Wednesday, February 12, 2014

2005 BBM 2nd Version

2005 BBM 2nd Version Set Summary

Size:  276 cards (numbered 560-835)
Cards Per Team:  9 (9 players)
Team Card Theme: No team cards
Number Of Leader Cards: N/A
Checklists: 3
Subsets: 1st Version Update(15), Managers(12), New Wave (24), The Early Stage Highlights (24), Interleague Game (72), First Ball Ceremony (8), 2005 Record (8), Interleague Champion and MVP (2)
Inserts: Opening Game Pitchers, Opening Game Hitters, Run!, Fielding!, Team Hero
Memorabilia Cards: 23 different - see below
Parallels: Silver and gold parallel versions of the 108 player cards - gold parallels are serially numbered to 50. Kira versions of New Wave subset (Light packs only).  Light packs also had Kira parallels of Opening Game Pitchers, Opening Game Hitters and Team Hero inserts.
Notable Rookies:  None

In 2005 BBM followed up the largest 1st Version set so far (559 cards) with the smallest 2nd Version set so far (276 cards).  The total number of cards between the two sets (835) was in line with the total sizes of the 2002-2004 sets however (2002 had 867 cards, 2003 had 839 cards and , 2004 had 852 cards).

This set featured only 108 "regular" player cards (9 per team), by far the smallest number in any BBM flagship set.  These cards represented less than 40% of the total cards in the set.  Surprisingly, there were four players who had "regular" cards in 2nd Version who did not appear in the 1st Version set - Atsunori Inaba of the Fighters, Shinichiro Koyama and Tadaharu Sakai of the Eagles and Masanobu Ohkubo of the Buffaloes.




The backs of the cards were a bit unusual as they did not show the player's complete statistical record.  For the first time, the backs only contained the player's stat lines for 2004 and for his career.  In the case of new foreign players, the back simply read "New Comer 2005" and had no stats at all.

Back of #687 (Kazuhiro Sasaki)
Instead of signature parallels, this time BBM did cards which had a strip on one side in either silver or gold.  The player's name and number would also be written in silver or gold along with the BBM logo.  The gold cards were serially numbered to 50 - the number appears on the back instead of the front.  I think that there is a parallel version of all 108 player cards.  There are, however, no "kira" versions of the regular player cards in the "Light" packs.

Gold and regular versions of #603

Silver and regular versions of #631
In addition to the "regular" cards, BBM also included a 15 card "1st Version Update" subset.  These 15 cards used a design identical to the "regular" 1st Version cards with the exception that the cards are actually labelled "2nd Version".  The majority of the players in the subset were late signing players although a couple were traded.  Only two of them (Junichi Kawahara and Mitsutaka Gotoh) appeared in the 1st Version set.  There were five Eagles (Shinichiro Koyama, Yoshinori Okihara, Tadaharu Sakai, Matt Skrmetta and Andy Tracy), four Giants (Masashi Date, Gotoh, Scott Mullen, and Kenji Yano), two Fighters (Atsunori Inaba and Brad Thomas), and one player each for the Carp (Juan Feliciano), Lions (Kawahara) and Swallows (Rick Guttormson).  And yes, you read that right - Inaba, Koyama and Sakai appear in both the 1st Version update and the "regular" player cards.

1st Version #15 & 2nd Version #570

1st Version #331 & 2nd Version #560
Normally BBM includes the managers with the "regular" cards in the set - i.e the managers have a card that uses the same design as the players.  For the first and so far only time ever, BBM did a separate design for the managers.

As standard for a 2nd Version set, this set included a subset devoted to prospects.  Called "New Wave" again (for the first time since 2003), the subset contained 24 cards and as you probably already guessed, that meant there were two players per team.  The players included were Norichika Aoki, Kantaro Hashimoto, Yosuke Hiraishi, Yasuhiro Ichiba, Shotaro Ide, Toshiaki Imae, Yuya Ishii, Ken Kamakura, Yasushi Kamiuchi, Hideki Kishimoto, Takumi Kuriyama, Atsuhiro Mitsuhara, Michael Nakamura, Takeya Nakamura, Kenichi Nakata, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Atsushi Nohmi, Takahiko Nomaguchi, Yoshinori Ogata, Hiroaki Ohnishi, Yuhei Takai, Tomohiro Umetsu, Tetsuya Utsumi, and Teruaki Yoshikawa.  "Kira' parallel versions of these cards were available in "Light" packs.

BBM included two subsets that commemorated events early in the 2005 season.  The first was called "The Early Stage Highlights" and contained 24 cards (two per team).  These cards celebrate note-worthy games in March and April.  For example, one of the Eagles cards immortalizes their first game ever.  One of the Marines cards celebrates their 26-0 drubbing of the Eagles in the Eagles second game ever.  Many of the cards depict groups of players and players are not individually labeled, at least not on the front of the card.



