Nostalgic Stars" subset in the 1994 set.
The cards in the "Great Footprint" subset celebrate accomplishments by players in April and May of 2006. Eight of the cards show milestones reached by players - Akira Etoh's 350th home run, Kei Igawa's 1000th strikeout, Takuro Ishii's 2000th hit, Ken Kadkura's 1000th strikeout, Kazuhiro Kiyohara's 1500th RBI, Hiroki Kuroda's 1000th strikeout, Fumiya Nishiguchi's 1500th strikeout and Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi's 500th game. One of the other cards celebrated Tomoaki Kanemoto's 904th consecutive game in which he played all the innings, breaking Cal Ripken's record. The final card celebrated Tomohiro Nioka's "back-to-back" grand slams - he was the first player to ever hit grand slams in consecutive at bats.
The "Ceremonial First Pitch" subset grew to 15 cards in this set. Only one former baseball player, the recently retired Kazuhiro Sasaki, was included. The other cards were for figure skater Shizuka Arakawa, actor Lily Franky, comedian and Ibaraki Golden Golds manager Kinichi Hagimoto, sumo wrestler Hakuho, Kochi prefecture governor Daijiro Hashimoto, professional wrestler Razor Ramon HG (real name Masaki Sumitani), model Aki Hoshino, sumo wrestler Kyokushuzan, actress Mao Miyaji, kick boxer Musashi, speed skater Tomomi Okazaki, comedy duo Ungirls and golfer Sakuro Yokomine. There was also a card featuring Ultraman Mebius.
There were three 12 card insert sets available with the regular packs of cards. Each had a parallel version that were serially numbered to 100 each. The "I Am Ace" cards featured a pitcher for each team. The parallel version had blue foil text. The "Swing For The Win" cards featured a batter from each and its parallel version also featured blue foil text. The "Star Of My Team" cards featured a star player (either batter or pitcher but one who was not in the other two insert sets) from each team. The parallel version used gold foil text.
|Back of #IA03|
BBM did "Light" packs again for this set but I don't know a whole lot about what was in them. There was the traditional "kira" parallels for the player cards (108 cards in all or 9 cards per team) and the usual MVP insert cards. I do not know how many of the base cards in the set were available in the "Light" packs - it wouldn't surprise me to learn that only the player cards were available.
There were 10 different memorabilia cards available in the regular packs of cards - autographs of Hiroyuki Kobayashi, Yasuhisa Hirano, Ryota Igarashi and Kenta Kurihara; jersey cards of Michihiro Ogasawara, Kazuo Fukumori, and Kenshin Kawakami; bat cards for Andy Sheets and Takayuki Shimizu and an undershirt card for Hiroyuki Nakajima.
This was the first BBM set that I ever purchased as a complete set so I don't have any wrappers or boxes to show.