Saturday, May 31, 2014

2014 BBM 1st Version

2014 BBM 1st Version Set Summary

Size: 409 cards number 1-408 with two versions of card #137
Cards Per Team:  28 (team card, manager + 26 players)
Team Card Theme:  Mascots
Number Of Leader Cards:  N/A
Checklists:  None
Subsets:  Genuine Ace (12), Big Slugger (12), Limitless Hope (12), Spirit Of The Team (12), Gods Of Defense (12), Last Guardian (12)
Inserts:  Great Hit Makers, Wonder Rookie, Lightning
Memorabilia Cards:  Jersey cards for Sho Nakata and Wladimir Balentien (as well as a combination card with both of them).  There are 19 "Art Of Auto" autographed cards with print runs that vary between 10 and 25.
Parallels:  108 cards have four different parallel versions - silver, gold (numbered to 100), "Holographic" (numbered to 50) and red (numbered to 25).  I believe that the 76 rookie cards have a serially numbered (to 100) parallel.  There's are parallel versions of the subset cards and the Great Hit Maker and Wonder Rookie inserts.  There is a patch version of the solo jersey cards that are serially numbered to 20.
Notable Rookies: Yuki Matsui, Daichi Ohsera, Seiya "Aja" Inoue

As always, don't take those "Notable Rookies" too seriously - in five year there's likely to be a completely different list.

This post is going to be a bit repetitive of Ryan's post on this set a few months back but I'll do my standard post and hopefully add a little more information to what he's already written.  But he's got examples of inserts and parallels there that I'm not going to cover here.

The biggest change with this year's edition of the 1st Version set is that BBM decided not to do the "Leader" subset that would commemorate the statistical leaders and award winners from the 2013 season.  BBM had done this subset in every "flagship" set since their first set in 1991.  They also have dropped the Best 9 and Golden Glove subsets which had been in every 1st Version set as subsets since 2011.  Previously they had been insert sets included in every flagship set since 1997 for the Best 9 cards and 2000 for the Golden Glove cards.

In place of those subsets, BBM added six 12 card subsets.  As you can probably guess from the size of the subsets, each one contains one player from each team.  The first subset is "Genuine Aces" and features one of the better starting pitchers for each team:

"Big Sluggers" features...ummm...big sluggers from each team:

The "Limitless Hope" subset contains what are probably the most promising young player for each team.  Only two of these are actually rookies this season - the others have anywhere from one to three years of NPB experience.  This guy is one of the rookies:

The "Spirit Of Team" subset highlights the other end of the experience spectrum.  Each player included in the subset is one of the older players for their team.

Even without the Golden Glove subset defense is not ignored in this set - the "Gods Of Defense" subset features what I assume are great defensive players for each team:

Closing out the subsets is (appropriately) the "Last Guardian" subset that includes the pitchers who looked to be the closers for their teams before the season started:

For the fifth time since 2009 (or every year since 2009 except 2012) the team checklists feature the team mascots.  To me personally, this got old three years ago, especially now that BBM has been doing an annual mascot set.

As I've mentioned previously, I'm not real happy with the choices that BBM made with this set.  I've always liked the Leader subset and I've never particularly liked subsets for the sake of subsets.

Luckily, however, the saving grace of the set are the regular cards.  This is what BBM does best, beautiful photos on a simple minimalist design (although not as minimalist as Calbee):





Back of #147 (Sho Nakata)

I was curious to see how BBM would handle Motonobu Tanishige this year.  When Atsuya Furuta was player-manager for the Swallows back in 2006-07 (the only other time there's been a player-manager since BBM started doing cards), BBM did two separate cards for him - one as a player and one as a manager.  What BBM did this time is to only have one card for Tanishige that has a position of "MGR/C" (and appears in the checklist at the appropriate spot for the Dragons manager).  Since this set is much smaller than the 2006 and 2007 1st Version sets, I think this is the right decision - this allows the set to contain one more Dragon than it would have otherwise.

There are two things I want to note about the Fighter cards in the set.  The first is that there are two different versions of Shohei Ohtani's card (#137) but this does not come at the expense of another Fighters card.  There are actually 28 Fighters cards (plus the team card).  I don't think either card is a short print and I think that each are as numerous as any other card in the set.  The second is that for the first time since he was drafted in 2011, Yuki Saitoh does not appear in the set.

UPDATE - forgot to add that as usual all the cards can be seen at Jambalaya.


Jason Presley said...

Is there any precedent for correcting Version 1 errors in later releases? I finally started working through the 2014 backlog and as I'm starting this set, I noticed that on #037 Greg Reynolds' first name is spelled "Gerg" on the front.

NPB Card Guy said...

Not that I'm aware of. I know in the past (pre-2002) they would occasionally correct cards in the flagship sets but I don't think they've done it since they started doing 1st & 2nd Version. I think they've corrected cards in other sets - there used to be a section on the website where they'd apologize for a mistake and (I think) offered some way of getting a corrected card. But I could be wrong.

surrogatedad said...

Can you show an image of the Art of Auto cards? I'm seeing several floating around and not sure what is authentic. Thanks!

NPB Card Guy said...

I think BBM did "Art Of Auto" cards in both 2013 and 2014 although I'm not positive. There's an image of Ohtani's 2013 one in this post and an auction for a 2014 one of Yoshihisa Hirano here.