Friday, April 24, 2015

2013 BBM Masahiro Tanaka Invincibility Legend set

2013 was a pretty amazing year in NPB.  In the Central League you had Wladimir Balentien chasing (and eventually passing) Sadaharu Oh's record for most home runs in a season (which was actually shared by Tuffy Rhodes and Alex Cabrera but they did it in the Pacific League) while in the Pacific League you had Masahiro Tanaka chasing an undefeated season - eventually ending the season at 24-0 while leading the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles to their first ever pennant and Nippon Series championship.  It was a lot of fun for me to follow here on the East Coast of the US, waking up every morning to see what the two of them had done or (even better) getting to tune in via to watch them do it.

BBM published a box set in November of 2013 that celebrated Tanaka's 24-0 season.   It was called something along the lines of "Unbeaten Legend" although according to Ryan, the kanji for the title could also be translated as "Invincibility Myth".  I like the name "Invincibility Legend" myself so that's what I've been going with.

The base set contains 27 cards.  24 of these cards commemorate each of Tanaka's wins in 2013 (regular season only, not the Climax Series or Nippon Series).  The front of these cards shows a picture from the game in question while the back has the line score and other information about the game:


Back of #01

Here's some of the other cards for the victories:





You're probably asking yourself what the other three cards in the base set are for.  One of them is for Tanaka's only save during the regular season that year - Eagles manager Senichi Hoshino brought him in to close the game in which the Eagles clinched the Pacific League pennant on September 26.

Tanaka's winning streak actually started with his last four wins in 2012 (for a total of 28) and one of the other cards in the set commemorates the first win of the streak against the Fighters on August 26, 2012 - the card is called "PROLOGUE to the Legend".

The final card in the set is a shot of Tanaka with the idol group Momoiro Clover Z, of whom he apparently is a big fan.

This was a difficult set to track down.  It had a print run of only 1500 sets and it seemed like everyone who got one was holding on to it.  Ryan has been scouring the card shops in Japan looking for an opened set but coming up empty.  I lucked into a set a few weeks ago on Yahoo! Japan Auctions.  Total cost including shipping and kuboTEN fees was around $30 which is much higher than I would normally pay for an opened box set but considering how rare these appear to be, I wasn't too unhappy about it.

You can see all the base set cards over at Jambalaya.  Ryan's post on the set goes into some detail about the premium cards that were also in the box with the base set.

1 comment:

kndynt2099 said...

I am also searching for this box set. Especially the Momoiro Clover and Tanaka card.