NPB introduced inter-league play in 2005 and BBM included a 72 card subset called "Interleague Game" to acknowledge it.  There are six cards for each team that each highlight one of that team's games against one of the teams from the other league.  Like the "Early Stage" cards, many of the cards show groups of players and players are not individually identified.  I frequently see one of the Fighters cards from this subset listed as a Yu Darvish card from this set.  I'm probably splitting hairs when I say that I disagree - it's kind of like saying that Topps did a card of Thurman Munson in their 1980 set because he's visible in the Yankees team picture.  Although in this case at least Darvish is the only player pictured on this card.


The "Ceremonial First Pitch" subset from the 2004 2nd Version set returned this year as a subset called "First Ball Ceremony".  It doubled in size to eight cards this year.  Three of the cards featured former players - Masaaki Ikenaga, Masaji Hiramatsu and Masanori Murakami.  Ikenaga's inclusion is noteworthy as he had been banned for life in 1970 due to his involvement in the Black Mist scandal.  He was reinstated in 2005 after a long appeal process.  Another card featured Mickey, the ball delivery dog for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp.  The other cards were for celebrities - "Seidokaikan Karateka" Nobuaki Kakuda, mixed martial arts fighter and wrestler Nobuhiko Takada, gravure idol and model Yuko Ogura and actress Tomoka Kurotani.


The "2005 Record" subset is somewhat mis-titled as the events commemorated by the cards are milestones reached by players and not new records.  The eight players included are Atsuya Furuta (2000 hits), Tomoaki Kanemoto (300 home runs), Kazuhiro Kiyohara (500 home runs), Kimiyasu Kudoh (3000 innings pitched), Kenjiro Nomura (2000 hits), Tuffy Rhodes (350 home runs), Kazuhiro Sasaki (250 saves) and Kazuyoshi Tatsunami (450 doubles),  All the milestones were reached between April and June of 2005.

The final subset in the base set contained two cards celebrating the interleague champion (the Marines) and MVP (Hiroyuki Kobayashi).  These are also labelled "Interleague Game" but I feel they are a separate subset in that the design is a little bit different and these two cards are not numbered consecutively with the others (the others are numbers 743 to 814 while these are cards 831 and 832).  And the card of Kobayashi is clearly labelled as a card of his, unlike the Darvish one above.



Depending on how you classify them, there were either three or five insert sets issued with the set (or even four if you're half agreeing with me and half agreeing with Gary Engel).  Engel lumps the "Run!" and "Fielding!" cards together as one set while I view them as two separate ones (as they have two separate sets of numbers).  Both sets contain 12 cards (one for each team) and are made of translucent plastic.



Similarly, Engel lumps the "Opening Game Pitcher" and "Opening Game Batter" cards into one insert set while I think they are two separate ones (again because they are numbered separately). Both sets again contain 12 cards featuring the starting pitcher and cleanup batter for each team's Opening Day lineup.  There were parallel "kira" versions of these available in the "Light" packs.


The other insert set (which Engel and I do not disagree on) is the "Team Hero" set.  Once again, this set contained 12 cards (one for each team) and there was a "kira" parallel version available in the "Light" packs.

There were 23 separate memorabilia cards available with this set.  There were only 50 of each card made although I do not know if the cards were serially numbered or not.  There were several different types of memorabilia available - undershirts (Daisuke Matsuzaka, Kei Igawa, Koji Uehara and Hiroki Kuroda), bats (Alex Cabrera, Nobuhiko Matsunaka, Luis Lopez and Kazuhiro Kiyohara), jerseys (Tsuyoshi Wada, Carlos Mirabal, Fernando Seguignol, Hisashi Iwakuma, Kenshin Kawakami and Kazuyoshi Tatsunami), batting gloves (Tomoaki Kanemoto and Greq Larocca) and autographs (Shunsuke Watanabe, Kazuya Furuuka, Hidetaka Kawagoe, Hirotoshi Kitagawa, Masanori Ishikawa, Alex Ramirex and Daisuke Miura).

I want to add one final word here on the "Light" packs.  I have never seen a "Light" pack from this set but I'm guessing from what I'm reading that each pack contained four cards - three "regular" cards and one "kira" parallel card - either for the "New Wave" subset or for the "Opening Game" or "Team Hero" insert sets.  I think (but again I don't know for sure) that three "regular" cards could only be from the 108 player cards, not from any of the subsets.  As usual, memorabilia cards were not available in the "Light" packs but in a departure from the previous years (as well as the 2005 1st Version set) there were no MVP inserts that were exclusive to the "Light" packs.




Back of poster (checklist)

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