1997 BBM Set Summary
Cards Per Team:
42 (team card, manager + 40 players)
Team Card Theme:
Number Of Leader Cards:
Nicknames(5 cards), Hot Prospects (12), Nostalgic Stars (10), KK Cards (9)
Best 9, Rivals
Green bordered leader cards
Yoshitomo Tani, Michihiro Ogasawara, Kazuhiro Wada, Tadahito Iguchi, Nobuhiko Matsunaka, Hiroki Kuroda, Akinori Iwamura, Makoto Imaoka, Shinji Mori, Akinori Ohtsuka, Kats Maeda, Yusaka Iriki, Masahiko Morino
The parallel issue was kind of odd - leader cards with a green tint to the border. Here's Akira Ohgi's regular and parallel cards (#31) (for winning the Shoriki award in 1996):
The "Hot Prospect" subset featured just that - a hot prospect from each of the 12 teams. They were Eiji Maruo (Orix), Hiroshi Numata (Nippon Ham), Hisaki Tomiaki (Seibu), Kenji Kawaguchi (Kintetsu), Toshiyuki Gotoh (Lotte), Mitsuru Honma (Daiei), Hideki Okajima (Yomiuri), Hiroshi Hirata (Chunichi), Masanori Tokumoto (Hiroshima), Hajime Miki (Yakult), Kazushi Hosomi (Yokohama) and Takao Inoue (Hanshin). I'm not positive, but I think that none of these players have a "regular" card in the set.
There was a small subset featuring nicknames for a couple players. These cards showed a cartoon of the player as their nickname - for example, Hideki Matsui's card depicted him as Godzilla. The other players in the subset were Kazuhiro Sasaki, Hirofumi Kohno, Atsuya Furuta and Shigeki Sano. Here's Sasaski's card (#560):
For the first time since 1994, BBM included a "Nostalgic Stars" subset in the set. This short printed subset featured stars from the 1970's and 80's - Koji Yamamoto, Kenichi Yazawa, Takashi Yamaguchi, Yasushi Tao, Kiyishi Nakahata, Masayuki Kakefu, Suguru Egawa, Shigeru Kobayashi, Yoshihiko Takahashi and Osamu Higashio. Here's the Nakahata card (#553):
Following the 1996 season, Kazuhiro Kiyohara of the Lions became a free agent and signed with the team that was his favorite growing up - the Yomiuri Giants. This enabled him to be reunited with his high school teammate Masumi Kuwata. BBM commemorated this reunion with a nine card short printed subset called "KK cards". Four of the cards featured Kuwata and four of them featured Kiyohara. The final card (#572) featured the two of them facing off in an intersquad game:
For the first time, BBM issued an insert set for the previous year's Best 9 award winners. This would be a standard insert set for BBM for 12 of the next 13 years (skipping only 1998 where the Best 9 award winners would be a subset in the regular set).
BBM did their first die-cut insert set this year. Called "Rivals", the set featured 24 cards (2 for each team). Each pair of cards for a team featured half the background picture (of their home stadium) and the cards were die cut as mirror images of each other. The odd numbered cards were the left side of the background picture and the even numbered cards were the right side. The cards could then be matched together to show the full picture. I'd show this, but I don't have two cards from any team. Instead, I'll just show Akira Etoh's card (#R16) (which should be matched up with Tomonori Maeda's):
I know I mentioned this last year when I did a box break on this set
, but I'm still convinced that this set has the biggest selection of significant rookies in BBM's history. Maybe I'll change my mind after doing a couple more of these posts, but so far only 1993 rivals it and that's just a couple HUGE guys.
Some other cards:
|Back of Makoto Sasaki's card (#332)|
|Buffaloes Checklist (#528)|
|Ad included in packs|
UPDATE: Like the 1994 set, boxes of the 1997 cards included two pieces of paper - a poster and an information sheet (again including a checklist). The poster is wider than the 1994 one was but still too long for my scanner. Here's the information sheet:
I took a picture of the poster:
This set, with all the various subsets, had a very busy design. It almost seemed as the designers were wandering through the Eye Candy Photoshop plugins and seeing how many they could fit into the set. I like the standard base card front design, but the backs are a little tough on the eyes.
I like the design of the fronts except when the card is a rookie card - that "Rookie" label really dominates the front, maybe more than on any other BBM set.
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