Friday, July 19, 2019

2004 BBM 1st Version Asian Championship Inserts

I've mentioned in the past that I'm a sucker for Japanese National Team sets.  The only one that I know of that I don't have is the "2003 Asian Championship" insert set from the 2004 BBM 1st Version set.  The Japanese team at that tournament was the country's first real professional "Dream Team" for an international tournament.  It featured Daisuke Matsuzaka, Koji Uehara, Hiroki Kuroda, Kenji Johjima, Michihiro Ogasawara, Kazuo Matsui, Hisanori Takahashi, Tsuyoshi Wada and Kosuke Fukudome.  It was also managed by Shigeo Nagashima.  Japan dominated the tournament, defeating China 13-1, Taiwan 9-0 and Korea 2-0 in route to qualifying for the 2004 Athens Olympics.

It took me a while to decide that I wanted to collect the whole set - BBM did a separate box set for the team in the winter of 2003-04 so I already had cards for the team - but I finally decided last year that I wanted to get it.  I only had six of the 22 cards in the set before I left for Japan but I was able to track down 12 of the remaining cards in various card shops while I was there.  Here they are:











Hiroshi Kisanuki and Takuya Kimura were on the roster but didn't appear in any games which explains why Kisanuki's photo is of him in the medal ceremony.  I don't have Kimura's card yet so I don't know what his photo looks like.

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