Wednesday, February 6, 2013

2013 BBM Legendary Foreigner Set

In December, BBM put out an 81 card set dedicated to the foreigners that have come to Japan to play baseball.  I'm not sure what the "official" name of the set is - Google has translated it as something like "Strongest Legendary Alien" and Ryan thinks it probably should be "All Time Greatest Foreigners" but I'm going with "Legendary Foreigner", at least for now.

Ryan actually covered the set pretty well in a post he did recently so I'm not sure I have a whole lot to add here.  Of the 81 cards in the set, 72 of them are "regular" player cards and the remaining nine are a subset called "Off Shot" which features candid photos.

It is an interesting group that BBM selected to be in the set.  There's a handful of guys who had long careers in Japan - Leron and Leon Lee, Boomer Wells, Tuffy Rhodes, Alex Cabrera, Bobby Rose - and a group of players known better for their MLB careers who only played in Japan for one or two seasons - Davey Johnson, Bob Horner, Larry Parrish, Julio Franco, Cecil Fielder.  Most of the players fall into between.  As is typical for a BBM historic set, most of the players included were active from the 1970's and later, although there's a couple guys from the 1960's.  Many of the pre-1991 players have not appeared on a BBM card before.  The set also includes a couple of Taiwanese players in addition to the Westerners.

As with any set like this, you start to look at it and think about the guys that didn't make the set.  None of the Nisei players from the 1950's (like Wally Yonamine) made the set, nor did any of the handful of Americans to play in the pre-war era (like Harris McGalliard).  It would have been interesting if either of the American Baseball Hall of Famers who had played in Japan (Larry Doby and Rich Gossage) had been included (especially Gossage as I believe there are no Japanese cards of him at all).  I don't think there are any Koreans in the set - Jong-Beom Lee, who played four years with Chunichi in the late 90's might have been a good choice, as well as Dae-Sung Koo who spent a couple years with Orix.   Legendary Cuban slugger Omar Linares would have also be a good choice.  I think the biggest omission, however, was Bobby Marcano, who spent 11 years with Hankyu and Yakult in the 1970's and 1980's.

Here's some sample cards (Ryan has almost all of them scanned with his post and Jambalaya as usual has them as well):






Jason Presley said...

I was also surprised at some of the notable omissions from this set. At first, I was thinking it might lean toward there being a second set done to fill in the gaps, but then I couldn't come up with quite enough players to justify a full set unless they just featured ANY foreigners, regardless of success in either Japan or their home countries.

Anonymous said...

How about a Gaijin "all criminal team" with Mell Hall and Troy Neel? Maybe we should reserve a spot for Nyjer Morgan?