Sunday, December 29, 2013

2005 BBM 1st Version

2005 BBM 1st Version Set Summary

Size:  559 cards
Cards Per Team:  42 (team card, manager + 40 players)
Team Card Theme: Game Action/Candids
Number Of Leader Cards: 36
Checklists: None
Subsets: Retirement Players (12), Legend Players (7)
Inserts: Best 9, Golden Glove, MVP (Light Packs only)
Memorabilia Cards: Jersey cards for the 2004 League MVPs - Nobuhiko Matsunaka and Kenshin Kawakami, as well as Daisuke Matsuzaka (PL ERA leader) and Shigenobu Shima (CL Batting Leader).  Also combo cards featuring Matsuzaka and Shima and Matsuzaka and Kawakami.
Parallels: 108 cards have silver facsimile autographs.  There is also a gold facsimile autographed version of those 108 cards that is serially numbered to 100. Autographed Versions of Retirement Players and Legend Players subsets (numbered to 50).  Silver Parallel version of the Best 9 inserts.  60 cards have a kira version (Light packs only).
Notable Rookies:  Yu Darvish, Chihiro Kaneko, Yasuyuki Kataoka, Hideaki Wakui, Michael Nakamura, Atsushi Nohmi

For 2005, BBM reversed direction a little bit.  After three years of producing two "flagship" sets a year that were roughly the same size, BBM went back to producing a large (500+ cards) "flagship" set for 1st Version along with a smaller (less than 200 card) 2nd Version set.  The 2005 1st Version set was roughly the size of the pre-2002 regular BBM sets (less the "Late Version" cards).

There were two different flavors of parallel facsimile autographs in this set - silver and gold.  The gold were serially numbered to 100.  I think that each of the 108 cards (9 per each team) that have a silver signature parallel also have the gold.

#351 (regular and silver autograph parallel)

#439 (regular and gold autograph parallel)
The set included the standard two insert sets - the Best 9 and the Golden Glove Award winners from 2004.  The Best 9 set was actually 20 cards this year instead of the standard 19 as Masahiro Araki and Greg Larocca shared the Central League's 2nd baseman award.  The Best 9 inserts also featured a parallel version - Engel lists this as a "silver" parallel but I'm not sure that's accurate.  The parallel issue appears to be a more "glossy" finish on the card rather than any sort of silver.

#BN8 (regular on top, parallel on bottom)


Once again, BBM issued cards in four card packs called "Light Packs" that had their own parallels (the now familiar "kira" cards) and their own inserts - the MVP inserts.  The Light Packs did not contain any memorabilia cards, signature parallels, Best 9 or Golden Glove inserts.  I'm not sure if all the base cards in the set were available in the Light Packs or not.

The set only contained two subsets - "Retirement Players" and "Legend Players".  The "Retirement Players" featured 12 players who had retired after the 2004 season - Motoyuki Akahori, Chihiro Hamana, Toshio Haru, Shinichi Katoh, Kenjiro Kawasaki, Ryuji Kimura, Takashi Miwa, Hirofumi Ogawa, Yukihiko Satoh, Hiroyuki Sekine, Tetsuya Shiozaki, and Hiroshi Yagi.  The "Legend Players" commemorated managers and coaches who left their jobs after the 2004 season (and didn't have a new one for 2005).  This included Haruki Ihara and Masataka Nashida, the managers of the Orix Blue Wave and Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes, the teams that merged to become the Orix Buffaloes in the offseason.  The five others included were Hiroo Ishii, Akinobu Mayumi, Koji Noda, Takamasa Suzuki and Takashi Yamaguchi.  The seven are depicted from their playing days rather than their time coaching or managing.  The design of the two subsets are the same except for the "Retirement Player" or "Legend Player" text.


I noticed something odd when looking up the list of the notable rookies in the set - Michael Nakamura is considered a rookie despite having made 31 appearances in MLB between 2003 and 2004.  Nakamura was born in Japan and went to high school in Australia (he is a citizen of both countries).  He signed as an amateur free agent with Minnesota in 1997, made his debut in 2003, went to the Blue Jays in a waiver deal for 2004 and was "granted free agency" (which I suspect is a euphemistic way to say he was released) after the 2004 season.  Since he was a Japanese citizen, he apparently was not allowed to negotiate with every NPB team.  Instead he was forced to enter the draft and was taken in the fourth round by the Fighters.  He does not, however, appear in the 2005 BBM Rookie Edition set.  This is the exact opposite of how BBM treated Mac Suzuki, who entered NPB in 2003 after playing in the US for 11 years.  Suzuki was taken by Orix in the 2003 draft and appeared in that year's Rookie Edition set but his card in the 2003 1st Version set was not labelled "Rookie".  In addition, the back of Suzuki's card included his stats from the US.  Nakamura's does not.  BBM treated GG Satoh (who had signed with the Phillies out of high school in Japan) in a similar fashion to Nakamura in 2004 - he did not appear in the 2004 Rookie Edition set but he was labelled a "Rookie" in the 2004 1st Version set.  In 2008, BBM would include Kazuhito Tadano (who had signed with the Cleveland Indians out of high school) in the Rookie Edition set as well as labeling him a "Rookie" in the 1st Version set.  Like Nakamura, neither Satoh's nor Tadano's "Rookie" cards included his stats from North America.

Other cards and ephemera:





Back of #395 (Tomoaki Kanemoto)





Checklist box insert

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