This is one of the few BBM sets that do not have the player cards split evenly between all 12 teams. I don't think the players are split evenly between active and OB players either although I didn't actually count to see. The set contains pretty much everyone who was a major NPB player since 1991. The OB players include players whose career began before 1991 but who still played the majority of their career during the BBM era - Norihiro Komada, Kimiyasu Kudoh, Atsuya Furuta, Masumi Kuwata, Koji Akiyama, Tsutomu Itoh, Yukio Tanaka, Kazuhiro Sasaki, etc. There are also (obviously) OB players who played their entire career since 1991 - Hideki Matsui, Tsuyoshi Shinjyo, Norihiro Nakamura, Kazuhisa Ishii, Hiroki Kokubo, etc. The active players include pretty much all the big stars like Shohei Ohtani, Tetsuto Yamada, Yuki Yanagita, Shogo Akiyama, Shitaro Fujinami, Takeya Nakamura and Kenta Maeda. There are a number of OB and active Westerners included like Tuffy Rhodes, Alex Ramirez, Wladimir Balentien and Matt Murton. There are also several former NPB players who played in MLB in 2015 - Hisashi Iwakuma, Masahiro Tanaka, Yu Darvish (well, he was on the DL for an MLB team all season), Norichika Aoki, Munenori Kawasaki and Koji Uehara.
So who's not in the set? You could nit-pick the inclusion of a number of players who aren't in the set but I think the big ones that are missing are Hideo Nomo, Ichiro Suzuki, Hiromitsu Ochiai and Kazuhiro Kiyohara. Honestly Kiyohara is the only surprise here. Nomo hasn't appeared on a BBM card since 1994 (his 2000 20th Century Best 9 cards didn't show his picture). Ichiro has only appeared in three BBM sets since he left for the US and the most recent of those was 2009. Ochiai has not appeared in any baseball cards since he was fired as Dragons manager in 2011. But Kiyohara shows up in BBM's historic sets pretty regularly.
The cards themselves are fairly attractive, although I have my usual complaints about the photo selection - mostly batters batting and pitchers pitching. Some of the older photos are a bit grainy which is a complaint I had with the All Star Memories sets of the past couple years. But on the whole it's a nice looking set.
The backs of the cards feature a reproduction of the player's first BBM card, similar to what BBM did for their 20th Anniversary set back in 2010. I didn't do a full study but it looks like there's at least one card represented from each flagship set from 1991 to 2001 and each 1st Version set from 2002 to 2015 (Yasuaki Yamasaki).
|Back of #163|