Tuesday, April 7, 2015

2015 BBM Softbank Hawks 10th Anniversary


BBM put out a set celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Softbank buying the Hawks from Daiei about a month and a half ago.  This set was a pack based set and featured 81 cards in its base set that were split between three groups - OB players, 2014 players and "Memories Of The Decade".

There are 63 cards for OB Softbank Hawks players.  As usual this includes both retired players as well as former Hawks who are still active either in NPB (like Toshiya Sugiuchi) or MLB (Munenori Kawasaki, Tsuyoshi Wada).  The only two managers that the Softbank Hawks have had - Sadaharu Oh and Koji Akiyama - are included in this group.  The rest of the players include pretty much every one you'd expect - Kazumi Saitoh, Hiroki Kokubo, Nagisa Arakaki, Arihito Muramatsu, Julio Zuleta, Naoyuki Ohmura and Jose Ortiz for example.  There really isn't anyone I could think of who is missing from the set.  I thought there were a few players who were included that were kind of odd picks - both Kenji Johjima and Tony Batista only played one season for Softbank (both in 2005) but at least both were significant contributors that one season.  There's a couple other guys who I'm really wondering why they were included - Yudai Deguchi (6 ABs in 10 games in 2005), Tetsuya Matoyama (40 games in 2008) and Masanori Taguchi (10 ABs in 6 games in 2005).  I wonder if BBM was scrambling to get enough players to fill in 63 cards.  The photos on the cards are nice but fairly unremarkable:

#20

#45

#49
There are nine cards for the 2014 Hawks.  It's not quite a Best 9 for the 2014 team - there are two pitchers (Kenji Ohtonari and Tadashi Settsu) but no catcher.  The other seven players are Yuya Hasegawa, Yuichi Honda, Kenta Imamiya, Nobuhiro Matsuda, Nobuhiko Matsunaka, Seiichi Uchikawa and Yuki Yanagita.

#70
The "Memories of The Decade" subset is also nine cards.  Instead of being numbered with the rest of the set, they are numbered M01 to M09.  The "memories" being commemorated are the official introduction of the Softbank Hawks in January 2005, the Interleague Championship in June 2008, Koji Akiyama taking over as manager from Sadaharu Oh in October of 2008, clinching 1st place in September 2010 (I think), the 2011 Nippon Series Championship, their walkoff win against Orix last October to clinch 1st place, their 2014 Nippon Series Championship, Kimiyasu Kudoh being named manager in November 2014 and Daisuke Matsuzaka being signed in December 2014.

#M09
I'm not going to lie - this is an odd little set.  First of all, it's kind of strange that this set came out this year rather than last year since 2014 was Softbank's 10th season (the Eagles started in 2005 as well and their 10th Anniversary set came out last year).  It's also kind of odd that 44% of the most memorable moments for the Hawks happened between October and December of last year.  It's also extremely odd that all the player cards show the players in their home white uniforms - no away jerseys, none of the colorful alternate jerseys, nothing but white tops.  I kind of get the feeling that the Hawks and/or BBM decided that they needed to get a card out of Matsuzaka in a Softbank uniform as quickly as possible and worked backward from there.  This set just seems kind of superfluous, especially considering that there was a 75th Anniversary set for the Hawks just a few years ago.

You can see all the cards at Jambalaya and Ryan has a post describing the set as well.

3 comments:

Sean said...

Boy, BBM really is just looking for any excuse to push more card sets out. The 10th anniversary of a change in ownership now warrants a commemorative set?

This is yet another reason why I collect Calbee, trying to keep track of every BBM release every year is just way too much work.

Jason Presley said...

BBM needs to be working on a third Legendary Foreigners set. I need a new card of Bernardo Brito!

Ryan Laughton said...

I know several of my friends, including me, got out of the American baseball card collecting hobby in 1994/1995 because too many subsets were flooding the market. I'm a completist and couldn't enjoy chasing everything anymore. When I look at Engel's checklist I appears to me that 1998/1999 was when BBM subsets and misc sets started to explode too.