Sunday, November 16, 2014

2014 BBM All Star Game Memories 90's Set

As a repeat of last year, once again BBM did not do the annual All Star set they had done from 1991-2012 and instead did a nostalgic set about All Star games.  Last year it was a set dedicated to the All Star Game Memories of the 1980's - this year it's a set dedicated to the All Star Game Memories of the 1990's.

Like last year's set, this year's set has 90 cards in the base set - 81 "regular" player cards plus nine more cards split into two subsets.  It looks like all the cards were taken during the actual All Star games but it's difficult to tell.  Unlike last year when there were other players visible in the regular player cards that made it obvious that the pictures were taken at all All Star games, the photos on this year's cards pretty much don't show anyone other than the subject of the card.  On the other hand, the photos are all kind of grainy and appear to be mostly taken at night so they probably are all from the games:




I'm pretty sure that Kadota's card shows him running around the bases after hitting a pinch hit home run in Game 2 of the 1991 All Star series - his last All Star game home run in his last All Star game.

There's a lot of great players - both Hall Of Famers and near Hall Of Famers - in the set:  Koji Akiyama, Kazuhiro Kiyohara, Tatsunori Hara, Kimiyasu Kudoh, Masumi Kuwata, Atsuya Furuta, Hiromitsu Kadota, Norihiro Komada, Hiroki Kokubo, Akira Etoh, Tomoaki Kanemoto, Tomonori Maeda, Hiromi Makihara, Yutaka Ohno, Kenjiro Nomura and Hideki Matsui (who hasn't met an OB set he didn't want to be in for a while now).  There are some gaijin players included like Tom O'Malley and Ralph Bryant and some Japanese players who played in MLB like Kazuhiro Sasaki, So Taguchi, Hideki Irabu, Tsuyoshi Shinjo and Satoru Komiyama.  There's also a handful of guys who were still active players in 2014 - Masahiro Yamamoto, Kazuo Matsui, Koji Uehara, Takashi Saito, Kenshin Kawakami and Norihiro Nakamura.  

There's a bunch of cards that show guys holding up signs indicating that they won MVP awards for games.  This card of Atsuya Furuta shows him holding up the sign for winning for Game 1 of the 1991 Series - a game in which he threw out three base runners.  (Furuta also won the MVP for Game 2 in 1992 when he hit for the cycle.)

The set is missing a few major players, however, so a few major events of the All Star games in the 90's are not commemorated.  That game Kadota homered in in 1991 ended up going 12 innings and finished in a tie.  Koji Akiyama (then of the Lions) managed to ricochet a foul ball off one of his eyes in the 12th inning and had to leave the game.  Since the Pacific League was out of position players at this point, Hideo Nomo came into the game to finish Akiyama's at bat.  For defense in the bottom of the 12th, left fielder Takeshi Aikoh moved to center to replace Akiyama and Lions pitcher Kimiyasu Kudoh went in as the left fielder.  Nomo isn't in the set and both Akiyama and Kudoh are shown as Hawks so nothing from this incident made the set.  Daisuke Matsuzaka, who made his All Star game debut in the first game in 1999 by striking out five in three innings (and giving up two runs to take the loss) in also not in the set.  My favorite 90's All Star game event - Ichiro Suzuki's pitching appearance in Game 2 in 1996 is kind of included - Shingo Takatsu, the batter he faced (who was pinch hitting for Hideki Matsui), is shown batting and I assume that it's from this at bat:

In addition to Nomo, Matsuzaka and Ichiro being missing from the set, two other guys that you would expect to be in the set - Hiromitsu Ochiai and Takuro Ishii are also absent.

There are two subsets in the set.  The first is a three card subset called "Start To Stardom".  The three players included (Shinjio Hiyama, Hiroo Ishii and Hitoshi Taneda) are all shown receiving the MVP award for the Fresh All Star game (the minor league All Star game).

 Like last year's set, the final six cards in the set are combination cards that show multiple players.  They were my favorite cards in last year's set but I'm kind of "meh" about them this year.  For one thing there's a bright yellow overlay on the photos that acts as a border around what would otherwise be an attractive picture.  The other thing is that the pairing are just kind of uninspiring.  And this one of Makoto Sasaki and Koji Akiyama looks very similar to a card BBM issued back in 1996:

Probably my favorite of the combination cards (all labeled "2 Stars Meet" except the last one with Tsutomu Kameyama, Hideki Matsui and Tsuyoshi Shinjo - that one is of course "3 Stars Meet") is this one of Hiromi Makihara and Atsuya Furuta:

Jambalaya has all the cards available for viewing here and Ryan did a great post on the set back when it came out last August.

I would expect that BBM will go to the well again next year and do an All Star Game Memories 00's set.  I'd like to see them go earlier but the 00's set will probably be fun too.

1 comment:

Ryan G said...

I don't like the lack of context for many of the photos myself. BBM can have some great ideas but the execution is just a little off.

The "Stars Meet" subset at least has the un-adulterated image on the back. But I agree with you.